Friday at C2E2, writer Brian Azzarello took the stage late in the New DC Universe panel to tell the audience to close their eyes. Once they complied he had three letters for them to consider: "DK3" -- thus confirming that "Dark Knight Returns 3," officially titled "The Dark Knight III: The Master Race," is in the works. The series will run for eight issues, with installments scheduled to be released twice a month starting in late fall 2015.
"For the past six months, I've been working with Frank Miller to bring the next chapter in the 'Dark Knight' to light," he said. It's been humbling. I've learned a lot, and I call him sensei. It's a really, really big project."
Miller confirmed the news himself via Twitter (his first tweet in three and a half years), releasing promotional art from the story and stating, "I hope that by now my silence is deafening." In the official press release, DC Comics billed the story as "the epic conclusion of the celebrated 'The Dark Knight Returns' saga."
"Batman remains my favorite comic book hero and a sequel to Dark Knight is going to be daunting," Miller said in a statement. "But we'll do our best."
Rumors of a threequel to the classic "The Dark Knight Returns" graphic novel and its new millennium sequel "The Dark Knight Strikes Again" have been circulating for months, with many reports indicating that Miller would not write and draw the new book alone as he had (with inker Klaus Janson and colorist Lynn Varley) in the past. Azzarello's announcement confirms at least part of that rumor, and DC's release specifies that artists on the project haven't yet been announced.
"We are thrilled to have Frank back home at DC writing Batman," Dan DiDio and Jim Lee, Co-Publishers for DC Entertainment, said in a joint statement. "The story he and Brian have crafted is an astounding and triumphant conclusion to this seminal body of work which influenced and shaped generations of readers and creators alike."
Originally released in 1986, "The Dark Knight Returns" stands as one of the most influential and acclaimed superhero stories of any era. Its conflict between Batman and Superman has been cited as an inspiration for upcoming Warner Bros. film "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," and it appears that this story will also involve the Man of Steel -- with a bloodied Superman logo appearing prominently in the promo art released.
Stay tuned to CBR News for more on "The Dark Knight III: The Master Race" as it becomes available.