That was the year DC comics stunned the comic-book world and popularized the "graphic novel" with the releases of Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore's Watchmen. The former bears no direct relation to Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, apart from contributing the title and informing the bleak tone. But Zack Snyder's Watchmen, the trailer of which was released today, promises to be a more literal adaptation:

 

Snyder (who directed 300 and 2004's Dawn of the Dead) has given little reason to suspect his film will approach the grim majesty of Nolan's. But we'll find out when it hits theaters next March--about the time you'll be able to get tickets to a non-midnight showing of The Dark Knight.

Update: Those looking for more details on Watchmen (and a clear sense of the high esteem in which Zack Snyder holds himself) can read the Entertainment Weekly cover story here, or Vulture's excerpts here.

--Christopher Orr