For the Tenth Anniversary Edition of the Dark Knight Returns, they printed Frank Miller‘s original plot for the Dark Knight Returns. that saw different details in the fight between Superman and Batman. That ended in Batman being beaten by Superman, but no one thinking he was dead, instead being taken to a hospital, where his identity is revealed and he fakes his suicide, the final image focusing on the matter that while Bruce Wayne died, Batman lives on.
At the Batman panel at MCM London Comic Con to a packed Main Stage full of people waiting for the Critical Role panel this afternoon, Frank Miller told us about his original-original ending for the Dark Knight Returns.
As Klaus Janson attested to, Janson inked pencils by Miller, with panels that were cut up and stuck down, in a constant state of being chopped and shuffled around as Miller changed his mind about the comic as he drew it.
And Miller stated that in his very original plan, Batman would have actually died, in a hail of bullets, fighting against the police. But then, as he put it, the story got away from him.
We also learned that John Romita Jr did what Frank Miller famously did, on Romita’s own Dark Knight book, climbing up ladders to get reference for New York’s water towers. and rooftops, breaking his toe in the process, and blaming Frank for this. To Frank’s admission that he never actually did any of that and lied…
Got to say, the audience may have been mostly Critters, but they lapped it all up. A good audience to entertain.
Oh and Klaus Janson would really like to create a Poison Ivy story. I know a few people who would love that…