Considering Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns series kicked off back in 1986, it’s a legitimate question as to why DC would choose now to reveal its conclusion, The Dark Knight III: The Master Race. The answer appears to be that Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice film is heavily influenced by The Dark Knight Returns comic arc. Miller will be co-writing with Brian Azzarello, who has written titles like 100 Bullets, Batman: Flashpoint, and Wonder Woman. Starting this fall and marking the 30th anniversary of The Dark Knight Returns original run, the 8-part series will be published on a twice-monthly schedule.
I hope that by now my silence is deafening pic.twitter.com/4E0xi4LHju
— Frank Miller (@FrankMillerInk) April 24, 2015
An artist for the project hasn’t been named yet; Miller himself illustrated the past installments. The first of which followed an aging Bruce Wayne. At the age of 55, Wayne comes out of retirement re-assume the mantle and protect Gotham, all while facing opposition from both the US Government and Gotham City Police. It’s said that this run is what spurred the darker, grittier interpretations of Batman, and boosting his popularity.
Its sequel, however, was not well received. The Dark Knight Strikes Again, dropped in 2001, followed Bruce as he developed an underground fighting force. Collider.com described it as:
Retaining none of the original’s flair and character beats, the sequel was more of a mean spirited think piece than a thoughtful commentary on the character of Batman…
Spirits seem high for the final piece of the trilogy. Dan DiDio and Jim Lee, Co-Publishers for DC Entertainment have remarked:
We are thrilled to have Frank back home at DC writing Batman. 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.
Co-Writer Azzarello talked about the experience of working with Miller:
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.
Miller himself shared:
Batman remains my favorite comic book hero and a sequel to Dark Knight is going to be daunting, but we’ll do our best.
Hopefully as we get closer to its release date, more details on the story Miller and Azzarello are crafting will come to surface. With the inconsistent track record for the installments in this series, readers may be a little dubious as to whether this run will be worth adding to their pull lists. The creators and publishers seem confident, though, and c’mon… it’s FRANK MILLER!