There are a few iconic Batman stories that die-hard fans are quick to share with new and old fans alike, but one story stands above the rest as one that not only changed the face of Batman in the decades to follow, but also the rest of the comic industry. The Dark Knight Returns took a dark look at the future of Gotham City, as a retired Bruce Wayne once again dons the cape and cowl, along with a new partner and a renewed fight against crime. While TDKR is never far from any dedicated fans comic shelf, the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has brought TDKR back into the forefront, with many of the themes and scenes from the comic set to appear in the film.
Now Frank Miller’s seminal graphic novel looks to be receiving another sequel. This time the book will be penned by Miller and current Bat-scribe Scott Snyder, who has been producing some of the best Bat-stories we’ve read in years. He’s revitalized the Joker, introduced the Court of Owls, and refined Batman’s origin for the New 52. With two such important creators in the Bat-verse teaming up, fans should be incredibly excited for the next installment in Miller’s Dark Knight series. Of course, there are a couple of reasons why that excitement might be tinged with a bit of hesitation.
First of all, this won’t be the first sequel to The Dark Knight Returns. Frank Miller revisited his story with The Dark Knight Strikes Back, which is mostly considered to be a less than satisfactory entry in the series. While his political satire reaches new levels in the sequel, the story and art don’t hold up to the standard set by TDKR. Another cautionary tale would be Frank Miller’s Holy Terror, a recent release that pits a Batman-like character against Muslim extremists following an attack on Empire City. Holy Terror was originally conceived as a Batman story, though Miller later felt it was too controversial for a Batman story. Critics and fans alike were less than impressed when Holy Terror was released, and we have to hope another entry in the Dark Knight series won’t follow in its footsteps.
The story is thought to follow Carrie Kelley, who served as the new Robin in TDKR, and then Catgirl in the sequel. Kelley has also made a couple of appearances in the New 52 universe, and is rumored to show up in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice played by Jena Malone. DK3 – the online title that’s making the rounds – would allegedly follow Kelley as she searches for a successor to protect Gotham City, which mirrors Bruce Wayne’s position in The Dark Knight Returns.
While Miller’s unique art style played a huge factor in the success of TDKR, the art duties for the third story are still to be announced. From discussions with Dan Didio, Miller, and Snyder, it sounds like they might be looking at individual artists for each issue, with names like Greg Capullo, Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, and Marc Silvestri all being mentioned. Jim Lee has worked with Miller before on All-Star Batman & Robin, which was eventually revealed to be set in the same universe as The Dark Knight Returns. Snyder also recently teamed with Jim Lee on Superman Unchained, so Lee’s involvement in the project seems fairly likely. We can only hope the publishing delays DC experienced with both All-Star Batman and Robin and Superman Unchained wouldn’t keep Lee off the book, since he can deliver a Batman like no other.
This project is still firmly in the discussion phase, but judging by both the online reaction and the inclusion of Scott Snyder, fans are ready to get behind the new sequel. What do you think of the possibility of another entry in Miller’s Dark Knight series? Does Snyder’s stellar track record with the current Batman title influence your thoughts on this project? Let us know in the comments section below or join the discussion on the Grizzlybomb Facebook page!
Images: DC Comics