Frank Miller's epic story began with The Dark Knight Returns, continued in The Dark Knight Strikes Again, and welcomed a new generation with Dark Knight III: Master Race. Now with help from artist Rafael Grampá he's delivering the next installment with Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child. Putting a new version of Superman's son Jonathan Kent into the spotlight, the special one-shot arrives this December as part of DC Black Label.
The announcement of the series comes direct from DC Comics, along with the first cover art of Carrie Kelley the former Robin--now with years of experience in the cape and cowl vacated by Bruce Wayne. Set three years after the conclusion of Master Race, the 48-page one-shot picks up after Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Carrie Kelley, and Lara Kent overcame the renegade priest Quar and his cult of Kandorian fanatics, hellbent on turning human beings into mindless worshipers. Those three years have allowed Lara plenty of time to get accustomed to life on Earth, while Carrie has flourished in her role as Gotham City’s new protector, Batwoman.
Take a look at the first cover artwork of Carrie in her Batsuit below, along with a plot synopsis officially released by DC Comics.
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.
After half a decade away from comic books, Grampá is providing the artwork for The Golden Child after being personally chosen by Frank Miller. It's a hard job to turn down considering the saga's place in comic book history, and Miller offers an explanation for his choice as part of DC's official press release:
The Dark Knight Returns story began with its heroes getting older. 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.
In addition to the main and variant covers by Grampá, the book will also include a series of open-to-buy variant covers by artists Paul Pope, Joëlle Jones, and Andy Kubert, in addition to Frank Miller himself. The 48-page prestige format book will be released under DC’s mature Black Label Imprint for $5.99.
Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child will be released on comic book shops everywhere on December 11th, 2019.