— Brian Azzarello 🍆🦇 (@brianazzarello) November 20, 2015
It's a good question.
In recent interviews, Frank Miller seems to have distanced himself from Dark Knight III, out next week.
"It is in Brian Azzarello's hands right now, and I thoroughly applaud what he's doing. But now that he's doing his, it's now a four-part series. I'm doing the fourth."
"I'll read what Brian's doing, and I will respond to that. I know what he's doing and I applaud him completely, and I can't wait to get started on my next book."
But how did you pitch The Master Race to DC??
That was not my call! That was generated by them. But my call is the fourth one. It's got me all excited again, so I wanna get back to it.
So we have a Dark Knight III not written by Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello, but just by Brian.
This seems to be of concern to retailers who have contacted me that this is what some of their customers believe now. That the solicited credit of "Written by Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello" is incorrect.
This of course happens all the time. I know a number of people who don't write the books they are credited as writing. Someone who is listed first as writer but may have just glanced at a treatment and signed it off.
But, commercially, it's different when someone goes and says it in a PR approved interview from one of DC's media partners. That's as good as an amended solicitation after FOC.
Which would make Dark Knight III #1, all half-a-millon copies of it returnable for credit by stores to DC Comics.
Talking to senior individuals however, this possibility is dismissed, as is Frank's version of events.
I am told that while they believe this is Frank's way of being humble and making sure Brian gets the credit he deserves, Frank Miller created the original story for Dark Knight III. It appears as it was pitched, he dictated major portions of the dialogue and reviewed everything Brian wrote.
And that Brian spent weeks in New York in practically living with Frank in Hell's Kitchen working on this project. And that it's a true collaboration between the two of them, just as DC Comics has solicited it.
And on Wednesday you get to judge for yourself.