Dark Knight III: The Master Race 8

Dark Knight III: The Master Race 8

Pros

  • Epic comic-book storytelling

Cons

  • The delays are doing this book in

We’re getting to a point in this series where it’s hard to tell if it’s actually any good.

With many months in between issues, I think it’s safe to say that DC could have forgone the initial big sales of the first issue and just waited for this whole story to be finished and maybe even released it as a collection. Or maybe as larger-format, prestige-style issues with more pages than your average comic book. Now, wouldn’t that have been…nostalgic?

Once again, Miller, Azzarello, Kubert, and Co. deliver a big time comic book soap opera featuring DC’s trinity of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. And once again there are moments where the reader gasps at what is transpiring in the world of our favorite heroes. (At least, I did.) But, once again, I feel that this issue comes up short of the mark. When we get to the point where something big is going to happen…the issue ends, abruptly.

Now, normally, that would be okay because at least the next chapter would arrive four weeks later–time just enough to whet our appetites and keep us engaged when the new issue hits stands. But as has been the case with “Master Race,” we simply do not know when the next issue is going to arrive.

Plagued by lengthy delays from its inception, this series definitely deserves a re-read when everything’s all said and done.

At times the wait has been so long between issues that I’ve simply forgotten what happened previously. (And, not to keep hammering the point, but I’ve actually lived in three different apartments since this series began…) Take, for example, the events of last issue (I think), where Batman is killed.

Yep, killed. Batman. Dead as a door nail.

But not really, because Superman takes him to a Lazarus Pit and revives him–and makes him much younger in the process. Neat trick, that, and one that will serve this Dark Knight Universe well, especially since, I’m sure, DC isn’t done telling stories set in it.

That is, of course, if they can figure out a way to get the books out on time.

But, anyway, Batman–dead, then not. Old, then young. Cool, right? Sure. But still, I was affected (shocked, maybe) by his murder a couple issues back, but Carrie–his Robin–was not. Well, maybe she was, but in the four or five panels in which the creators explore her feelings about the death of the most important human in her life, what we get is an interesting examination of the Bat-Family psyche.

They don’t deal with death very well.

Beyond that, though, we don’t get much else, and that’s a shame because the bond between the Dark Knight and this Robin–his “good soldier”–is so, so strong in Miller’s original tale. Yes, she is going to be strong enough to move on, thanks to Batman’s influence over the years, but there’s got to be a little more in the way of an emotional gut punch.

But enough about that–let’s move on to Wonder Woman. She is, after all, the star of this issue as her island comes under attack by the invading Kryptonians. There are some epic-in-scale moments during the fight, and we see the true heart of the Amazons as they manage to ward off the attack. And Wonder Woman leads the charge and then shares a kiss with a returning Superman (who is dripping with the blood of his fellow Kyrptonians).

And then we get ready for more warring. Only…then the issue ends, and now we have to wait.

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