Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 was unquestionably one of the best installments of the already stellar ongoing line of DC Universe Animated Original Movies. With fantastic pacing, intelligent scripting and bone-crunchingly brilliant fight scenes, it was an extremely faithful animated adaptation that stands alongside the best of the animated and live action Batman films.
That all said, we knew from the start that it was the setup jabs to the knock out punch that would be coming in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2.
This is the second half of the animated adaptation of Frank Miller’s masterpiece chronicling the return of the Dark Knight to active duty after a decade in retirement, and our anticipation was high. We had some pretty elevated hopes, and the soon-to-be-released film met every single one of them.
To help get you guys excited for the upcoming January 29th Blu-ray and DVD release (we know that you’re already excited, but just go with us on this one), we’re breaking down the 5.2 Reasons We Loved Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2!
1. It’s Adapting the Second Half of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS
If you’ve read the previous edition of 5.2 Reasons that covered Part 1, don’t call shenanigans—we’re not just saying the same thing. (And if you haven’t read our previous entry, what the heck, dude? I thought we were friends.) Anyway, while last time we discussed how great the original graphic novel was (understatement, we know) and how faithful the adaptation is, this time, we’re excited because the film covers the second half of the tale—which includes both the Joker AND the Man of Steel.
2. Michael Emerson as the Joker
Emerson’s one line at the end of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 sent chills down our spines, but we were seriously unprepared for how perfect that casting choice was. Just the idea of Emerson voicing the Joker seemed brilliant, but actually seeing it happen... just, wow. Words cannot describe. His delivery with certain lines is just beyond perfect.
3. You’ll Laugh, You’ll Cry, You’ll Watch in Stunned Terror
Words may not be able to describe the perfection found in the voicework, but words can certainly describe what makes the Joker hands down one of the most effective parts of the film: he’s a murderous lunatic. This Joker kills a lot of people—joyfully, violently and indiscriminately. It’s incredibly terrifying and unsettling, especially coupled with Emerson’s voice. He does a creepily casual delivery while disposing of fairgoers left and right that simply chills. Not only that, the movie doesn’t skip in the violence, which, speaking of...
This movie is very action packed, with Batman kicking butt left and right against the mutant gangs and the police force hunting him down—but things reach a whole new level when the Joker and Superman come into play. And as fans, we love it. We don’t want to go into too much detail, but if you’ve read the graphic novel, you know what goes down in the Joker fight. All we’ll say in regards to the film is that it stays true to the source material.
5. Batman versus Superman
This marks the first time Superman and Batman have fought onscreen in a DC film and we can’t even tell you how much it made us scream in nerdy delight. We just can’t. It’s perfect. It’s everything we wanted it to be, with Mark Valley perfectly cast as Miller’s unique, government-pawn-style Superman. Action-packed, brutal, jaw-dropping and all around amazing.
5.1 The Joker Goes on Conan O’Brien
Okay, it’s David Endocrine, but Conan voices him. As if we weren’t already on Team Coco, this just cements it.
5.2 A Bald Eagle Lands on Superman’s Arm. A BALD EAGLE. LANDS. ON SUPERMAN’S ARM. It’s Fantastic.
So what are you looking forward to seeing the most in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2? And do you think you'll be rewatching Part 1 first?