No joke.

I realize I'm opening up a door that has the words "potentially tremendous disappointment" written on it, but Warner Bros. continues to raise my expectations for The Dark Knight, the followup to Batman Begins. They laid a fantastic foundation for the franchise with the first film, updated Batman's costume to make him much more mobile, and now they've unleashed a torrent of terrific teasers. From the election-appropriate introduction of Harvey Dent to a crazy quilt of joker jests, their marketing department is killing it.

The latest salvo is today's release of the teaser poster, and no joke – it's real and it's spectacular. Combining the more mature take on the material (i.e. the Joker is a deranged lunatic, not a merry prankster) with iconic imagery that fuses hero and villain, it's a breathtaking piece of dark design. If the movie's half as good as the poster (unlike, say, The Phantom Menace) we're in for some serious smiles next summer.