Video: Dark Knight Returns is the law

Warner Bros. and DC Comics have released a clip for their upcoming animated Batman film.

Dark Knight Returns is based on the Frank Miller graphic novel by the same name, which is set in the same version of Gotham as Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One. As you may recall, the book also served as a major inspiration for Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins.

This clip is the city’s introduction to The Mutants and their leader, the major villain of the story. Basically, The Mutants are a group of powerful meta-humans who have decided that they should rule over the city of Gotham.

Pretty typical ‘taking over the airwaves’ style villain speech. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this character is so similar to Christopher Nolan’s version of Bane, though a bit more exuberantly played.

The story takes place ten years after Batman has retired. It’s the 80’s – this Batman was a child of the 1930’s, and there are references to the Cold War, and images of Ronald Regan as president of the United States – Gotham has descended into chaos and an old enemy has come to town. When Batman heads out into this dystopian Gotham, however, he fins that he cannot handle the new dangers of the city alone, and along the way he finds an ally in a new Robin, Carrie Kelley – the third Robin for this Batman. The first issue covers a bit of backstory, Bruce’s desision to return to the costume – to stop Harvey Dent from destroying the city with a nuclear bomb – and the introduction of the primary villain.

The film will be released in multiple parts, like the book, though without the separate titles found in the book.

Here’s the trailer for the first part:.

And a new long-form synopsis of the story:

…it’s been a decade since Bruce Wayne hung up his cape, following most of the other superheroes who had been forced into retirement. Facing the downside of middle age, a restless Bruce Wayne pacifies his frustration with race cars and liquor – but the bat still beckons as he watches his city fall prey to gangs of barbaric criminals known as The Mutants.

The return of Harvey Dent as Two-Face finally prompts Wayne to once again don the Dark Knight’s cowl, and his dramatic capture of the villain returns him to crime-fighting – simultaneously making him the target of law enforcement and the new hope for a desolate Gotham City. Particularly inspired is a teenage girl named Carrie, who adopts the persona of Robin and ultimately saves Batman from a brutal attack by the Mutant leader. Armed with a new sidekick, and re-energized with a definitive purpose, the Dark Knight returns to protect Gotham from foes new…and old.

We also have these new promotional images from the Blu-ray release:

The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1 Blu-ray combo pack hits shelves on September 25th, 2012. You can preorder over on Amazon.