Originally Posted by JackWhite
People have complained that Bruce didn't deserve that much time off, because in the comics he had a longer career.
If you look at Nolan's trilogy as a sort of condensed short story, it's not really off-putting.
Yeah I agree. To me, since Joker is Batman's greatest villain, TDK works as the chunk of the story where Batman is in his prime and his mission becomes infinitely more complex and double-edged than he ever anticipated. That's why I don't even mind that the "rise of the freaks" angle wasn't explored. The Joker is the king of that mountain. It shouldn't have escalated any worse than The Joker from within
Gotham, especially after Bats/Gordon deny him of his victory by hiding the truth about Harvey. That's why a threat from outside Gotham felt like a natural way to raise the stakes without undermining the significance of The Joker as the ultimate criminal response to Batman.
As far as I'm concerned, Nolan's trilogy is the only truly complete beginning to end version of the mythos that exists. So by nature some things will be condensed, but the payoff is so worth it. I don't know if we'll ever get a movie series where Batman and The Joker have this rivalry that spans years, unless they reboot in a universe that's already in play with everything established. Most comic book films deal with relatively short timespans.