"Dark Knight Triumphant": Batman struggles against Gotham's newest criminal threat, the vicious Mutant gang and their anonymous leader. As he walks to work, contemplating his upcoming retirement, Jim Gordon is almost killed by a 17-year old
- You don't get it, boy... this isn't a mudhole... it's an operating table. And I'm the surgeon.
- — Batman
Synopsis for "Dark Knight Triumphant"
Batman struggles against Gotham's newest criminal threat, the vicious Mutant gang and their anonymous leader. As he walks to work, contemplating his upcoming retirement, Jim Gordon is almost killed by a 17-year old boy with an M60. In the course of rescuing a young child, Batman discovers that a cash-broke Army general and war hero has been arming the Mutants, in return for the money to help his sick wife. When Batman confronts him, the General commits suicide. Meanwhile, the Mayor has appointed a qualified woman as Gordon's successor, Ellen Yindel, who worships Gordon but despises vigilantes. And a young girl who owes her life to Batman, Carrie Kelley, decides to seek out her hero and takes on the role of Robin.
Following his leads, the Caped Crusader succeeds in tracking down the Mutant lair and defeating them with the monster Batmobile, an armored supertank rebuilt by Batman during riots ten years ago, with large cannons and machine guns that only fire rubber bullets. In a brutal hand-to-hand fight, Batman is defeated and almost killed by the Mutant Leader, as the aging Caped Crusader tries to prove to himself and Alfred that he is a force at any age. Luckily, Carrie, in her new Robin costume, has been following Batman, and manages to save him.
Batman returns to the Batcave where Alfred tends his wounds and argues with him over the danger to Carrie; meanwhile, the Mutant Leader is brought into custody. The Leader's absolute animalistic nature is fully revealed when the Leader manages to tear out the Mayor's throat while in custody. Gordon and Batman conspire to defeat the Mutants psychologically by staging a fight between Batman and the Leader in front of the whole Mutant gang. Using his greater experience and his environment, Batman cripples the Mutant Leader in full view of his followers. While many of the Mutants are arrested, many more now latch on to Batman as their role model, dubbing themselves the "Sons of Batman." However, their interpretation of Batman's quest will leave much to be desired.
Finally, James Gordon looks forward to his retirement from the madness of Gotham and regretting the predicament that Batman will find himself in: caught between criminals and the police.
Appearing in "Dark Knight Triumphant"
- Superman (Behind the scenes)
- Arnold Crimp
- Bartholomew Wolper
- Chuck Brick
- Gotham City Police Department
- Hot Gates (Mentioned only)
- Iron Man Vasquez
- Jimmy Olsen (Mentioned only)
- Kevin Ridley
- Lana Lang
- Louis Gallagher
- Margaret Corcoran (Only appearance; dies)
- Nathan Briggs (Only appearance; dies)
- Mayor (Dies)
- Peppi Spandeck
- Bill, Lola Chong
- Ronald Reagan
- Sons of Batman
- This series takes place in an alternate continuity from that of the mainstream DC Universe. It has been retroactively classified as an Elseworlds story.
- This issue is reprinted in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: The Dark Knight Saga Deluxe Edition, Absolute Dark Knight, Robin, the Boy Wonder: A Celebration of 75 Years, and in black and white in Batman Noir: The Dark Knight Returns.
- Cover gallery for the Batman: The Dark Knight Returns series
- Images from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Vol 1 2