If you had to compile a list of the best Batman stories ever told, you’d easily find The Dark Knight Returns on that list. That 1986 tale was one of the defining moments for Batman comics. Sure, the character had been gradually sharpened into a darker and harder tool of justice over the years by various other talented creators, but writer Frank Miller and artist Klaus Janson made Gotham a grittier place that required a more brutal Batman to come out of retirement. The Dark Knight Returns has already had one sequel series since then. And it’s getting another one on the way.
Back in 2001, Frank Miller and DC unleashed The Dark Knight Strikes Again. If TDKR is a dark and violent tale of Batman coming out of retirement, then Dark Knight Strikes Again is a multi-coloured explosion that harkens back to the sillier age of the caped crusader, complete with even sillier Frank Miller writing and art.
The second sequel series will be called The Dark Knight III: The Master Race, and team Miller up with acclaimed writer Brian “100 Bullets” Azzarello. I’m a fan of Azzarello, after he teamed up with Lee Bermejo to write one of the definitive Joker stories a couple of years back, as well as a great Batman arc in the Broken City storyline.
Here’s the relevant bits copied and pasted from the press release from DC Comics:
“THE DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE” is the sequel to Miller’s 1986 classic THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS – heralded by TIME Magazine as one of the 10 greatest graphic novels of all time – and its 2001-2002 follow-up series BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN.
Miller will be joined by acclaimed writer Brian Azzarello (100 BULLETS, JOKER, and WONDER WOMAN) on the eight-issue comic book periodical, to be published twice a month under the DC Comics imprint. Marking the 30th anniversary of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS original series, this periodical is slated for publication beginning in late Fall 2015.
“Batman remains my favorite comic book hero and a sequel to Dark Knight is going to be daunting,” said Miller, “but we’ll do our best.”
“We are thrilled to have Frank back home at DC writing Batman,” according to Dan DiDio and Jim Lee, Co-Publishers for DC Entertainment. “The story he and Brian have crafted is an astounding and triumphant conclusion to this seminal body of work which influenced and shaped generations of readers and creators alike.”
According to Azzarello, “It’s been an amazing experience collaborating with Frank these past six months. I think we have an epic story that these characters truly deserve.”
An art team has yet to be revealed for the series, although DC isn’t exactly bereft of talent these days. Is Doug Mahnke working on anything right now? Grab that fella right now! If you’ve yet to see the original Dark Knight book, go ahead and do yourself a favour and track it down. Or alternatively, watch the fantastic two-part animated adaptation of that mini-series.
Last Updated: April 29, 2015