Monday, December 7, 2015

Comic Review: Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1

The Dark Knight Returns! OK I ran out of clever openings!

The basics here: It's years since Gotham City last saw Batman and now he's returned and not only fighting crime but the law as well. Meanwhile Wonder Woman is dealing with motherhood and a crazed minotaur, her daughter Lara visits her frozen father and finds Kandor and there is a shocking reveal at the end.

If this sounds really vague, well this issue is too.

Probably like many my coming of age as far as comic books go, came with The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller's masterpiece that revamped Batman and left the camp behind. It was as they said a life changing read and still holds up decades later. Less good was the years later follow-up The Dark Knight Strikes Again, a Phantom Menace-sized disappointment that made many lose faith. So does Dark Knight III: The Master Race return us back the glory of the original or is it another slap in the face? So far so good is what I'll say here as Miller and co-writer Brian Azzarello spend this first book setting up the world, if not much of the plot. There's some interesting turns and character reveals, as well as a timely story arc concerning police brutality, so go in with your expectations in check and you might find much here to enjoy.

Helping out is the artwork, a combo of Klaus Janson and Andy Kubert that while it doesn't capture Miller's work from the first one comes close. It has a nice stylized look to it that brings in such varied locales as an urban city, an ice fortress and a jungle while not losing the characters or the action. As anyone who has read this know I'm not an art critic but I know what I like and I like the work here.

The major question is can Miller and company deliver. If you come to this first issue expecting greatness you will probably leave disappointed but if you just take it for what it is then this is a good and addictive opening and hopefully a fitting close to this saga. Until next time faithful readers...

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