Re: What OTHER elements from The Dark Knight Returns could we see?
Looking over my favourite stories, which are character studies of Batman...He is very much traumatised.
When Bruce is Batman, he's a different person. When not, he's a broken man, that has no other choice but to suck it up and continue.
Batman is a suppressant for his mental anguish. Miller has shown that. Look at him in retirement. He's tortured. He's traumatized when he hear's of all the crimes going on in the city. To the point of it driving him mad.
Look at Englehart's "Night of The Stalker".
He relentlessly hunts down a killer who's left a child orphaned. And by the end, Bruce breaks down in tears for the child and for himself.
When Bruce was accused of murder and subsequently arrested. He was going mad inside the prison cell, because he had no outlet as Batman.
I like it when writers play up this side, because it makes the most sense when looking at it from a psychological POV.
Even in Batman: MOTP. He pleads with his parents...at their graves. Without Batman acting as sort of a mental suppressant, Bruce is a mess.
He sits around in the cave, and fazes out in his imagination, reliving the haunting memories. That is a man, traumatized.
He's a man, living out his boyhood fantasy.
He's still a traumatized child, emotionally devastated from the sudden and harsh loss of his parents.
Where he believes that they can hear and see the man he is from the great beyond. This is also a reason why I believe he won't kill and abides by morals and rules. No religious themes has really talked about in Batman's character. But I can gather, through his mental state, that he believes, if he's a good boy, he'll one day be reunited with his parents.
I'm sure of it, since he visits and talks to their graves.
I can go on about his mental state. All what I said is my interpretation based on a lot of different writers have presented over the years.
But I think it's safe to say, consistently, Bruce Wayne is a very traumatized man. Who, in spite of that, pushes on and keeps himself strong, with every stumble or fall he has.
"You can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs - hehehehehehehehe "