If you’re a regular comic book reader, or a regular visitor to this website, you’ll know that legendary creator, Frank Miller, has returned to the character and series of stories that changed the comic book landscape in the mid 1980s: The Dark Knight Returns.
That series, it turns out, is a trilogy.
After The success of The Dark Knight Returns, which was a standalone tale, Miller returned to the story, continuing the crime-ridding escapades of an aged Batman with The Dark Knight Strikes Again in late 2001. Admittedly, it wasn’t as universally acclaimed as its predecessor. But this year saw the final chapter of a grand tale with The Dark Knight III: The Master Race (otherwise known as DKIII).
But there’s always been one story missing, hinted at in the first issue of The Dark Knight Returns, over thirty years ago.
Today, we finally get it with the one-shot issue: The Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade #1
Follow me after the jump for its significance!
The Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade #1
Written by: Brian Azzarello and Frank Miller
Illustrated by: John Romita Jr. and Bill Sienkiewicz
Published by: DC Comics
Biff Bam Pop! has been running, intermittent, semi-regular reviews, of each DKIII issue, as they’ve been published this year. We’re a little behind schedule with tardiness due entirely to yours truly. But I have an excuse for that sluggishness! And it’s got to do with momentum.
You see, DKIII itself has been regularly late. I’m talking months! And, although the series has been a really good read, it has totally lost any thrust and any energy it had due to constant lateness.
So the one-shot story tie-in of The Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade #1 fits right in: It was due to be released in March of this year – nearly three months ago!
Still, because it’s a standalone tale, and takes place decades before the DKIII story – in fact, it takes place before the story of 1985’s The Dark Knight Returns, it should still be accessible to any reader, new or returning. And, as I mentioned earlier, it’s been a long time coming.
There’s an infamous scene in The Dark Knight Returns that shows an older Bruce Wayne, in his Batcave, forlornly looking at an empty Robin costume that he keeps preserved under a glass trophy case. This Robin, you see, Jason Todd, the second Robin, is dead, murdered at the hands of the Joker. That event was the reason for Batman’s retirement before The Dark Knight Returns. And readers have forever been wondering what that particular story was.
Teamed with writing partner Brian Azzarello and fan-favourite artists John Romita Jr. and Bill Sienkiewicz, Miller now turns to finally tell us that tale! At 64 pages in length, it’s gonna be a doozy!
Make the run to your local comic book shop today and pick up what amounts to the “first” chapter – the inciting force – of the Dark Knight saga with The Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade #1!