The horrific shooting at the screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Colorado late last night bears eerie similarities to a scene in the 1986 comic Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. In the comic, a crazed, gun-toting loner walks into a movie theater and begins shooting it up, killing three in the process. The passage concludes with the media blaming Batman for inspiring the shooting, though he is not involved in the incident at all.
The 1986 comic, written and drawn by Frank Miller, was a key inspiration for the Chris Nolan Batman films. It helped to reimagine the character away from his Saturday morning cartoon image and into a dark, grim avenger. The point of this particular scene in the comic was to show just how far Gotham has fallen since Batman had retired.
Was the shooter imitating this scene from the comic? Maybe, although in the scene the shooter is portrayed as inspired by his disgust at pornography and heavy metal music. The police’s investigation will surely reveal more in the near future.
Editor's note: This post has been updated to reflect the correct date of the 1986 comic, The Dark Knight Returns