The Dark Knight Returns‘ gritty take on Batman has inspired multiple creators, filmmakers, and artists, effectively changing the way that the world and DC Comics looked at superhero stories. After returning to the series with the questionably named The Dark Knight III: The Master Race in 2015, Frank Miller is back at it once again. But even if you’re tired of his sometimes controversial takes (Superman Year One and the attempted rape of Lana Lang, we’re looking at you) this time he’s got an ace up his sleeve: visionary artist Rafael Grampá.
The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child marks Grampá’s return to comics after six years; he is joined on art duties by Eisner-winning colorist Jordie Bellaire. This pair is enough to make even the most reluctant Miller fans excited for the fourth entry into the Dark Knight series. According to DC, the one-shot “takes place three years after the events of Master Race, where Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Carrie Kelley, and Lara Kent overcame the renegade priest Quar and his cult of Kandorian fanatics in their bid to convert humanity into worshiping them as gods. During this interim, Lara has spent time learning about what it means to be human, while Carrie has grown into her role as Gotham City’s new protector, Batwoman. When a terrifying evil returns to Gotham City, Lara and Carrie team up to take on this new threat, but this time with a secret weapon—Jonathan Kent. Known as the ‘Golden Child,’ Jonathan possesses power, unlike anything the world has ever seen and could be all that stands in the way of the destruction of Gotham City, as well as the whole planet.”
According to Miller, it’s natural that the story will now center on the younger heroes of the DC Universe. “The Dark Knight Returns‘ story began with its heroes getting older,” said Miller. “Now we’re seeing the next generation of heroes in action, and Rafael was the obvious choice for me to usher in these heroes that are vigorous, untested and loaded with promise. I think that Jonathan Kent, in particular, will surprise everybody with his unforeseen abilities and impossible mind.”
The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child will hit shelves on December 11. The prestige 48-page issue will only cost $5.99! As is the way, there will also be a whole bunch of variant covers available from artists like Paul Pope, Joëlle Jones, and Andy Kubert, and of course Miller himself. Keep your eyes peeled for more news as we wait for The Golden Child to hit.