Batman: The Dark Knight: Master Race by Frank Miller

The_Dark_Knight_III-The_Master_RaceTitle: Batman: The Dark Knight: Master Race
Series: The Dark Knight Saga #3
Writer(s): Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello
Illustrator(s): Andy Kubert, Klaus Janson, Brad Anderson, Alex Sinclair
Publisher: DC Comics
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: September 19th 2017
Pages: 376
Genre(s): Comics, Science Fiction
ISBN13: 9781401265137


Previously in The Dark Knight Saga:
The Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade (Book #0.5) by Frank Miller
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (Book #1) by Frank Miller
Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again (Book #2) by Frank Miller


Frank Miller teams up with Brian Azzarello to write up the third installment in The Dark Knight Saga. Batman: The Dark Knight: Master Race is a significant improvement to its predecessor, Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again, and revitalizes the hopes of fans with the prospect that this saga can finally be graced with a satisfactory ending.

Let’s clear the air a little bit. Absolutely anything would’ve been a huge improvement to what Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again was. The atrocity that Frank Miller gave fans as a sequel of his classic Batman: The Dark Knight Returns was a stain on this universe, but Batman: The Dark Knight: Master Race offers us an entertaining story to resuscitate this saga.

Originally intended to be an eight-issue limited series, Batman: The Dark Knight: Master Race was later on expanded to a much-needed nine-issue series. If bought as single issues, fans would be surprised by the incorporation of a mini-comic within the original sized magazine that usually features different characters and story to go with them. Within the hardcover volume, these comics are put into full-size and are present in-between each chapter.

The story essentially runs us through the Dark Knight’s legacy and what he’s become to the eyes of others after everything he’s been through and everything he put the people of Gotham through. Batman’s new sidekick, Carie Kelley, also drops her role as Spoiler, highlight to read: « Robin » in order to embrace another mantle that has been long established within the Batman lore. There’s also a sub-plot that focuses on Lara, Spoiler, highlight to read: « daughter of Wonder Woman and Superman », and her identity crisis. As a whole, Batman: The Dark Knight: Master Race reflects on the status of Gods that is often attributed to the members of the Justice League in Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Saga.

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It would be no fun if there wasn’t a major crisis to drive the story forward and that is what we get with a banished group of evil Kryptonians threaten the world. While that ensues, Frank Miller’s iconic social and political commentary interweaves with the plot through various social media platforms. . You’ll even see known figures pondering on current events here and there, such as Donald Trump who’ll be bickering some of his typical shenanigans.

Timely as it is, the invasion of these Kryptonians also represents a larger theme of terrorism. Barely concealed, an underlying idea of uniting the people against the evil is being pushed forward. Having some of these Kryptonians act like martys and participate in kamikazes only reinforces the idea of terrorism. With a global actor of this nature, the story manages to convert on it in order to create some very grand moments that make Batman: The Dark Knight: Master Race such a fun ride.

The artwork was not my cup of tea. Andy Kubert is the only one who succeeded in maintaining Frank Miller’s artwork style while keeping his own signature within his work, but the rest of the crew who got the chance to illustrate either miserably failed (especially Frank Miller—most of the time) or did an average job. I sometimes had to wonder how Frank Miller mastered the art of creating cringe-worthy illustrations. Just the way he’d draw Lara from behind was absolutely shameful. I guess you just can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Fans of this saga should definitely give this volume a shot. Frank Miller plans on releasing a fourth volume (I guess he really wants to end this saga on HIS note, without Brian Azzarello’s vision of it all in there). With the way this story arc ends, I think there are some interesting avenues to explore. I just hope he doesn’t plan on doing the artwork alone or that he simply doesn’t ruin this saga.

 

 

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Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!

You can order your copy now!

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Amazon (USA) – Amazon (Canada) – Chapters Indigo – Book Depository

MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★☆☆

Have you read it yet? Do you plan to? What do you think about Batman: The Dark Knight: Master Race?

Share your thoughts with me!

Till next time,

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33 thoughts on “Batman: The Dark Knight: Master Race by Frank Miller

  1. Bookstooge says:

    Ha, a group of Rogue Kryptonians. I hope they jump out of the pages and throttle Miller for his treatment of Supes in the first book.
    Not that I’m bitter or anything 😉

    Fat chance of me ever reading this. I thought his political overtones in the first book were bad enough, but what I gather from you, things are even worse in this GN.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Hahahaah Frank Miller sure does hate Superman, that’s for sure. At least in this volume he doesn’t exactly make Superman seem like the Big Bad although someone could easily connect the dots and find Superman at the cause of everything! 🤣

      Yeh, politics are still present here and also attempt to be “relatable” to current real-life events too. I’m curious to see how Frank Miller plans on OFFICIALLY concluding this series with volume 4…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. swordsandspectres says:

    Great review Lashaan. Nothing spoils a good story like bad artwork. I have been away from the Batman universe for so long but every post of yours I read has me eager to get back into it.

    I have a few Batman Graphic Novels laying around. Must crack them open.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Thanks man. I appreciate that. I couldn’t have said it better myself. The artwork can be really distracting in this one. I don’t think new readers would find this very appealing to be honest.

