Title: 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
Release Date: September 19th 2017
Genre(s): Comics, Science Fiction
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.
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.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!
You can order your copy now!
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,