Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade Announced


Frank Miller’s Dark Knight universe is really getting some new additions soon.  The first issue of the final chapter in the trilogy will be released in just less than two weeks, and we’re also getting a Dark Knight mini-comic series that will go along with it.  But today DC Comics announced something that to me is just as exciting: a prequel to The Dark Knight Returns.  Titled “Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade”, it is a one-shot that will be released on February 17, 2016.

The 64-page one-shot will be written by the same team behind Dark Knight III: The Master Race, Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello, and it will be penciled by John Romita, Jr.  As part of the announcement, DC Comics posted an interview on their official blog in which Tim Beedle sat down with Romita to discuss some details of the book.

More from Bam Smack Pow

Romita began by talking some about the plot:

"I can’t say much, but I can say this book’s a prequel to Dark Knight Returns and it’s got a lot to do with Jason Todd and what happens to him at the hands of the Joker. All this was only touched on in Dark Knight Returns. We know Jason Todd met his end, but this is going to tell the story of how he met his end and what transpires up to that point."

While Jason was never seen in The Dark Knight Returns, his death played a big role as a driving force in Bruce Wayne’s actions.  This will be his first appearance in the universe, and I am definitely eager to see that.  Romita reveals the Joker is involved in his death like in the canonical version, but it remains to be seen exactly how that played out.  He also went on to talk about his designs of Jason:

"Since he’s still Robin at that point, I told our editor that I’d like to make it slightly distinct or at least different from the Dick Grayson version. But at the same time, it can’t be too different. And we also have to keep his look different from Carrie Kelley’s. But once we establish the year that it is, maybe his hairstyle will be distinct to what it is at that time. Bruce Wayne can’t have all grey, but he has some. He’s not an older guy, he’s middle aged. But being Batman for all those years, it’ll wear on you. You beat the body up. So there are little those considerations that I like to take into effect. With Jason, he’ll be in a Robin costume, but it’ll be a little different."

On what we can expect in terms of the look and feel of the Dark Knight world in general over ten years before The Dark Knight Returns, Romita said:

"I actually had to ask our editor about that, and he said that it’s going to be up to our interpretation. But I asked for as much reference as humanly possible that I can base it on. For instance, things like Arkham Asylum. How many interior shots are there that I could use? What Frank did in Dark Knight Returns was to use very simplified images of Arkham Asylum. So I asked them to send me The Killing Joke and I’ll base it somewhat on that. Even though this will be my interpretation of what Frank and Brian are asking for, I’ll still need some reference that I can bounce off of."

Next: Azzarello and Kubert Reveal New Details on DKIII

You can check out the full interview here.  I know I couldn’t be more excited for Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade, as well as for the other new additions to Miller’s universe.  Miller’s Batman is one of my favorite adaptations of the character, and I’m glad that we are getting to see so much more of that in the coming months.  Let me know in the comments whether you plan on picking up this upcoming one-shot, and be sure to keep it locked to Caped Crusades for the latest developments on this and everything Batman-related!