The Washington Examiner has drawn an unnerving parallel between the Dark Knight Rises shootings in Aurora, Colo., and the classic 1986 Frank Miller graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns.

In the graphic novel, a lone gunman opens fire in a movie theater, claiming the lives of three people. The incident occurs during a screening of the fictional pornographic film My Sweet Satan. The man sneaks in and is largely unnoticed by unsuspecting audience members until he reveals a gun.

The illustrations in the graphic novel bear an uncanny resemblance to the ghastly events that played out during a midnight showing of The Dark Nigh Rises on Friday. James Holmes, 24, killed twelve theatergoers and injured fifty. He was apprehended at the scene.

The comic was written and illustrated by the legendary Frank Miller, who is often recognized for his gloomy and violent storytelling techniques and unique film noire style of storytelling. Miller's comic books and graphic novels had a tremendously influential impact on comic books, trade paperbacks, and movies. His other graphic novels includeSin City and 300, which were both made into high-grossing Hollywood fims.

Whether or not Holmes drew inspiration for Friday's massacre from the graphic novel remains pure speculation at this time.

The film's director, Christopher Nolan, drew heavily from the graphic novel when developing the film. He was also inspired by Charles Dickens's classic book, A Tale of Two Cities. 

'A Tale of Two Cities' was, to me, one of the most harrowing portraits of a relatable, recognizable civilization that completely folded to pieces with the terrors in Paris in France in that period, Nolan told ComingSoon.net. It's hard to imagine that things can go that badly wrong.