Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns not only exemplifies a remarkable introduction into the world of fantasy, but also serves as a reflection the popular culture of society. Batman is a person in conflict with whom they are and the person of whom they ideally would like to be. He is a reflection of popular culture in that he is representative of a specific time in history, not a real history found in books, but a specific period of time that imagination served as the basis of history. It is within this imagination that our desires are projected to create Gotham City, but also mirroring how society functions today. It reflects society in that crime exists and breaks the laws of the land, so it takes the will of a person who has experienced crime first-hand to save the community (Batman) or to help perpetrate it (Harvey Dent). This signifies how society can shape a person. What makes Miller's version of this superhero so unique is the way he portrays the inner conflict of Bruce Wayne, not just exemplifying the inner dichotomy of Bruce through words, but also through mere illustrations devoid of language. By doing so, we discover Batman's real motives for being the crime-fighting superhero that he is: he is a character driven not by duty, but rather resentment from his past. He thus is not a progressive character, but rather stagnant in his desires for they will never be fulfilled and continue without ever having a specific purpose. Bruce Wayne is driven by revenge, but even though this act may seem selfish, in turn it benefits society as a whole. Thus Bruce Wayne's actions are considered to be circular in pattern: to get to what he wants (his desire for revenge against criminals) he ultimately touches upon good deeds as a result when his desire for revenge is enacted. But his character's intentions are motivated by an internal factor, rather than external. .
For instance, if Bruce Wayne were interested in fighting crime as a duty, he wouldn't be so focused on himself while walking the streets of Gotham (as shown on page 12).