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Frank Miller to pen young adult graphic novel in Dark Knight Returns setting

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The book will star Carrie Kelley, the Robin of ‘The Dark Knight Returns’

Carrie Kelley in Ben Caldwell and Frank Miller’s untitled YA graphic novel, DC Comics (2018). Ben Caldwell/DC Comics

In the most unexpected piece of comic book news of the day, Frank Miller, an artist best known for hyperviolent works such as The Dark Knight Returns, 300, and the Sin City series, has been tapped by DC Comics to write a graphic novel for young adult audiences.

The as-yet-untitled book is part of a new exclusive deal Miller signed with DC to produce five new projects for the publisher. Miller’s Superman: Year One, recently announced under DC’s new Black Label imprint, is also part of the deal, leaving three more books from Miller to come.

The book announced today will be Miller’s first foray into writing for a young audience. The new book will star Carrie Kelley, who first appeared in in 1986’s The Dark Knight Returns (written and illustrated by Miller), in which she became Robin. Miller will write, while artist Ben Caldwell (Prez) will illustrate.

Concept art from Ben Caldwell and Frank Miller’s untitled Carrie Kelley YA graphic novel, DC Comics (2018).
Concept art from Ben Caldwell and Frank Miller’s untitled Carrie Kelley YA graphic novel.
Ben Caldwell/DC Comics

Carrie is one of Miller’s more lasting original female character additions to the DC Universe, and was even introduced to the main timeline as a friend and tutor to Batman’s son, Damian Wayne.

Miller’s work frequently features sexualized female characters and depicts violence against women. Carrie stood in exception to that rule for a long time, or at least until Miller’s 2001 sequel to The Dark Knight Returns. In The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Carrie, in her persona as Catgirl, was nearly stabbed to death by Dick Grayson (the original Robin, who had been murdering superheroes in the guise of the Joker for most of the story) before being rescued by Batman.

It will be interesting to see what sort of story Miller tells with the character this time. The writer/artist’s last project for DC was The Dark Knight III: The Master Race.