The Dark Knight Returns

With Jared Leto’s Joker lighting fireworks in the Hot Topic parking lot, DC is apparently doubling up its efforts to reinforce the idea that Gotham City is totally hardcore. It is doing so by wheeling Frank Miller, originator of the “Have you ever noticed that Batman is kind of a fascist, but that’s also kind of awesome?” iteration of the Caped Crusader, out of storage.

Miller wrote and penciled the hugely influential miniseries Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, which introduced a dark, gritty interpretation of Batman that would eventually influence Christopher Nolan’s version of the character. He followed that with the also massively popular Batman: Year One, and has returned to the character at various points throughout the years—including a Dark Knight followup, Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again, in 2001—while turning as bitter and angry as his characters in the interim.

Now DC has hired Miller to write a third Dark Knight series, The Dark Knight III: The Master Race. (The Dark Knight Shrugged was a little too on the nose, apparently.) For the series—in which we assume Batman changes his stance on gun control after attending an EDM concert—Miller will be joined by co-writer Brian Azzarello, whose 2009 graphic novel Joker was pretty damn gritty as well. No artists for the project have been announced as of yet.

The series will initially be released as a bimonthly, eight-issue periodical, and presumably in increasingly expensive graphic-novel form every few years after that. The Dark Knight III: The Master Race will snap the political zeitgeist’s limbs like twigs in the fall of 2015.