Full coverage of the shootings at the midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colo.

Tragic Similarities to Batman's History?

By Scott Ross
|  Friday, Jul 20, 2012  |  Updated 1:51 PM PDT
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Tragic Similarities to Batman's History?

"The Dark Knight" featured a plot hatched by the Joker that bears some similarities to James Holmes' deadly rampage in Aurora, Colorado.

Some people have begun pointing out possible similarities between the tragic "Dark Knight" shootings and Batman's cinematic history, and the suspect himself apparently confirmed one.

Authorities made clear Friday that they have no idea at this point what drove suspected gunman James Holmes to open fire on an audience assembled for a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises." But law enforcement has confirmed that Holmes' hair was dyed red or orange, and that when he was arrested he told police he was The Joker, who classically sports green hair.

Holmes' delusions are hardly the last of it, as it's been noted that the massacre was reminiscent of two moments from the groundbreaking comic book "The Dark Knight Returns."

The 1986 Batman story shows a crazed man with a gun who strolls into a porn theater, with the final panel of the scene depicting a TV reporter saying, "Three slain in Batman-inspired porn theater shoot-out. Details to follow…"

In the same story, The Joker makes an appearance on a talk show during which he unleashes a bomb that emits deadly gas before telling the audience he's going to kill them all.

Then there were the unusual circumstances of Holmes' capture. Holmes "offered no resistance when he was arrested," according to an Aurora Police Department press release, and subsequently told police that there might be explosives in both his home and his car. But the information he gave was only partially true, as there were no bombs in his car.

In the 2008 film "The Dark Knight," The Joker goes on a deadly rampage, allows himself to be arrested, and subsequently tells Batman there are explosives in two different locations. But the information he gives is only partially true, as he lies about which hostage is tied up at which location.

Whether Holmes' killing spree was modeled on past Batman stories is largely beside the point, as no one associated with the comics or films should feel in anyway responsible for what happened. And even if Holmes does ultimately acknowledge the ties between Batman and his own crimes, it won't begin to explain why he did what he did.

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