All right, I'm not much into movie reviews and this is one that has been reviewed a thousand times over by people far better and far worse than me - however, it would simply be not fair to not comment on this brilliant movie. The Dark Knight is probably one of the best movies I've seen - and not just in recent times. But my comments on the movie come in a different context - of that of a boy who has read through many of the caped crusader's exploits. Although having been a fan of the Batman character since I was a kid, I always knew that this one series was different from the other super hero comics I used to read - Phantom, Mandrake, Superman, Tarzan, et al.
The Batman has always been a darker comic series than any of the other ones. He was one that had enough gray shades that made him more human rather than super human. For a young boy reading these comics, Batman was the ultimate in super-cool - he had the gadgets, the car, the planes and didn't waste his time romantically (too much). Most of his female counterparts were also in the same league - Catwoman, Batgirl etc. And many of the stories actually were more of detective stories than action oriented ones with dark and sinister events.
I was lucky to have watched only a few of the Batman & Robin TV series when it aired. The serial converted the duo into a set of - pardon the pun - jokers! A caricature of the true Batman, the paunchy crime fighter with his "kapows" and "Holy <whatever>" disgusted me enough to never venture near that series for more than a few odd episodes. When the new Batman movie franchise was launched I was quite happy that finally we might have a more serious Batman version.
To a point, the first Batman (the Tim Burton one) was quite dark - at least as compared to the TV series. Jack Nicholson's Joker was eerily evil with a bunch of one-liners that made his characterization interesting. But the later parts of the franchise disappointed big time - BatGirl, Robin, the villains were all more around for their star power in Hollywood rather than the depth they could bring to their characters other than taking them back to being caricatures.