The Dark Knight Rises sees Batman fight

Bane and Talia al Ghoul, who are part of a plan to finally complete R'as al Ghoul's mission of burning Gotham to the ground.

What, if any, storylines in the comicbooks did The Dark Knight Rises borrow from?


5 Answers 5


It pulls elements from multiple Batman arcs, like the other Nolan Batman films have.

The obvious one is Knightfall. This storyline introduced Bane to the comics, who proceeds to wear down Batman by freeing all the occupants of Arkham Asylum and eventually confronting him personally. During that confrontation, Bane famously breaks the Bat. This leaves Bruce a paraplegic, who spends a chunk of the storyline recovering, while having someone else take the mantle of Batman.

The next storyline that it pulls from is The Dark Knight Returns, which has an elderly Batman return after a decade of being retired.

The last one is No Man's Land. Following a devastating earthquake in the storyline leading in to No Man's Land, the government evacuates Gotham and abandons those who choose to remain. It's sealed off, and all bridges into the city are blown up. People are then forbidden from entering or leaving the city. Inside the city, Jim Gordon and some cops remain, and they struggle to maintain order. Batman and allies fight the gangs who are battling for control over Gotham.


The obvious influence is the Knightfall story arc. This introduces Bane and includes the part where Bane injures Batman's back. A link could be drawn between the prison breaks in both movie and comic, but that is tenuous given the standard of prisoners released.

Batman has a romance with Talia Al-Ghul in the Son of the Demon story arc but with a significant difference - Batman is aware of who Talia is in that.


He might have borrowed from the Death of Batman story arc as well, where Batman presumably dies from an explosion at sea. In the comics it is a helicopter, the movies it's a nuclear blast. He doesn't really die in either, but it's a fun little coincidence.


Knightfall, No Man's Land, Legacy, Batman: The Cult, Dark Victory, The Dark Knight Returns... Honestly thats not even all of them. Chris and Jonathan Nolan very obviously read the entire Modern Age run (which I've been trying to do) and took things, even sometimes almost unnoticeable things from many storylines. People don't usually mention The Cult, but it is just as much of an inspiration as Knightfall, NML, and DKR are once you read it.

  • I like this answer, but I doubt the Nolans read any of these. It's much more likely that David S. Goyer read them and then haphazardly mashed them together for the Nolans.
    – Praxis
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 22:55
  • @Praxis I highly doubt that.
    – TARS
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 12:59

Having Bane as the main antagonist of the film, his comic origin story 'Vengeance of Bane' was sourced. The story details how he was born in a prison for the crimes of his father and would escape as an adult. The iconic moment of Bane breaking Batman over his knee, was paid homage to from the pages of 'Batman #497' (Knightfall).

Having said that Bane's actions in the film, mimic those mostly of the villian Deacon Blackfire. He features in 'The Cult', which seems to have influenced the film the most. Gordon is hospitalised and visited by Batman, an underground army of homeless rise from the sewers to take Gotham by force in a uprising lead by the charismatic leader. Batman is imprisoned underground too. Many more elements from this comic feature in the film. 'The Cult' is as much as an inspiration 'Year One' is to Batman Begins or 'The Long Halloween' is to The Dark Knight.

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