      Aw man, thank you so much for the kind words. I don’t think there are that many people who read Batman stories out there, but it’s always nice to hear when people feel like discovering his stories, especially the great ones that haven’t yet reached the cinematic universe. Hope you enjoy the graphic novels you have whenever you get the chance, sir.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. stephaniesbookreviews says:

    Great review, though I’m sorry this was not everything you were hoping it to be. I have such a hard time getting into graphic novels. I always say I want to read The Walking Dead and Pierce Brown has done pre-quell graphic novels for his Red Rising series (which is one of my favorite series ever), but I just can’t make myself read them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Thank you, Stephanie! I appreciate the time you took to read this. 🙂 Oh man, you totally have to give comics a shot. The Walking Dead is one that I’ve always wanted to pick up and be up to date in, but something always held me back. Might be because I didn’t want to get spoiled and also get disappointed that the show didn’t do something that the comics did, you know? It’s usually what happens with books/comics too… Nothing really beats the original story! 😀 I’ve also heard about Pierce Brown’s graphic novels (and a bunch of other YA author’s series being turned into graphic novels). Hopefully someday you’ll be able to try them out and let us all know if it was well-worth it or not! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Amazing review, as always, Lashaan. You really make me want to get into some graphic novels next year. That’s one of my goals actually. My only experience is with some manga I read in high school (two, maybe three in a series). I’d really love to pick up The Walking Dead, but I’m waiting for the show to be over, because at this point I’m VERY invested in it and don’t want any spoilers or comparisons. I just want to take the show for what it is and enjoy it. Interesting that Trump even shows up in a Batman novel…that alone makes me not want to read it though haha. I see enough of him on TV *eye roll*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Thank you so much, Elizabeth! You totally need to explore graphic novels. They are seen by some as uninteresting, childish or even impossible to love, but once you get your hands on some good ones, you’ll be surprised by how powerful and how fun they can be. I’m also holding off on reading The Walking Dead because of how deep into the series we’re at now. At this point, I don’t want to read what the original story was like and find out that the show didn’t do some things that would’ve made it even better and what not! 😀 Hahahaha yep. I think everyone here is tired of hearing his name or seeing his face in their daily lives. He was a prominent figure in this story though. His face appears made 3 times each to say something you’d easily associate to him. The whole politics/media thing was always a thing for this writer so it wasn’t much of a surprise that he ended up having this president in there to make it more.. timely. Thank you for reading, Elizabeth!! I appreciate it a lot. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Elizabeth says:

        I never thought they were childish, but what surprised me was the huge variety of graphic novels out there! I guess I was being dumb in only thinking of superheros when I thought of them, but that’s definitely not the case.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate says:

    Well, at least it’s better than the previous one? ^^’ I really am no comic expert (especially Batman) so I can’t comment on these but I found your review as insightful and clever as always.
    I wouldn’t say the art style is my favorite either, and the way artists change with every issue sure would bother me – especially when they’re not the best at their job. I wonder if they make a sport out of butchering their own creations? xD
    I’m glad you were still able to enjoy this one and hopefully, the next issue will be better 🙂 I’m rooting for you!!
    Absolutely awesome review, of course ^^

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Hahaah thank you so much for your kind words, Sophie. It’s definitely better than its predecessor. Probably thanks to the co-writer, Brian Azzarello, too. I don’t expect to see many people out here having read this or even planning too anytime soon–which is also the case with a lot of the Batman stuff I read–but I always appreciate the time taken by anyone to read what it’s about and to know that these stories exist. 🙂

      Ah yes, the change of artist for every issue nowadays is nothing to rejoice about. For this volume, the artists tried their best to keep the style as similar to the original artwork of the first volume, while putting a little bit of a twist depending on their own style, but the overall result wasn’t always very satisfying. Only one artist, known for amazing artwork, was able to do something decent in Frank Miller’s style.

      Thanks for reading as always Sophie. And welcome again to blogging!!! 😀

      Like

  6. Chris Evans @ Geek Blogger UK says:

    Awesome review sir! I enjoyed the Master Race quite a bit, certainly a vast improvement on that god awful second chapter. To be honest, I find Frank Miller’s best work is far behind him and I’m glad that Brian Azzarrello took on the main writing duties, coupled with Andy Kubert’s art it makes for a worthy sequel that, sadly, I doubt Miller could deliver on his own. I really don’t want a Dark Knight IV if he plans to tackle it solo. Have you heard about the upcoming Superman: Year One? Rumour suggests it will be a Dark Knight universe story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Thanks, Chris! Yep… Frank Miller is really past his prime at this point. I don’t know how he’s still allowed to dish out some of the things he conceives… I’m pretty glad that he co-wrote it with Brian Azzarello though. It shows that there was much more depth and consistency within the story because of him hahah I too don’t want DKIV… I fear it’ll be a repeat of that second chapter… It’ll honestly taint this series forever. I haven’t heard about Superman: Year One though!!! That sounds interesting. Depending on who’s on the creative team too of course. If can pull of something like Batman Year One, I’d be pretty impressed! A game changer to Superman’s origin story would be pretty cool (not that all the Earth One books weren’t enough though).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    Sounds like this one still has some kinks to iron out, but is not without a few redeeming qualities 😉 I do agree about the artwork though. I do not favor it looking at what you have shown. It feel too “thick”. I favor a little more detail and line work. Sigh.. you have also reminded me how very behind I am on my GN reviews. Top quality as always Lashaan. I always walk away from your reviews feeling very confident of whether or not to pick up a title!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      That perfectly sums it all up hahah Yep… The artwork can get be quite bad at times. If you want some more proof, check out the links I provided Liz regarding Frank Miller’s artwork for Lara. I’m sure there are artists out there who could do way better… While keeping the original, first book’s style. Thank you Danielle, you’re too sweet! I do hope you’ll be picking up a graphic novel in the near future though. You were on a nice roll back then! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Well said. That is exactly it. Frank Miller has done so much in the comic biz, his name sparks a lot of attention, even among those who know that his stuff isn’t as good as it was before. He’ll probably always have a “fanbase”, even if they ultimately hate what he comes up with.

      Liked by 1 person

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