Dark Knight Returns clip rushes the bat

Warner Bros. has released a clip teasing the upcoming conclusion to its animated Batman adventure.

It’s taken a little longer than I thought it might, but we’re finally about to get part II of the new Batman adventure. Dark Knight Returns is based upon the graphic novel of the same name, which is set in the same version of Gotham as Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One, the book which served as a major inspiration for Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. In a way, this is the original version of the story loosely depicted in The Dark Knight Rises: Batman’s final stand and retirement. The Thugs are different, and the supporting character is a bird instead of a cat, but it runs many of the same lines.

The first part was released last September. On that disc, we saw the Mutants move into Gotham and start to take over the city as an irresistible underground criminal element. Batman is called out of retirement by the threat of a fully-mad Harvey Dent’s attempt to destroy the city with a nuclear device, and we were introduced to Carrie Kelley’s Robin – the third Robin for this Batman.

Here’s the trailer for that first part if you haven’t seen it yet:

This half of the story continues the development and training of Carrie Kelley, and introduces a stronger conflict with authority, including direct combat with Superman. The Dark Knight Returns goes a bit deeper, and gets a bit darker than anything Nolan was ever able to do. We get to see a side of Batman, and Gotham, that we almost don’t want to see, except that it’s so compelling, we can’t look away.

The series deals quite a bit with the subject of vigilantism in society, and the need for heroes, getting, as Frank Miller’s Batman is wont to do, pretty cerebral throughout, especially in the way it presents many sides of each part of the story.

So far, the source material has been followed very closely, so if you read the novels, you already know what’s going to happen here, but it’s still an incredibly powerful way to come at the story. There is an emotional strength to the animation and the vocal performances that is difficult to get from the paper version.

This trailer teases part two:

And this newly released clip from the disc shows off one of the action sequences:

The Dark Knight Returns – Part 2 Blu-ray Combo pack hits shelves on January 29th, 2013. You can preorder over on Amazon.