Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” as Want to Read:
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

(The Dark Knight Saga #1)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  150,633 ratings  ·  3,167 reviews
This masterpiece of modern comics storytelling brings to vivid life a dark world and an even darker man. Together with inker Klaus Janson and colorist Lynn Varley, writer/artist Frank Miller completely reinvents the legend of Batman in his saga of a near-future Gotham City gone to rot, ten years after the Dark Knight's retirement.

Crime runs rampant in the streets, and the
Hardcover, 197 pages
Published November 2012 by DC Comics (first published 1986)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Batman, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Watchmen by Alan MooreThe Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanV for Vendetta by Alan MooreThe Complete Persepolis by Marjane SatrapiPreludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman
Best Graphic Novels
2,634 books — 6,102 voters
Batman by Alan MooreBatman by Frank MillerBatman by Jeph LoebBatman by Frank MillerBatman by Jeph Loeb
Best of Batman
469 books — 812 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  150,633 ratings  ·  3,167 reviews

Sort order
Oct 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
........................ FIRST A BRIEF HISTORY LESSON................

................BEFORE "The Dark Knight Returns".............................


and don’t forget (though I know you WANT TO)


.....................AFTER "The Dark Knight Returns"....................



Because the best kind of classic has pictures...


So. I've actively (and successfully) avoided reading TDKR for many years now.
Why, you ask?
Well, to be honest, I was kinda scared. Now, if you aren't a comic book reader, then you might not understand how big of a deal this book is, but if you are...?
Yeah, you know.
Which means, you're also aware of all the rabid comic nerds out there who go all stabby when you don't like their favorite character, publisher, title, bobblehead action figure...the list
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
You gave my book two stars?

Yes, it was boring and too political. Who wants a bunch of boring politics?
I couldn't take it anymore...and I've always been your fangirl.


Don't make me give you the aren't a whiny ass


Quit whining..Two stars from me is pretty good.




Jun 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphicnovels
When I was growing up, comic books (this was years before 'graphic novels') were frowned upon in my household, but I was addicted to them anyway. X-Men, to be precise, because, OMG, Jean Grey was smart and tough (at least until Dark Phoenix) AND had both Scott Summers and Wolverine in love with her. (I do love a good soap.) Batman was a joke back then, thanks to that moronic TV show. But Batman, the real Dark Knight, wasn't a joke--if Superman is who America yearns to be; Batman is who we're afr ...more

This is a totally different spin on Batman first published in 1986 by Frank Miller.

Don't expect it to be like the old cartoons.

Definitely not like the Adam West Batman from the 60s.

Not the Justice League of America.

Batman and Superman are hardly on speaking terms. The governments have passed laws against vigilante super heroes so most of them are in prison or banished, or, like Superman, secretly working for the government.

Batman, after a series of traumatic incidents, has not been seen in
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
really enjoyed this comic; I keep wondering why it took me so long to read it. I finally got around to reading it after being blown away by Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (Region 2) and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns - Part 2 [DVD]. I thought it was finally time to get round to the source material. I am glad I did.

I quick recap of the story. Bruce is no longer Batman. There has been no Batman for 10 years. To curb his urges Bruce has become something of an adrenalin junkie study. Gotha
Jul 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: home-library
I know I'm alone in this, but I didn't really like The Dark Knight Returns. I struggled with the story structure -- all the perspective switching left me frequently scratching my head to figure out who was speaking, where we were, and what the Heck was happening. I was confused by some characters (the guy with the freaky flying baby bombs?). I was bothered that there was no discussion of Ellen/Robin's family -- we have VERY little information on her or why she wants to join Bats, how she really ...more
Dan Schwent
Apr 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, 2019-comics, 2019
Ten years after the last appearance of Batman, Gotham is overrun by crime.
Ten years after the last appearance of Batman, Commissioner James Gordon is retiring.
Ten years after the last appearance of Batman, the world is on the brink of nuclear war.
Ten years after the last appearance of Batman, Bruce Wayne has had enough!
Ten years after the last appearance of Batman, The Dark Knight Returns!

The first time I read The Dark Knight Returns, I was an impressionable lad of twenty. Now, two decades later
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

2.5 Stars

Egads, I think this is going to be really long. Sorry : (

My first superhero graphic novel review. It’s like diving right into shark infested waters. Please be gentle and keep in mind that I hold zero belief that anyone should ever take my reviews seriously. Period. But even more so when it comes to this one.

As I said, this is my first foray into the unchartered waters of the world of Batman other than through television and fi
More often than not Dark Knight Returns is considered one of the greatest graphic novels -- if not the greatest. I can't deny its importance to the form (and to the myth of Batman -- responsible as it is for Bruce Wayne's shift into the "Dark Knight" era), but having taught it a handful of times and read it for "pleasure" a few more (this reading having been prompted by Christopher Nolan's disappointing trilogy capper, The Dark Knight Rises) I feel that it is a vastly overrated work.

And Frank Mi
Oct 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sequential-art
Call it art if you want to, but at the end of the day it’s still a dopey comic book about a guy in a form-fitting outfit who runs around beating people up. Am I missing something?

