Batman: The Dark Knight—Master Race

batman the dark knight the master race cover trade paperback tpb
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

Better than The Dark Knight Strikes Back

Still misses the mark of the original series

Comic Info

Comic Name: Dark Knight III:  Master Race

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Brian Azzarello/Frank Miller

Artist: Andy Kubert/Frank Miller/Eduardo Risso/John Romita Jr.

# of Issues: 9

Release Date: 2017

batman the dark knight iii the master race #7 cover superman

Dark Knight III: Master Race #7

Reprints Dark Knight III:  Master Race #1-9 (January 2016-July 2017).  Believed to be dead, Bruce Wayne continues his attempt to keep a grip on Gotham City, and the criminals living there with the help of Carrie.  When the Kryptonians form the shrunken city of Kandor are restored and released, Earth faces a new threat…a race that wishes to enslave and run the world, but potentially save the people from themselves.  With enemies far stronger than him, Bruce realizes he must go to the person he never expected to ask for help…and Superman could save them all!

Plotted and written by Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello, Batman:  The Dark Knight—Master Race is a DC Comics superhero comic book collection.  A sequel to Batman:  The Dark Knight Strikes Again, the series features art by Andy Kubert, Frank Miller, Eduardo Risso, and John Romita Jr.  The collection features the primary story with Kubert art, and a series of back-up stories by various artists.

Batman:  The Dark Knight Strikes Again was an insane disappointment.  With gaudy colors and underdeveloped characters, the series was largely forgettable and didn’t have the iconic nature of Miller’s original game-changing classic Batman:  The Dark Knight Returns.  With hesitation, I finally dove into Dark Knight III:  The Master Race…with mixed results.

batman the dark knight iii master race #9 cover

Dark Knight III: Master Race #9

First and foremost, the series is better than the second entry.  With a more focused plot, better art and coloring, and high stakes, the series does has more connection to the first series.  While the story is a Batman story, it feels like Batman is largely sidelined by the Superman (and Wonder Woman) storylines…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  While Superman came off as the patsy heavy of The Dark Knight Returns, he’s kind of redeemed here and demonstrates that even in that series, he didn’t want to do what he was assigned to do.  Here, he takes responsibility, rebuilding his allegiance with Batman, and helps guide a future generation.  It is a redemption for his character.

The series still however feels just like a rather typical Elseworlds story that goes on a bit long.  The first entry was pretty tight and concise and the second entry really wasn’t very long either.  This feels a bit long winded and the back-up stories just don’t have the punch they need (but you also can’t miss them because they tie into the final plot).  The Dark Knight Returns was one of the rare cases where I cared about Batman (I’m not the biggest Batman fan) and I feel like this needed to be more about Batman and Carrie…If Miller and Azzarello had made it a Man of Steel Returns, I might have gone in with a different viewpoint and taken the story at a different light (and I’d kind of like to see Man of Steel Returns).

I don’t know if Miller is done with Batman or if the Dark Knight will fight again.  Since the series essentially “reset” the world by de-aging Batman and setting Clark up as a mentor for his daughter, it has opened up a lot of story possibilities that could actually be interesting if he were to choose to pursue it…or he could give another author a chance to explore and expand his world which might even be a better solution.  The world will have to wait to see if Batman lives again.

Related Links:

Batman:  The Dark Knight Returns

Batman:  The Dark Knight Returns—Part 1 (2012)

Batman:  The Dark Knight Returns—Part 2 (2013)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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