Some (including yours truly) will be lucky enough to see the first six, IMAX-enhanced minutes of The Dark Knight Rises in front of Ghotocol next week, but the rest of you still get a little something for now. It’s no minor thing, either; while “just” a poster, one of the first real looks at the conclusion to Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy is a beautiful, slightly unsettling work of art.

This series was one of the first — and is still the best — to take the “dark and gritty” approach to superheroes, which this poster perfectly exemplifies. The Dark Knight surely didn’t have much in the way of upbeat plot turns, but, years later, it’s still remarkable to get a peek at a sure-to-make-a-billion-dollars blockbuster that’s this grim. I’m not expecting things to get any more light for the next seven months, either — and that includes the actual film.

Take a look below:

Starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Juno Temple, Josh Pence, Daniel Sunjata, Nestor Carbonell, Matthew Modine, Tom Conti, Joey King, Brett Cullen, Chris Ellis, Josh Stewart, Christopher Judge, Adam Rodriguez and Rob BrownThe Dark Knight Rises hits theaters July 20th, 2012.

Do you have any thoughts on this poster?

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