Frank Miller will return to his Dark Knight Returns continuity for The Golden Child, a 48-page one-shot written by Miller with art from Rafael Grampa and colorist Jordie Bellaire for DC Black Label. Scheduled to hit shelves December 11, Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child is set three years after The Dark Knight III: The Master Race and will focus on Jonathan Kent, the son of Superman and Wonder Woman in this DC alternate continuity.
"The story takes place three years after the events of Master Race, where Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Carrie Kelley, and Lara Kent overcame the renegade priest Quar and his cult of Kandorian fanatics in their bid to convert humanity into worshipping them as gods," DC explained in a press release. "During this interim, Lara has spent time learning about what it means to be human, while Carrie has grown into her role as Gotham City’s new protector, Batwoman. 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."
Jonathan Kent appeared as a infant in The Master Race, while his sister Lara - also the child of Superman and Wonder Woman - held a more central role in limited series.
"The possibilities for what he could be just started coming to mind like crazy. I thought the contrast between him and Lara could be really exciting," Miller told Entertainment Weekly. "Lara has so much power and passion, so for the little boy to embody all of the wisdom and intelligence of the Kryptonian race would be an exciting new dimension. He really sort of developed as a little floating Buddha, someone who when he wasn’t even a toddler yet was speaking in full sentences and had an understanding of events that surpassed anybody else’s. He’s the most magical member of the family."
Carrie Kelly, who debuted in the original The Dark Knight Returns as Robin and then grew to become Batwoman for Master Race, will also be a part of The Golden Child.
"Carrie is, as always, the smartest kid on the block," Miller said. "She was also trained by someone who is not cowed by power. Even knowing that she is not a ‘superhero’ in terms of powers, she will not accept anything that in any way smacks of subjugation. Look at her! She began her superhero career by running away from home. She was a rebel from the get-go."
Miller's take on Superman has changed over the decades, with the writer admitting he "gave Superman a very hard time" in the original The Dark Knight Returns. With this and the current Superman: Year One limited series, Miller says he "celebrates the character although "“He doesn’t need my sympathy!"
DC Black Label will publish several variant covers with this one-shot, including ones by Grampa, Miller, Paul Pope, Joenne Jones, and Andy Kubert.
“The Dark Knight Returns story began with its heroes getting older,” said Miller in a statement. “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.”
The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child is scheduled to hit shelves December 11.