Review: Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1

DKIII promo image SDCCThe epic ending you never saw coming is here because you demanded it! The Dark Knight rises again to face the dawn of the master race!

The hype has been building for quite a while, and we now are able to make our own decisions as the Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1 has hit shelves. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I was nervous and apprehensive going in to this first issue. Writer Frank Miller‘s recent output has been overshadowed by some of his comments, and none of it left a good impression. The question, would this first comic be more akin to his earlier work, or his scattered later work?

Co-written by Brian Azzarello (and it’s unclear how much each did), the first issue actually defied my expectations, reminding more of the Miller of old. Kicking off right away with a scene that not just sets the tone, but also creates a social relevance (and political gray area) that I wasn’t expecting at all. The comic immediately dives in to police brutality, media spin, and that sets us upon the path and discussion of whether “the Bat” is back.

Layered in is Wonder Woman, Superman’s daughter, and the Atom in a mini comic included which adds a lot to the comic. That all gets us to an ending with one hell of a spin that got me to immediately want me to read the second issue.

The art is top notch returning Klaus Janson to the fold and adding Andy Kubert in. The combination of the two makes the comic feel like the original and classic The Dark Knight Returns. There’s a couple of panels where it’s difficult to tell what’s going on, but overall, the two continue a cohesive look between the three volumes.

I’ll straight up say, I was floored by this first issue which completely surpassed my expectations and reminded me much more of the classic Miller comics I grew up reading. There’s been lots of hype building to this, and when I got through it all and to that last page, that hype felt warranted.

Story: Brian Azzarello, Frank Miller Art: Klaus Janson, Andy Kubert
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review