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The Dark Knight Strikes Again 1 (of 3).cbz
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Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again (also referred to as DK2) is a Batman mini-series by Frank Miller with Lynn Varley. It is a sequel to Miller's 1986 miniseries, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
After going underground, Batman (Bruce Wayne) and his young sidekick, Catgirl (Carrie Kelly, Robin from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns), train an army of "batboys" to save the world from a "police-state" dictatorship led by Lex Luthor. In a series of raids on government facilities, Batman's soldiers release from captivity other superheroes including The Atom- trapped for years in a petri dish-, The Flash- forced to run on a treadmill to provide America with free power- and Plastic Man- now insane and trapped in Arkham Asylum. Elongated Man is recruited from his job as a commercials spokesman, and Green Arrow was already working with Batman (as seen in the end of TDKR). Superman, working for the government, is ordered by the "President" (a front for Lex Luthor and Brainiac) to stop Batman. He confronts Wayne at the Batcave, but is defeated by Batman and the other superheroes.
Meanwhile, Batman's raids have not gone unnoticed by the media. After being banned for years, the freed superheroes have recaptured the public imagination, becoming a fad among youth. At a concert for the pop group "The Superchix", Batman and the other heroes make a public appearance, urging their fans to rebel against the oppressive government.
During this time, rogue vigilante The Question spies on Luthor's plans, scribbling out a journal to record the misdeeds of those in power. He attempts to convince the Martian Manhunter, now an aged, bitter, near-powerless figure with his mind filled with Luthor's nanotechnology, to stand up against Superman and the powers that be. The two are soon attacked by a figure who physically resembles the Joker but is seemingly invulnerable to injury, and the Martian Manhunter sacrifices his life as The Question is rescued by Green Arrow. The villain escapes, and is depicted throughout the three issue series killing The Guardian, The Creeper and likely other heroes who came out of retirement.
An alien monster lands in Metropolis and begins to destroy the city. Batman, however, is convinced that it is a way to lure him and his allies out of hiding and does not respond, in spite of Flash's claim that they are supposed to save lives. Batman's attitude is that the stakes are too high to worry about preserving life at all cost, whether this applies to men, women or even children.
Superman and Captain Marvel come out of hiding to fight the monster, but it is revealed to be Brainiac, who coerces Superman (using the bottled Kryptonian city of Kandor as leverage) into losing the battle in order to crush the people's faith in superheroes. Captain Marvel is killed defending citizens from the carnage, but Superman is saved when Lara, his daughter by Wonder Woman, appears and destroys Brainiac's monster body. She has been carefully hidden since birth, but now that the government knows she exists, they demand that she be handed over.
Deciding that Batman and his methods are the only way out, Superman, Wonder Woman and their daughter join him and assist in his plan. By having Lara pretend to hand herself over to Brainiac, the Atom is able to slip into the bottle and destroy it from the inside, the now-empowered and growing Kryptonians using their combined heat vision to destroy Brainiac, the heroes subsequently destroying the power source of the dictatorship and inciting revolution. Batman allows himself to be captured and tortured by Luthor, who plans to use satellites to destroy most of the world's population and leave them with a more manageable amount of people. The satellites, however, are destroyed by the now god-like Green Lantern who wraps a giant fist around the Earth, destroying Luthor's several trillion dollars-worth of weapons. Luthor is subsequently killed by the son of Hawkman whom he had killed earlier on. This is an action Batman planned and condones.
Returning to the Batcave, Batman receives a communication from Carrie: she is being attacked by the same psychopath who dispatched the Martian Manhunter and other heroes. Batman recognizes the assailant as Dick Grayson, the first Robin, who has been genetically manipulated to possess a powerful healing factor and is criminally insane. Batman shows nothing but contempt for his former sidekick and plans his death the moment they face each other. Batman hurls himself and Grayson into a miles-deep crevasse filled with lava and blows up the entire cave, igniting an underground volcano and destroying everything -- only to be saved by Superman at the last minute and brought to Carrie in the Batmobile. Both Batman and Carrie, though badly injured, survive and continue on.