The Dark Knight Falls (Title) (DC Comics)

Issue Information

Main Issue Title: The Dark Knight Falls
Publication Date: June, 1986
Cover Artists: Frank Miller, Lynn Varley
Next Issue: -
Publisher: DC Comics
Online Comics: The Dark Knight Falls

The Dark Knight Falls

Writers: Frank Miller
Pencilers: Frank Miller
Inkers: Klaus Janson
Colourists: Lynn Varley
Letterers: John Costanza
Editors: Dick Giordano, Dennis O'Neil
Universe: Earth-31

Appearing in "The Dark Knight Falls"

Featured Characters

  • Batman (Bruce Wayne)

Supporting Characters

  • Alfred Pennyworth (Dies)
  • Commissioner Gordon
  • Ellen Yindel
  • Green Arrow
  • Robin (Carrie Kelley)
  • Selina Kyle 


  • Joker (Deceased)
  • Mutants
  • Superman

Other Characters

  • Byron Brassballs
  • Gotham City Police Department
    • Stan Merkel 
  • Jeff Stricken
  • Reporters
    • Lola Chong 
  • Sarah Essen
  • Sons of Batman


  • Earth-31
    • Corto Maltese
    • Gotham City
      • Batcave (Destroyed)
      • Crime Alley
      • Gotham Cemetery
      • Wayne Manor (Destroyed) 
    •  Washington, D.C.
      • White House 


  • Batarang
  • Batrope
  • Green Kryptonite
  • Utility Belt 


  • Bat-Copter
  • Batmobile

Synopsis for "The Dark Knight Falls"

When the USSR launches a nuclear warhead called Coldbringer in response to Superman's presence in Corto Maltese. Superman manages to divert the missile to an uninhabited desert area before it detonates, but damage is done nonetheless. The warhead was designed to disrupt all electronics and communications in the Western Hemisphere as well as throw millions of tons of dust and debris into the atmosphere. Deprived of the sunlight that gives him his powers, Superman nearly dies. Gotham descends almost immediately into chaos as the blackout hits, with rioting and looting rocking the city. An airplane crippled by the electromagnetic pulse crashes into a building, feeding the panic. A few citizens, including Jim Gordon, pull together to fight the fires and retain some semblance of civilization until the power is restored.
Though near death from wounds inflicted during his fight with the Joker and the police, Batman applies his ingenuity to restoring law to Gotham. He and Robin muster a force of Sons of Batman and train them in non-lethal methods as a means to stop looting and ensure the flow of needed supplies. Gotham, ironically, soon becomes the safest and best-fed city in America. Seeing this as an embarrassment rather than a blessing, the U.S. government dispatches Superman to take the Dark Knight down. Warned of their plans by Oliver Queen, the former Green Arrow who is now a bitter one-armed revolutionary, Batman prepares for his ultimate clash. Armed with an artificial powered exoskeleton, the Batmobile, synthetic kryptonite and a mysterious pill, Batman confronts Superman in a final showdown at Crime Alley, where Wayne's parents were murdered decades earlier. Batman manages to defeat the weakened Superman, only to apparently die of a heart attack at the stroke of midnight. At precisely the same moment, Alfred oversees the destruction of the Batcave and Wayne Manor, before suffering a fatal stroke immediately afterward.
The news that Bruce Wayne was Batman spreads throughout the world; however, Wayne's stocks and funds have been sold and liquidated to his "heirs" and Wayne boardmembers, Wayne Manor and Batcave destroyed, and all evidence as to his methods and tools wiped out. At a funeral attended by Gordon, Kyle, Yindel, Carrie and others, Clark Kent is plainly ravaged with sadness and guilt. Just as he turns to leave, however, he hears a faint heartbeat coming from the interred coffin. After staring at Carrie for a few silent moments, Kent gives her a wink and leaves. Wayne has faked his death with planning, skill, and his knowledge of chemistry; Carrie digs up his living body as soon as possible. Wayne had hoped to keep the secret even from Superman; with his wink, however, Kent confirms Wayne's hope that he would play along with the charade. Bruce Wayne, finally looking forward to his life, leads Robin, Green Arrow, and his army deep into the unexplored caverns beyond the Batcave, preparing to continue his fight for justice in a more low-key, but equally important, way than in his "previous life."