By using this site, you agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Close X

Chilling parallel between shooting, 'Dark Knight' comic

  • 1986 Batman graphic novel depicts theater shooting
  • The plot of the comic is unrelated to the plot of the movie
Chilling parallel between shooting, 'Dark Knight' comic

As the horrific details of the shooting at a Colorado theater continue to emerge, some are noticing a parallel between the incident and a page from "The Dark Knight Returns," a series of four comic books, originally published as a graphic novel written and drawn by Frank Miller.

The comic book includes a scene where a troubled young man shoots an audience inside a darkened theater. The character, named Arnold Crimp, is shown buying a movie ticket, entering a theater, and brandishing a gun. The last panel of the page states that three were slain in a "Batman inspired porn theater shootout." According to the book, which HLN has obtained, Crimp thinks he hears satanic messages in a song.

The panel depicts a relatively minor moment in the novel. Though it is clear a shooting takes place, no violence is portrayed and the event is used to illustrate other conflicts in the novel rather than to serve as a central plot point.


The "Dark Knight Returns" series also includes a scene where Bruce Wayne recalls the night when his parents were murdered outside of a movie theater. In other adaptations of the "Batman" story, the movie theater reference is changed to a live theater, or an opera house.

As with many comics franchises, there can be many plots and timelines attributed to one character. "The Dark Knight Returns" comic takes place when Bruce Wayne (Batman) is older, and its plot is not the same as the plot of the current movie, "The Dark Knight Rises."

Read more HLN coverage: Colorado massacre

Join the conversation... welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.
Holmes hearing delayed amid 'Rot in hell!' outburst
Tragedy In Colorado | See all 100 items Holmes hearing delayed amid 'Rot in hell!' outburst