Batman / Batman Joker

Does Batman Kill Joker in Dark Knight Returns?

The Dark Knight Returns is a graphic novel written by Frank Miller, which depicts a much older Batman coming out of retirement to fight crime once again. One of the most controversial moments in the story is when Batman confronts his arch-nemesis, the Joker.

There has been much debate over whether or not Batman kills the Joker in this story. Let’s take a closer look at what happens in the comic.

The Confrontation

In The Dark Knight Returns, the Joker has once again escaped from Arkham Asylum and is causing chaos throughout Gotham City. Batman decides that enough is enough and tracks down his old foe to put an end to his reign of terror once and for all.

The two engage in a brutal fight, with Batman using all of his skills and gadgets to try and subdue the Joker. Eventually, he manages to knock him unconscious and takes him into custody.

The Final Showdown

Later on in the story, the Joker manages to escape from prison once again and goes on another killing spree. This time, he Targets a television talk show host who had previously interviewed him.

Batman realizes that he needs to stop the Joker before he can cause any more harm. He tracks him down to an abandoned amusement park where they have their final showdown.

The two engage in a brutal fight once again, but this time it’s clear that neither one of them will be walking away from it unscathed. In the end, it’s unclear exactly what happens between them.


Some readers believe that Batman kills the Joker during their final confrontation at the amusement park. They argue that the last panel of the comic shows Batman breaking the Joker’s neck after he tells one final joke.

Others argue that this interpretation is incorrect. They point out that Miller intentionally left it open-ended so that readers could come up with their own interpretations.


So, does Batman kill the Joker in The Dark Knight Returns? The answer is not clear-cut and depends on how you interpret the events of the story.

Regardless of what you believe, it’s clear that this moment is one of the most controversial and impactful moments in Batman’s history. It raises questions about the nature of justice, revenge, and whether or not there are some villains who simply cannot be redeemed.