DC Comics has revealed the title and cover of the John Romita Jr.-illustrated "Dark Knight Returns" prequel. Titled "Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade," the story will unfold in a 64-page prestige format one-shot written by the "Dark Knight III: The Master Race" team of Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello. Starring Miller's version of the Joker, it tells how Jason Todd, DC's second Robin, died in the "Dark Knight" continuity.
Here's a look at Romita's cover to the story:
"This book's a prequel to Dark Knight Returns and it's got a lot to do with Jason Todd and what happens to him at the hands of the Joker," Romita said in an interview on DC's website. "All this was only touched on in 'Dark Knight Returns.' We know Jason Todd met his end, but this is going to tell the story of how he met his end and what transpires up to that point."
"The Last Crusade" will take place more than 10 years before the events of Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns." Though that 1986 story is hailed as a comics classic, Romita admitted in the DC interview that he first read it a month and a half ago, calling it a "revelation."
"I love Frank's work," Romita said. "But I never really paid attention to the dialog. With as many comics as I have lying around, I often don't read the dialog. I'm a fan of the artists. I was not looking to read 'Dark Knight Returns,' I wanted to see the artwork and follow it storywise."
Romita and Miller famously collaborated in the past at Marvel, on the 1993 "Daredevil: The Man Without Fear" miniseries. "Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade" is scheduled for release on Feb. 17, 2016; "Dark Knight III: The Master Race" #1 is out Nov. 25.