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To call Frank Miller a polarizing figure would be a serious understatement. While many of his works have gone on to become instant classics in the world of graphic novels – see: The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City – plenty of others have fallen flat – see: The Dark Knight Strikes Again. Dark Knight III: The Master Race has not even hit shelves yet, but now it seems that Miller is gearing up for a fourth installment of the Dark Knight series.
Miller fully intends to begin work on an untitled fourth installment to his Dark Knight series as soon as Master Race finishes its eight-issue run, according to CBM. While the third book has been co-written by Brian Azarello, it seems at this point Miller will be the sole writer of the fourth installment – barring any future developments, that is. Miller has repeatedly stated that he would be done with the Dark Knight series, but he explained to CBM that the immortality of Batman makes it almost impossible for him to not want to keep writing new adventures for the character.
After the first one, I said ‘Never again.’ After the second one, I said ‘Never again.’ Brian looks like he’s doing a terrific job; I can’t wait to jump in myself again. There’s no reason not to keep going with these. The character is immortal and more ideas spring to mind all the time.
Miller’s influence on the Batman mythos cannot be understated. His work on The Dark Knight Returns brought the Caped Crusader home to the shadows after a few decades of lightness and camp inspired by Adam West’s tenure under the cowl. That graphic novel painted Bruce Wayne as a man obsessed – a force to be reckoned with whose sole purpose in life had become the mission to rid Gotham of the criminal underworld. Miller’s work on Batman: Year One similarly reinvigorated the genre by giving the world the definitive Batman origin story – much of which would be adapted in Christopher Nolan’s masterful Batman Begins. Even his short-lived (and wholly underrated) work on the All-Star Batman & Robin series gave the world the iconic phrase “the god damn Batman.”
Even the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice seems poised to take cues from Miller’s work. The aesthetic of Batman’s outfit, as well as the concept of an older, seasoned Bruce Wayne seems ripped straight from Miller’s universe.
So it looks like Bat-fans can rejoice at this news. We are only a few days away from the release of the first issue of The Dark Knight III: Master Race, and if Miller fires on all cylinders, we could very well have two new instantly classic Batman graphic novels on the horizon.