But really, I’m just mad at myself for giving four stars to Batman: Year One the other day, apparently during a manic episode. So I’m downgrading this bad boy. Year One has the stronger artwork anyway, and its ectomorphic Batman is drawn on a more human scale, with some of the ludicrous pathos of a young Adam West still
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Kids, remember: always be yourself.

Unless you can be Batman.

Always be Batman.

Incredibly, I did not LOVE this.

I liked it, no doubt. The IDEA of an aging Batman donning the cape and cowl, kicking creeps ass and then needing a rubdown later, picking a fight he could not win only to get up, dust off his old and tired self and BE the Dark Knight again was great. Miller is a genius and there were parts of this that reminded me of Alan Moore’s CLASSIC Watchmen, with it’s subtle and not so subtle poli
Jonathan Terrington

Before Christopher Nolan came alone and further redefined the idea of superheroics, Frank Miller was doing well enough to keep Batman fresh and interesting in his own way. The Dark Knight Returns tops my list of best graphic novels ever written for what it did for the genre, what it did for Batman and what it stands as today. Though Watchmen is universally accepted as the greatest graphic novel I personally believe this is greater in that it was written previously and from what I've read appears
Sep 18, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. I know that this is one case where there must be something wrong with *me* and not with the book, because it's been lauded as one of the greatest graphic novels in superhero history, and I thought it sucked.

The story is very difficult to follow - and this coming from someone who is well-versed in Batman lore, and who is used to the comic book medium for storytelling. Poor writing.

The pictures are sometimes difficult to interpret - it's hard to even figure out what's
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, saw-movie
You don't get it, son. This isn't a mudhole... It's an operating table.
And I'm the surgeon.

The Dark Knight Returns is Frank Miller's most popular comic (at least here on GR) and arguably the best Batman comic ever. Originally published in four installments in 1986, it single-handedly undid the damage done to the Bat by the goofy 60's show with Adam West. Situation at the time was pretty tragic. Initial success of the West show influenced the writers of the Batman comics who adapted a similar,
Sam Quixote
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Batman of today can be traced back to this book. Before Frank Miller’s “Dark Knight Returns” Batman was a joke; the comics were weak with Batman and Robin doing the same thing week in week out, it’s no coincidence that there are few books worth reading before Miller’s work - all the great Batman “must-reads” (The Killing Joke, Year One, The Long Hallowe’en, Hush, Dark Victory) follow this interpretation of the character. And it could largely be attributed to the phenomenal success of the cam ...more
Jan 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
(UPDATE: just to be pedantic ... reading the other reviews, I've come to realize that people use "The Dark Knight" as a nickname for any old Batman these days -- like calling Satan "Old St. Nick," or George Bush "Dubya". So to whomever may have said "Frank Miller isn't my favorite Dark Knight writer" I'd just like to point out that FRANK MILLER INVENTED THE DARK KNIGHT! If there's any earlier use of that phrase in history, I'm bat-ignorant. Back in the day, everyone else called him Caped Crusade ...more
Never have been a Frank Miller fan. The art, page layouts, characterization (especially Batman and Superman), and dialogue in this one left me saying "What is so great about this again?" Guess I'll reread Watchmen again.
Michael Finocchiaro
I kind of dropped of reading comics when I was a kid so it was only thanks to the Christopher Nolan trilogy that I went back and read several of the sources of stories used in the movies. I talked to comics geek friend m.poulet recommended Batman, The Dark Knight Returns in particular. I recalled also an episode of Comic Book Men where Kevin Smith and the boys reminisce about the impact that this particular comic had on them. I had read and enjoyed Sin City (and LOVED the Roberto Rodriguez film ...more
Vladimir Ćeha
Dec 25, 2017 rated it liked it
To be honest, I'm kind of disappointed, because I thought I would enjoy this more. The drawings are messy and so is the plot, which is often difficult to follow. There are some redeeming qualities, and I can appreciate this comic for providing a darker turn for Batman, but it failed to leave a strong impression on me.
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing

This one's a real chin stroker. Very dense and layered. Took me two slow reads full of notetaking to begin to fathom the complexity and sociopolitical satire in this masterpiece. My first read two years ago was lukewarm. I didn't hate it, I just didn't get it. I knew it was important, but the art and 80s culture takes some getting used to. And there's so much Batman lore that if you don't know it you're going to get lost, which I didn't know and so I did. Dick Grayson. Jason Todd. Harvey Dent/Tw
Apr 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: graphic-novel

I hated this. It took me an age to get through as I had no desire to pick it up. It's badly drawn, badly narrated, and too muddled to make a coherent story and grab my attention. I found some of the text hard to read and not stylised in what I would class as an easy comic book format. I read comics/graphic novels more for the art than the story and this was just piss poor.

Compared to some of the other Batman works I've read (not many in all honesty) this pales in comparison to say Batman: T
5.5 stars!

It is 1960s “Batman” vs. 1980s “Batman!” Guess which one will win!



