Wednesday, February 22, 2017

DARK KNIGHT III: The Master Race #7


STORY: Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello
PENCILS: Andy Kubert
INKS:  Klaus Janson
COLORS: Brad Anderson
LETTERS: Clem Robins
COVER: Andy Kubert with Brad Anderson
VARIANT COVERS: Jim Lee and Scott Williams with Alex Sinclair; Frank Miller with Alex Sinclair; Klaus Janson with Dave McCaig; Howard Chaykin with Jesus Aburto; Chris Burnham with Nathan Fairbairn
32pp (plus 16-page insert), Color, $5.99 U.S. (February 2017)

Batman created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger

Dark Knight III: The Master Race (also known as DKIII) is the second sequel to Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (also known simply as The Dark Knight Returns or DKR), the landmark, four-issue comic book miniseries.  Published by DC Comics in 1986, DKR was written by Frank Miller; drawn by Miller (pencils) and Klaus Janson (inks); colored by Lynn Varley; and lettered by John Costanza.  DKR focused on a 50-year-old Bruce Wayne who comes out of retirement and resumes his crime-fighting role as Batman.

DKIII is written by Brian Azzarello and DKR's Frank Miller; drawn by Andy Kubert (pencils) and DKR's Klaus Janson (inks); colored by Brad Anderson; and lettered by Clem Robins.  DKIII finds Batman united with Superman to stop a murderous group of people from Superman's home planet, Krypton, from taking over the Earth.

Dark Knight III: The Master Race #7 opens in the aftermath of the battle in and over Gotham City, pitting Batman, Superman, and their allies against the “master race” of Kryptonians from Kandor.  And Batman is dead... or is he?  Superman has an idea about reviving his old friend.  Meanwhile, Quar, the leader of the Kryptonians, moves to strengthen his hold on Lara, the daughter of Superman and Wonder Woman, who has sided with the Kryptonians.  He wants her to do something for him...

I have to say that I enjoyed reading DKIII #7 more than I did issue #6.  I have found DKIII to be wildly inconsistent.  It is sometimes intense and gripping; other times, it is contrived and ridiculous – often within the same issue.

What is the difference with #7?  I think that this issue consolidates subplots and relationships, as the narrative prepares to move into the final acts of the series.  This issue is the first one that clearly depicts Lara's ambivalence, but also emphasizes that much of this story is about Lara's side of the family, in particularly her father, Superman.  Going forward as a reader, an issue like this one makes me feel more confident about the eight and ninth issues of Dark Knight III: The Master Race, the final two issues.

Dark Knight Universe Presents: Strange Adventures #1 (Insert comic book)
STORY: Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello
PENCILS: Frank Miller
INKS: Klaus Janson
COLORS: Alex Sinclair
LETTERS: Clem Robins
COVER: Frank Miller with Alex Sinclair

I have not really enjoyed these mini-comics inserted into the center of each issue of DKIII, but I like this issue's “Strange Adventures” that focuses on Green Lantern and two denizens of Thanagar.  The interplay of the items that give these heroes their power with the mounting danger of their adversaries makes this a gripping mini-thriller with a nice ending.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2017 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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