Dark Knight III: The Master Race #8 Review

Comic Books:
Eric Joseph

Reviewed by:
On March 29, 2017
Last modified:March 28, 2017


Although the penultimate chapter of Dark Knight III: The Master Race isn't bad by any means, it reads like an excerpt taken from a larger piece of work.

Dark Knight III: The Master Race #8 Review

This review contains some spoilers.

Those who know me are well aware that I’ve greatly enjoyed Dark Knight III: The Master Race to this point. The fact that it’s redeemed the legacy established by Frank Miller’s immortal classic The Dark Knight Returns (DKR) after what we’ll call an ill-received followup in The Dark Knight Strikes Again! (DK2) is highly commendable in its own right. But, I guess few overarching stories are without their flaws, which is why it pains me to say the penultimate installment in this definitive Batman tale is easily my least favorite of the bunch.

For those who’ve been following the series since it began in late 2015 (I know, the sporadic releases were definitely not a strong suit), you’re well aware that the wealth of the narrative has been devoted to Batman, Superman, Carrie Kelley (now Batgirl) and others being forced to deal with Quar and a fanatical legion of Kandorians. So, despite having that DKR “feel,” it’s become more of a broad DC Universe story like DK2, with the aged Caped Crusader at its epicenter (more on him in a moment). But maybe that’s what Miller and Brian Azzarello intended.

What you’re also no doubt aware of is the fact that while Wonder Woman has been a key component in this story, she’s kind of been on the sidelines thus far. And, as you probably guessed by looking at the cover art, she comes to the forefront in a big way in this issue as the battle between the Amazons and Kandorians kicks off, which will no doubt eventually lead to Lara having to definitively choose a side – but don’t count on that happening just yet. I will, however, say that what we do see quickly turns bloody, reminding me of one of Miller’s more notorious works, 300.

I know it may seem trivial to some of you, but I briefly wanted to mention how much I enjoyed the subtlety Andy Kubert lent to a certain panel that perfectly captured Diana’s warrior spirit by closing in on her smiling just as the bloodshed was set to commence. When you see it, you’ll know what I mean. Furthermore, I think Kubert is slowly turning into Miller. As the series stretches on, the visuals are less the hybrid of their two styles than they were in the earlier chapters.

Getting back to Batman, well, he’s honestly not in this one that much. We do at least get to see Carrie react to seeing him young again thanks to the effects of the Lazarus Pit, something that I myself am still trying to acclimate to. The Dark Knight books are normally all about a grizzled, matured Bruce Wayne, and I can’t help but continue thinking this was done to pave the way for Dark Knight IV, which Miller has expressed interest in doing.

Unfortunately, I can’t discuss more plot points in depth because not much else really happens. Everything that occurs within these pages is mere setup for May’s finale, plain and simple. Just as you get into it, it’s over. Needless to say, this creative team has a lot to tie up, and we may have our answer as to why DC gave them an extension from what was originally planned as an 8-issue run.

Conspicuous by its absence was a minicomic featuring a side story, something that has been included in every previous offering. I was quite surprised to not find one included with my digital review copy, so I’m only assuming that there won’t be one in comic shops on Wednesday. I double checked DC’s website and it still lists the bonus content as being part of the package, but don’t be shocked if your purchase is slightly lighter.

For my money, Dark Knight III: The Master Race #8 is a prime example of what something that’ll read better as part of a collected edition looks like. This may very well seem more exciting when enjoyed as part of a whole, but for now, I have to be honest in saying that I was kind of let down, especially after enduring a three month wait after the previous chapter. I’ll just say that I hope this is the great redeemer in the end and doesn’t suffer from a weak conclusion. If so, that’d be a damn shame.

Dark Knight III: The Master Race #8 Review

Although the penultimate chapter of Dark Knight III: The Master Race isn't bad by any means, it reads like an excerpt taken from a larger piece of work.