Frank Miller. He's regarded by many fans as the man who redefined the character of Batman and helped jump start the comics industry in the '80s with his work on "The Dark Knight Returns" and "Batman: Year One." Since then he's dabbled with Batman only infrequently, most notably with his Dark Knight sequel "The Dark Knight Strikes Again" published in 2001.
Fans clamoring for more Miller Batman work are in luck as the New York Times (subscription required) revealed today that Miller will handle the writing chores and artist Jim Lee will take care of the penciling for this July's "All-Star Batman & Robin," as rumored in this week's Lying In The Gutters. The DC All-Star line is a new line from the publisher with some of comics top stars attached ,with stories that take place out of continuity and set in a contemporary time period. In the case of "All-Star Batman & Robin," the NY Times says Batman's partner in this story will be Dick Grayson, rather than Tim Drake who stars as Robin in current continuity.
"This is Dick Grayson's initiation and he's dealing with a very stern teacher," Milled said in a release from DC Comics. "Batman is a hard teacher - unforgiving. Brutal. At the same time, Grayson is watching Batman come into his full power. Me and Jim Lee get to play with all of DC's toys. It'll be a romp. It'll be a lot of fun. I plan on raiding DC's treasury of characters. There won't be a Black Canary or a Wonder Woman unused."
"This is quite an honor and, needless to say, a fairly daunting task that DC has bestowed upon me by handing me the helm of 'All-Stars,'" said Group Editor Bob Schreck in the release. "Being able to help these incredibly talented creators bring their amazing tales to life on the comics page is going to be one heck of a ride, no doubt. I can't wait until the readers get to see what's in store for them."
"Frank was instrumental in redefining Batman for a new generation, and I, for one, can't wait to see him bring that same level of clarity and interpretation to Dick Grayson and Robin," said Dan DiDio, VP - Executive Editor, DCU in a release. "With the teams now set for the two 'All-Star' books, 'Batman & Robin' and 'Superman,' everyone should agree that they meet the expectations set for these series: All Star creators working on iconic versions of our All Star characters - it doesn't get much better than this."
The creative team on "All-Star Superman" is to be Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely.
Artist Jim Lee commented on the news over on his blog:
To say this is my ultimate, dream project would be an incredible understatement. Back when I was in college from 1982 to 1986, I grew bored and disenchanted with comics, barely perusing my subscriptions when I went home for various holiday breaks. Frank Miller changed all that in 1986 when the Dark Knight Returns blew my mind and lit up my retinas.
I haven't been the same since.
My passion for creating comics comes from this one book and I've embarrassed Frank countless times by repeating this exact same story to him. Being fortunate enough to have as passionate fans, I know how it feels to be told similar tales so I hold back and try and act normal around him now so I don't freak him out. But he is fucking FrankMiller, man.
OK, geek mode off.
Obviously, I have known about this for some time now. I even jetted out to Austin, Texas where Frank was co-directing his incredible Sin City movie with Robert Rodriguez. We went out to dinner and over tequila shots and beer, we talked comics, specifically, Batman and Robin. It's a great fucking story, however, one I can't divulge in the slightest. He even gave me some art tips and feedback.
To say the pressure is on is a friggin' understatement. I am certain I will have to force myself to pull back while I work on this book lest I overwork this mofo to death from enthusiasm.
At the end, he gave me some art tips, and the next day, I even got to see a rough cut of Sin City at Rodriguez's production studios. I signed an NDA so I can't say anything beyond that other than I will be first in line when the movie hits theaters this Spring.