The legendary comics artist who drew The Dark Knight Returns won't be handling the art chores for its upcoming follow-up. So who should?
Part of the reason Frank Miller became an iconic superhero comics creator was the strength of his artistic chops on Daredevil and The Dark Knight Returns. But, over the past two decades, he's been drawing less and less. The recent announcement of Dark Knight III: The Master Race said that "artists for the project have yet to be announced."
It's safe to assume that someone's already drawing DKIII. DC Comics says it's coming out this fall, after all. So they're probably saving the announcement of an art team for some other convention or publicity opportunity. But let's not let that stop us from assembling a wishlist.
Miller's Dark Knight Batman work is a special kind of crazy. It's bombastic and ridiculous while being grim and harsh at the same time. Geoff Darrow — who's done design work for the Matrix movies and his own batshit-crazy Shaolin Cowboy comics — can do exactly that. In fact, he's done it with Miller before on their insane sci-fi noir graphic novel Hard Boiled. Let's get them back together.
He started off as an inker and came to notoriety working with Miller on Daredevil and DKR, but Janson's a stellar penciller in his own right. He's got a long history with both Miller and Batman, one that might pay off in excellent artistic dividends.
Miller's comics work is often been characterised by a powerful use of shadows and dramatic lighting and Shawn Martinbrough uses both of those tools to great effect. Seen most recently in Robert Kirkman's Thief of Thieves series, Martinbrough is an excellent storyteller with a strong command of body language and dramatic angles. And he's already got a great Batman run under his belt.
He's been doing heaps of DC work for years now and Mahnke wields a style that's well-suited suited to the brutalism of Miller's work. Miller's Dark Knight stories have been filled with heavy, larger-than-life figures physically and ideologically struggling with each other. Mahnke could bring that to glorious life.