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COMIC BOOK REVIEW: Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1

 
Dark Knight III Master Race 1
Dark Knight III Master Race 1
Dark Knight III Master Race 1

 
Overview
 

Story by: Frank Miller & Brian Azzarello
 
Art by: Andy Kubert & Klaus Janson
 
Colors by: Brad Anderson
 
Publisher:
 
FG RATING
 
 
 
 
 
4.5/ 5


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To sum it all up..

THAT GODDAMN BATMAN! After more than two decades, we finally witness perhaps one of the comic industry’s ultimate works, Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight saga in the terrific opening salvo, Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1. The great visionary is not alone in his crusade of finishing his tale of the underdogs. Top-notch comic […]

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Posted November 28, 2015 by

 
FULL REVIEW
 
 

Dark Knight III Master Race 1THAT GODDAMN BATMAN!

After more than two decades, we finally witness perhaps one of the comic industry’s ultimate works, Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight saga in the terrific opening salvo, Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1. The great visionary is not alone in his crusade of finishing his tale of the underdogs. Top-notch comic scribe and comrade Brian Azzarello joins him in delivering the Batman we are so enamored, energized, empowered, encapsulated, and embittered in the late 1980s and early 2000s. Alongside with this match-made-in-heaven tandem are some of the industry’s legendary artists in the personas of Andy Kubert, Klaus Janson and Brad Anderson who do the penciling, inking and coloring, respectively. And, this sense-shattering book has a mini-comic Frank Miller virtually entirely made, entitled Dark Knight Universe Presents: The Atom #1, with Brian as co-plotter/writer and Janson as always, the inks, which serves well as an essential reading to the greater narrative that is The Master Race. In other words, this heavy-duty premier issue is a definite sure fire winner!

Obviously, the narrative starts years after the triumphant but devastating victory of the Dark Knight last seen in The Dark Knight Strikes Again! However, as both Miller and Azzarello know how to pull no punches, without surprising the readers early on, we witness how the city of Gotham and some of the rest of the world evolve for the worse way possible, though not as exactly as the highly controversial sequel part Miller presented then. Also, we see how the two iconic member of the DC Trinity fared, as we are slowly picking up some bread crumbs who are the so-called Master Race which really sets up the tone before shifting back to the Dark Knight’s third return to fulfill the character’s never ending fight against anything the Caped Crusader opposes with. That brings the question of the fate of Bruce Wayne’s protégé/apprentice/successor/heir/the-daughter-he-never-had, Carrie Kelly. Of course, you must read this great opener for yourself!

The writing is well-defined and well-paced. It can be argued that majority of the overall script is Brian’s, which make Miller an overall consultant of sorts. Whatever the actual behind-the-scenes or other dealings on that regard, the best part of relishing this first chapter is it never ever reads so blatantly offensive similar to the last Dark Knight sequel, moreover the All-Star Batman and Robin: The Boy Wonder (arguably the first part of Miller’s Dark Knight saga). The lines are almost eloquently delivered, even lyrical despite the grittiness and brooding nature the opener already conveys. Probably, Miller-haters, skeptics, doubters, and cynics should give this new series a new and/or renewed perspective/try for this is a better sequel.

The illustration department definitely retains the Miller-Batman artistic legacies without virtually resorting of distorting the aesthetic feel of the Dark Knight, Gotham City, the superheroes, and even the universe Miller helped create then. Andy Kubert’s artistic style actually fuses/meshes well with Miller’s gritty brand of illustration, and the Kubert scion’s drawings deliver commendably. Though more minimalist than Miller’s counterpart series, Kubert somehow makes the surrounding more breathable, more appealing, and less claustrophobic to view. Even the brutal fight scenes are more realistically drawn. Andy simply matches Miller’s intensity, but with subtlety and refinement. Janson’s inks further solidify Kubert’s deft illustrations to great effects. Yes, this is less dark and brutally portrayed than Miller’s but Janson’s take is more optimistic and reinvigorating than most of his recent inking jobs (like, John Romita, Jr’s Superman, oh dear!). Seriously, Klaus and Andy should often work together, especially on this one and possibly, the fourth Dark Knight finale later on.

Perhaps, the critical points are the purists’ perspectives. This new Dark Knight series possesses neither Frank Miller’s nor Klaus Janson’s art at all (plus, Miller’s former wife-original colorist, Lynn Varley). However, that is too much unrealistic given with Miller’s current physiological state right now. This Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1 is actually a great chapter to the ever expanding Frank Miller-Dark Knight universe! Can’t wait for Carrie’s fate!


Paul Ramos

 


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