Batman: The Dark Knight Returns part 2
'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2' is the second of a two-part animated movie centered around the superhero's return to crime fighting. It is an adaptation of a comic book plot arc from 1986, Frank Miller's 'The Dark Knight Returns' and is part of the DC Universe's Animated Original Movie series. It was released on the 29th of January 2013 while the first part was released on September 25th in 2012.
The film carries on from Part 1 of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, where a 55-year-old Batman has returned to protecting the citizens of Gotham after an absence of 10 years and is joined by a new Robin, 13-year-old Carrie Kelley. In Part 2, Batman faces challenges from the city's law enforcement, his old nemesis Joker and the government.
It begins with Joker plotting to escape. He plans to go on a talk-show to discuss how much he regrets his sordid past, and a former henchman supplies him with mind-controlling substances in the guise of a lipstick. Meanwhile, Superman is shown to be working as a government operative, working for the government as long as they also allow him to discreetly help people. The President has asked Superman to stop Batman, as he is viewed as a vigilante with dangerous methods. In the background of these events is a dispute between America and the Soviet Union over who owns the island of Corto Maltese.
As we saw in Part 1, some of Gotham has not had a positive reaction to Batman's return. Ellen Yindel, the new Police Commissioner, orders that he be arrested. Superman tells Batman that he is in danger of getting on the wrong side of the government and a fight with the Gotham City Police force ensues. As this conversation is occurring, Joker is conducting his talk-show interview. He kills everyone present with gas and escapes. Joker then tracks down Selina Kyle, who is now heading an escort agency. Using one of her escorts and the mind-controlling lipstick he acquired earlier, Joker manipulates a congressman into plummeting to his death. Before he dies, the congressman demands that the US wage a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union.
Selina has been gagged and bound and dressed up to look like Wonder Woman. Batman finds her and tracks Joker down to a fairground. He pursues him, as Joker shoots dozens of people. Finally catching him, Batman admits to Joker that he feels responsible for every murder Joker has ever committed and he aims to stop him for good. They fight and it ends with Joker's neck being broken partway. With the knowledge that there are witnesses and Batman now looks like a murderer, Joker finishes the job, committing suicide as Batman flees from the police.
Meanwhile, the Soviet Union has responded to the US nuclear missile strike that Joker set in motion. Superman deflects the missile but is injured by the blast and although it did not make impact the missile's detonation still sends America into a nuclear winter. The city is in chaos and Batman comes together with Carrie and James Gordon to try to restore law and order. Along with the vigilante group Sons of Batman, the people of Gotham manage to make Gotham the safest city in an America that is falling apart. While Yindel has finally realized that Batman is too powerful to be gotten rid of, his actions have only irked the President. He sends Superman to get rid of Batman, as his work in keeping Gotham safe is embarrassing the government.
Superman and Batman face off in Crime Alley. The playing field is slightly evened by the use of an exoframe and the assistance of former Green Arrow Oliver Queen, who uses a kryptonite arrow to weaken Superman so that he can be defeated. Batman informs Superman that he did not want to kill him, just defeat him, and so the arrow was intentionally only strong enough to weaken Superman. Batman then suffers a heart attack and dies, as we see Wayne Manor explode and Alfred die due to a stroke.
After his death, Bruce Wayne's identity as Batman is revealed. The manor self-destructed, so there is no evidence of Bruce's secrets left and his money has vanished. We then see that Bruce Wayne is not in fact dead, something that Superman and Carrie both know. It was necessary for Bruce to fake his death so that he could carry on with his mission in a way that would attract less attention. The movie ends with Bruce Wayne and his followers in an underground cave, making plans to continue to protect the city of Gotham.
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