Twenty-six years ago I read an article in Rolling Stone about comic book artist Frank Miller The Dark Knight Returns, and his four-issue reboot of Batman.  I hadn’t picked up a comic in years – actually since junior high, when I devoured my favorite monthly Marvel titles (Excelsior!).  So when I wandered into The Great Escape comic book shop here in Louisville on a damp, chill weekday morning and saw it on the rack, I didn’t know how quickly it would draw me back into that world.

That cover – on thick paper stock – with the silhouette of Batman, leaping and poised to strike hard, on a stormcould-blue background and a white-hot lightning bolt cutting down the left side.  The story – a Gotham City now ruled by rampant crime and fear.  Batman long since retired, but still burning inside Bruce Wayne’s mind, refusing to be squashed by time or age.  And when reborn, Batman deals with the crime with his expected efficiency and ruthlessness.  He can smell the criminals’ fear.  And it is sweet.

What followed made pop culture history.  And now (after more than a quarter-century) it has graduated into a two-part animated mini-series to be released on September 25th.

Will the wait have been worth it?  Let’s hope so.

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