Dark Knight III: The Master Race #5



DarkKnightIII5-minThe sixth best-selling title of June 2016, at least according to “Diamond Comic Distributors, Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello’s script for Book Five of “Dark Knight III: The Master Race” finally provided it’s audience of 139,919 readers with a glimmer of hope that the “dystopian near-future version of Gotham City” would not become irreparably ravaged by the recently restored inhabitants of Kandor. Indeed, for a narrative partially penned by a writer “noted for combining film noir and manga influences in his comic art creations”, the plot to this twenty-three page periodical arguably contains an incredible amount of optimism, faith and just the occasional moment when one can almost hear the opening notes of John Williams’ theme to “Superman”…

Foremost of these marvellous moments must undeniably be Robin’s miraculous voyage to the dark depths of the ocean floor, some “twenty thousand leagues under the sea”. Accompanied by Aquaman riding a gigantic Hammerhead shark, a cohort of squid-riding Atlanteans and a whole posse of Anglerfish, Carrie Kelley’s successful search for Superman’s black matter tomb and the Man of Steel’s subsequent escape proves to be a genuinely uplifting experience, especially when it transpires that as far as Kal-El is concerned “it seemed centuries had passed” since he allowed his daughter to best him in a fist-fight and that “was all the time I needed to search my soul. Do you want to save the world?”

Equally as heart-warming is the Palme d’Or nominee’s conclusion to this publication. With the re-emergence of Clark Kent’s alter-ego, alongside the appearance of the Flash, Wonder Woman and Atlantis’ King, it is potentially all too easy to forget that this mini-series is actually the continuation of Miller’s story concerning an “aged Bruce Wayne.” This reality truly bites home when Batman squares off against one of the Kryptonians, who despite being robbed of his super-powers due to being drenched in synthetic Kryptonite, quickly shows the Caped Crusader why the old man “shouldn’t physically engage” as he is “not really in the shape to.” Fortunately however, an armour-encased Superman suddenly appears at the Dark Knight’s side, informing his elderly friend not to worry, as “I got your back.”

Disappointingly, far less enjoyable, or even understandable, is this comic’s mini tie-in “Dark Knight Universe Presents: Lara”. Focusing upon Baal’s childish attempt to woo Wonder Woman’s daughter by murderously hurling a car of humans into the air and then ‘stealing’ a kiss from her, the dislikeable killer perhaps unsurprisingly receives a foot to the mouth for this troubles. But then seems to win her heart despite the terrorist clearly standing for everything which the girl’s parents passionately stand against…

This article is the opinion of the author and does not represent the views of the site owner.


Reviewed by
For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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