Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is a mini-series written and drawn by Frank Miller and published by in four issues by between February and June of 1986.
Don't get Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (DKR) confused with the 2008 Dark Knight movie. They are two distinctly different tales. DKR is set twenty years into an alternate future in which superheroes are strangely absent, and super-villians are either jailed or dead. Ordinary criminals now fill the void, and a gang known as the "Mutants" are holding Gotham City to ransom.
Batman has not been seen for ten years following the death of the second incarnation of Robin (Jason Todd). Bruce Wayne, whilst battling a drinking problem, is still a rich man. We learn that for years he has been funding the rehabilitation of Harvey Dent, to the point where "Two-Face" seems to have disappeared, and Harvey Dent is released back out into society. When Dent returns to crime, Batman is forced out of retirement. After recapturing Dent, Batman then goes after the mutants, defeating their leader, and fuelling the media's obsession with the re-emergence of the Dark Knight.
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