We’ve had Before Watchmen and Sandman Overture recently from DC Comics, but there’s one seminal work of the eighties that’s been missing from the sequelitis that has affected DC Comics’ greatest work.
Of course, The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson already had a sequel from Miller, Dark Knight Strikes Again or DK2, published by DC Comics in the noughties, though not as well received as the original.
But then the original is one of the seminal comics work of the eighties that, in many ways formed both the current comics hemisphere but also significantly influenced movie making as well. Telling the story of a retired Bruce Wayne brought back into service after a particularly nasty mob starts causing trouble in Gotham, his re-emergence inspires The Joker to also return, and eventually for the government to turn against Batman – including using Superman himself. It is a social and political satire, a treatise for the responsibility of man and an exploration of his dark side, and the failings of government. DK2 took that scenario further into the future, a gaudy satire of further consumer excess and corruption of power.
But now it appears that it is time for the threequel. It is certainly being discussed, and it’s Miller’s plan that Dark Night Three be written by himself and Scott Snyder, the current bestselling writer of the Batman monthly comic, who has taken the monthly title to the heights of critical acclaim with Court Of The Owls, Death Of The Family, Zero Year and the current Endgame.
The story, I am told, would concern Carrie Kelley, the Robin of Dark Knight, now in her elder years. She is now in a similar position to that of Bruce Wayne in the original Dark Knight, and she is seeking her own successor to protect Gotham.
I am told that Frank Miller is too unwell to draw the book, so new artists are being sought. DC co-publisher Dan DiDio, and those above him, want multiple issues with multiple artists, including the likes of Greg Capullo, Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, Marc Silvestri and the like.
I’m also told that Scott Snyder prefers a stand alone title, akin to Sandman Overture, without the many spinoffs that Before Watchmen got. And that his artist on The Wake, Sean Murphy, is a favourite artist choice.
But that’s even if it gets made and I understand there are many other aspects to consider first, including Frank’s health.
With the movie Batman Vs. Superman on the way, with its central conflict modelled on that from Miller and Janson’s original Dark Knight Returns, there’s certainly an opportunity to be had. Whether the people involved decide it’s right to take it, is another matter entirely.