[UPDATE: We've added even more Dark Knight Rises banners and images!]
Warner Bros. has begun stepping up its marketing for The Dark Knight Rises this week. The studio stumbled a bit at first, by unveiling a Photoshop-heavy poster that left many fans grumbling about poor craftsmanship - but quickly recovered thereafter with a handful of dark, slick, character banners.
A handful of new screenshots and behind-the-scenes pics from Dark Knight Rises have emerged online, along with the film's first official television spots (scroll on down to watch those). Whereas the film's theatrical trailers are more subdued and gradually build to a booming conclusion, these TV promos inject more energy and humor into the proceedings.
The first of these Dark Knight Rises TV spots offers a more direct summary of the film's storyline than any other promo to date: Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) and Gotham are both caught off-guard by the hulky terrorist Bane (Tom Hardy), who physically isolates the city - while also leaving a semi-retired (and under-prepared) Bruce battered, beaten, and in exile.
Thereafter, our hero must (what else?) rise again, resurrect his identity as Batman, and take down his most powerful opponent to date - with the assistance of old comrades like Alfred (Michael Caine) and Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman).
A second Dark Knight Rises TV spot focuses more on the Selina Kyle/Catwoman character (Anne Hathaway) and her love-hate relationship with Bruce/Batman. Even more so than with the third Dark Knight Rises trailer, this clip offers a nice taste of Selina's cynical, sassy nature - and suggests that Hathaway will indeed do a great job as the famous femme fatale (in defiance of the doubt surrounding her casting).
For more Dark Knight Rises goodness - check out the full hi-res versions of the aforementioned screenshots by clicking on the gallery thumbnails below (head on over to Batman-News for more).
UPDATE: We also have new banners, images and magazine covers for The Dark Knight Rises (via Empire):
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In summation: Dark Knight Rises looks like it should deliver all the grand spectacle and engaging personal drama we've been hoping for. With The Avengers having already proven to be a hit - and footage from The Amazing Spider-Man continuing to impress - Summer 2012 is shaping up to be a great time for fans of superhero movies.
The Dark Knight Rises in theaters around the U.S. on July 20th, 2012.