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Part 2 of The Dark Knight returns continues almost exactly where Part one lets off.
The Mutants gang has been disbanded following their leader's disgrace at the hands of the Dark Knight and now have split off into splinter groups. One of the biggest of these is The Sons Of Batman who paint blue bats on their face and who practice vigilantism.
But this a dark world and dark times we are living in. As Batman more and more makes his presence felt in Gotham, old arguments begin to surface once more - is Batman a threat, a menace or a cure for society's ills? With Gordon now retired and a new Commissioner in place, a war breaks out between the Dark Knight and the forces of Law and Order as local Police strive to bring him in.
Meanwhile, a certain caped superhero a few States away finds himself in consultation with a President who bears a striking resemblance to Ronald Reagan. He wants Batman dealt with. By any means necessary.
Frank Millar's dark themes and undertones are brilliantly brought to the screen once more in what is a veritable tour-de-force for the Batman franchise. The old villain around which this story focuses is The Joker. Long incarcerated in a home for the mentally unstable, for the last ten years he has been in a fugue state, Batman's exploits reawaken The Joker's madness and it is not long before he is back out on the rampage again...
All of this builds alongside the threat of nuclear war. America is being dragged into a conflict with Russia which does not look like it is going to end well. Superman finds himself draw into the conflict and, in one of the most amazing set pieces ever to be animated, finds himself facing the absolute limits of his power. I will not give anything away but there is one scene here above all else that absolutely begs to be watched. Recreated authentically and believably from one particular part of the graphic novel, truly you will never see anything like it again and will probably come as a big shock to those unfamiliar with the source material!
Of course, the movies climax ends with probably one of the biggest battles ever to hit the screen. But we also get to see the consequences of that battle.
I am not going to say anything more as I don't want to spoil anything but truly this second part lives up to the promise of part one and even, sometimes, exceeds it!
If you only ever watch one animated Batman movie- make it these two films; part one and part two of The Dark Knight Returns.
Arguably the best graphic novel ever written, now Dark Knight Returns is arguably the best Batman movie thast has ever ever been made!