Dark Knight III: The Master Race is based upon the legendary The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, and it’s excellent, so do yourself a favor, pick it up and get on it!
Good. Now let’s get into this, and start with a
Ready? Okay, here’s my original headline: WAKE UP, SUPERMAN! Your daughter is no longer daddy’s little girl, and THAT may be a problem for us ALL!
In all seriousness, both Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, and The Dark Knight Strikes Again were two of the most well-read and well-loved comic stories in… well… the history of comics, I’d say. Both have been reprinted, since their original releases, so that new readers can enjoy them the same as old, not to mention the multiple movies that were made based on Miller’s vision. DKIII picks up after The Dark Knight Strikes Again.
It has been a long time to wait to have Frank Miller’s world of the Dark Knight revisited in comics, and the storytellers are sparing no expense when it comes to strange new events and intriguing character developments. Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, Andy Kubert, Klaus Janson, and Brad Anderson have been working hard on delivering a powerful new story segment, and deliver they have!
Again, SPOILERS TO FOLLOW, so beware!
First, let’s mention the language of the DKIII books, so far. While a bit wordier than Miller’s typical works, the modern use of texting-speak is quite unique in the DKIII comics, and is likely influenced heavily by co-writer Azzarello’s difference in style. It also harkens back, a bit, to the insertion of newscaster comments within TDKR.
The artwork shown in this issue, as well as in the two issues prior, is sequential-art storytelling at its finest. Kubert and the art-team have produced dynamic and intense pages of visual greatness. Their visuals effectively pull we viewers out of our chairs and into the vivid universe of The Dark Knight, just where we all want to be.
The Justice League, and most specifically for this story so far, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, DC’s holy trinity, have all pulled away from their previously focused world’s spotlight as heroes. Bruce Wayne has all but stopped doing the work of the Batman, and his complex present state of aging, makes him [somewhat sad to say] seemingly NOT the focus of his own book. Rather, Superman, Wonder Woman, and their daughter are now garnering more focus.
Superman, three years ago in the story, had gone into hibernation in his Fortress of Solitude and is now re-awakened by Bruce Wayne and his protégé Carrie Kelly in hopes of gaining the Man of Steel’s help protect against earth’s newly emerged and powerful foes. Quar and the other Kandorians, from the Kryptonian bottle-city of Kandor, are now becoming the major threat to our world. So far these villains have not been portrayed with enough depth, for my taste, and wish we could get more of an introspective view into the “why” behind their attacks and their demand that the entire human race surrender to their dominance.
Will Lara, Superman and Wonder Woman’s now grown-up and über-powerful daughter, side with we earthlings, or with the Kandorians? Guess you’d better pick up this issue, and probably the next few, in order to find out!
Oh, sorry, one last thing: Each of the three DKIII books, so far, has a mini-comic inserted within the comic, under the title “Dark Knight Universe Presents.” Issue one contains The Atom, two has Wonder Woman, and three has Green Lantern. All also worth checking out, but those are another set of interconnected stories to be discussed at another time.
Dark Knight III: The Master Race #3. Story: Frank Miller & Brian Azzarello. Pencils: Andy Kubert. Inks: Klaus Janson. Colors: Brad Anderson. $5.39.
Review by Steve Oatney.
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