Even though the DC Cinematic Universe has left a lot to be desired, and that Man of Steel split critics and the audience, one area DC Comics is very strong in is its animated universe. I am relatively new to this, having seen only a few episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, The Batman, and Justice League. However, I have purchased many DCAU films since then, and this was the first one I watched. I do not own Part 2, so unfortunately I can’t review the continuation of this story, but I will as soon as I get my hands on it. This film is based on Frank Miller’s comic mini-series Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and it features an ageing Bruce Wayne. I thought this was terrific, because not only did we get the excellently choreographed fight scenes with members of the Mutant Gang, but we also got to witness Bruce’s darkest demons, and the guilt he still carries regarding the death of his parents. This is perhaps the most depressing Batman feature I have ever seen, with little to no comic relief (except maybe the new Robin), but it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing because it showed how lost Gotham City had become without their protector. The relationship between Bruce and Alfred was slightly lacking, and it seemed that most of the time, it was just Alfred telling Bruce he will die, which was a shame considering the detail their relationship is shown in other places, such as the Batman: Year One comic and the Dark Knight Trilogy. Nonetheless, this film was excellent, giving the viewer just enough satisfaction, but leaving enough open to make them want to see part 2 immediately. I also adored the few scenes the Joker was in, particularly the final scene, which set up the follow-up wonderfully. 8/10 

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