For many years, I have actually grown up with the darker version of Batman when I was little, thanks to the animated TV series that came out of the 90s. But a few years back, I have realized that there was a 1960s TV series where Batman seems a bit campy, but I had enjoyed it for what it was. Now, I had heard of a particular “Batman” story that was the one that really changed Batman’s character over t
Lᴀʏᴀ Rᴀɴɪ #BookDiet2019
In every list of the greatest Batman stories ever written, this is always on top of the pile (rivaled once in a while by his other work, Year One, if not followed closely by Alan Moore's The Killing Joke). Naturally, I was excited to start reading this although I cheated on myself a little because I did watch its animation adaptation last year. But having the chance to read the source material myself, I started to understand why this was such an important work when it was released about the same ...more
Mar 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
بتمن: پدر و مادر من، وقتی در این خیابان افتاده بودند، وقتی داشتند دست و پا می زدند و جان می کندند، وقتی داشتند بی دلیل می مردند، چیزی به من آموختند:
به من آموختند که دنیا فقط وقتی بر مدار درستی می چرخد، که به زور وادارش کنی.
بتمن: شوالیه ی تاریکی سقوط می کند

شوالیه ی تاریکی باز می گردد، کمیکی چهار جلدی است نوشته شده توسط فرانک میلر، نویسنده ی کمیک های معروف "شهر گناه" و "300" و "بتمن: سال نخست".

این کمیک و کمیک "نگهبانان" اثر "آلن مور"، آغازگر دوره ای از صنعت داستان های مصور هستند که به نام "دوره ی
Aug 04, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
I can't really see why this is considered one of the best Batman stories ever. There's nothing here that really makes it special. It has a slow-moving, weak plot and less than stellar artwork. There is too much word repetition - you already said that 10 pages back, I did not forget already. Along with the stupid repetition are phrases which make absolutely no sense whatsoever. I guess it was an attempt at future slang, but it failed miserably. "Balls rad"? What the HELL does that even mean? Anyw ...more
James DeSantis
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Yep still think it sucks. I get it, 95% of people won't agree with me and that's fine.

The Dark Knight Returns helped give Batman a edge. Thanks to it we got some of the best dark knight stories following. The idea of having Bruce come out of retirement, vengeful, ready to clean up his city is inciting.

But wonky storytelling, lame dialog, and so/so art really make this one hard to get through. I finally finished through it in a hour, and just like when I read it the first time 6 years ago, my f
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
How do you review something as iconic and influential as The Dark Knight Rises?

On one level, I suppose you could ask whether or not this four-issues mini-series lives up to the hype and accolades heaped upon it over the years? That answer is, yes. And the fact that it revolutionized not only Batman but all of comics is another major feather in its cap.

It's influence on the Christopher Nolan trilogy of films can't be denied--especially elements used in this summer's The Dark Knight Rises.

All of
توفيق عبد الرحيم
i have been reading this for a few days now
and i can tell you its poorly executed but its still damn fine
ignore all the wrongs really
the mutants
the joker's death i mean like finally !!!
batman beating up superman and getting away with it leaving a grieving Clark Kent
its damn fine i tell you
we know how good batman is with his disappearing act from the movies
but this was before the movie
this graphic novel was actually in the days that all comic books companies where in a really awkward position t
Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always was a big fan of Batman and with TDKR by Miller I felt I read something I had not seen before in comics. While I always considered Batman as a somewhat on the right in a political sense here he operates in a far more dangerous fascist future.

Batman has gone and retired. The world has taken a right-wing fascist direction where freedom of speech is still practiced even if it is no longer a valuable thing as it is used to cover a lot of wrongdoings in the world. There are no longer superhe
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Batman: Dark Victory
  • Kingdom Come
  • City of Glass: The Graphic Novel
  • 100 Bullets, Vol. 2: Split Second Chance
  • Top 10, Vol. 2
  • Hellboy, Vol. 2: Wake the Devil
  • All-Star Superman, Vol. 2
  • Planetary, Volume 3: Leaving the 20th Century
  • Marvels
  • Fables, Vol. 6: Homelands
  • Preacher, Volume 3: Proud Americans
  • Batman: Knightfall, Vol. 1
  • Powers, Vol. 1: Who Killed Retro Girl?
  • Y: The Last Man, Vol. 9: Motherland (Y: The Last Man, #9)
  • Superman: Red Son
Frank Miller is an American writer, artist and film director best known for his film noir-style comic book stories. He is one of the most widely-recognized and popular creators in comics, and is one of the most influential comics creators of his generation. His most notable works include Sin City, The Dark Knight Returns, Batman Year One and 300.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the

Other books in the series

The Dark Knight Saga (4 books)
  • The Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again
  • Batman Caballero Oscuro III: La raza superior
“This should be agony. I should be a mass of aching muscle - broken, spent, unable to move. And, were I an older man, I surely would ... ... but I'm a man of thirty - of twenty again. The rain on my chest is a baptism - I'm born again ... ” 75 likes
“You're beginning to get the idea, Clark. We could have changed the world…now…look at us…I've become a political liability…and…you…you're a joke. I want you to remember, Clark…in all the years to come…in your most private moments…I want you to remember…my hand…at your throat…I want…you to remember…the one man who beat you.” 56 likes
More quotes…