Four Letter Nerd

4LN Comic Review: The Dark Knight III: Master Race #1

Series: The Dark Knight III: Master Race
Writer(s): Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello
Pencils: Andy Kubert and Frank Miller
Inks: Klaus Janson
Page Count: 54

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Summary from Comixology: “The 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!”

I have been waiting for this comic for such a long time now. The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One are two of the most influential comics I have ever read. If it wasn’t for Frank Miller, I wouldn’t have the passion for comics that I have today. I’m a total Miller fanboy, I even love All Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder, and that is just a clusterf*ck of a comic. Besides my love for Miller, I am also a huge fan of Brian Azzarello, (If you haven’t read 100 Bullets or his run on Wonder Woman you are missing out) because he does such a great job writing gritty crime stories, and him paired with Miller, is a perfect team. What’s nice about having Azzarello on the book is he’ll be able to tone down some of the craziness that is Frank Miller. The book has a $5.99 sticker price, but for anyone familiar with the impact Miller has had on Batman, this is a book you need to get.

It’s great to see Miller, Kubert, and Janson working on a book in 2015. This was a team that dominated the comic book world in the 80’s and to see them working together 30 years later is really impressive. The book itself has that 80’s feel to it, but also has a modern vibe, so the creative team did a fantastic job capturing the feel of their original work. The art work is fantastic and beautifully drawn, and the colors look absolutely fantastic. The scene involving Wonder Woman and the Centaur really caught me off guard, because I wasn’t expecting to see Wonder Woman as a mother, or breastfeeding either. Over the years Frank has gotten tons of flack for how he has handled and depicted women in his comics, but honestly this seems to be a major improvement in how he will write women in comics. (Before anyone jumps on me for being a misogynist for defending Miller, I’ll just leave this here: Equality Now )

One of the things I wasn’t a fan of was the beginning of the comic. The dialogue was a little difficult to follow, mostly because it was written in text messaging short hand, such as “i Cn him” and “fu the bat b back, squid” I don’t know why DC has been using text shorthand recently, but I’m not a fan of it (see Superman: American Alien). I felt this took away from the comic, and it honestly took me a few tries reading it to understand what was being said. I think another thing that is going to bother people will be the interactions between Batman and police officers. Honestly, Batman just beats the shit out of some officers, and then they beat the shit out of Batman (ACAB), and the issue ends with a bit of a twist.

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This issue set up a lot of groundwork, but answered zero questions that you might have involving the series. The first issue of this series leaves you wanting more, and that’s what the first issue of any mini series should do. I also want to state that this issue, might be my favorite cover of the year. It’s so simple, but you immediately recognize it. The sticker price is a little much, because DC knows people will buy this no matter if it was $3.99 or $7.99, so I guess the price could be worse, but issue #2 is also slated at $5.99, I’m worried each issue will be the same price, and that just seems greedy on DC’s part. But, with all this being said, if you are a Batman fan, or a fan of Frank Miller this series will be a must have for your collection, and the epic conclusion to one of the most critically acclaimed Batman series ever told.

Music Pairing:
Lets offend some people. Batman beats up cops, and cops beat up Batman. So, for this music pairing I present 1980’s Texan punk band MDC (Millions of Dead Cops), and their song No More Cops.

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Bill Clark

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