New Images, Early Raves Arrive For <i>The Dark Knight Rises</i>

While Warner Bros. didn't bring a last-minute preview of The Dark Knight Rises to Comic-Con International, the studio did release a half-dozen new images from the conclusion of Christopher Nolan's trilogy. None of them features Batman himself, though; instead, we're treated to photos of Tom Hardy's Bane, Anne Hathaway's Selina Kyle, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's John Blake, Marion Cotillard's Miranda Tate, Matthew Modine as Peter Foley, and Morgan Freeman and Lucius Fox.

The film, which is on track to eclipse the $158.4 million debut of 2008's of The Dark Knight, doesn't open until Friday, but it's already receiving rave reviews, with The Hollywood Reporter contending it "makes everything in the rival Marvel universe look thoroughly silly and childish."

It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act.

But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane.

The Dark Knight Rises also stars Christian Bale as Batman, Michael Caine as Alfred and Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon.

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