I can’t say I saw this one coming, but Frank Miller — the poster child for trashy controversial takes on superheroes — has announced his next few projects are all aimed at the youth market.
Above are sketches for a yet-to-be-titled graphic novel starring Carrie Kelley, who served as Robin in Miller’s landmark 1986 work The Dark Knight Returns. Miller is writing the book and comic book artist Ben Caldwell is creating the visuals.
It might be surprising to see a DKR character spun off into YA-dom under Miller’s personal watch, but when you think about it, who else was it going to be? Carrie is the ONLY female character Miller’s ever written who wasn’t depicted as a mindless sex object or a street whore. And even with that going for her, she still fell victim to Miller’s fetish for violence against women in The Dark Knight Returns Strikes Again. Obviously if Frank expects to stay on the young adult rack longer than three seconds he’s going to have to reign in some of these impulses. I mean…he knows that, right? Right?
There’s a second book on the way that Frank is illustrating instead of writing. Cursed (temporary title), written by Thomas Wheeler, is a retelling of the Arthurian legend of Nimue, the Lady of the Lake. Here’s a peek at how the Lady looks in Miller’s blobby style:
As Miller said to EW.com, “I have always been entranced by the mythological Arthur story—and by Nimue, in particular. It can be interpreted in any number of ways—from a delightful children’s story, as in The Sword in the Stone, to a terrifying interpretation like Excalibur. I inherited a collection of antique children’s books from my mother, and I’ve always wanted to have a crack at it myself. This project is a dream come true.”
So the entire time Miller’s been writing nihilistic tales of a fascist Batman, what he REALLY wanted to do was make G or PG-rated children’s stories about classic beloved characters. Who knew?