Dark Knight III: The Master Race #9 Review

Comic Books:
Eric Joseph

Reviewed by:
On June 7, 2017
Last modified:June 6, 2017


Without a doubt, Dark Knight III: The Master Race has proven itself worthy of adorning the shelves of Batfans everywhere.

Dark Knight III: The Master Race #9 Review

This review contains some spoilers.

Although I found the previous issue to be less than stellar, it’s well-documented that I’ve been a strong advocate of Dark Knight III: The Master Race. This week, it’s forced to pass its true litmus test because the closing chapter will ultimately determine if it’s the stuff of legend (The Dark Knight Returns) or a complete farce (The Dark Knight Strikes Again!).

While we may need more time and perspective in order to properly determine if this entry in the series is indeed legendary, I will say that it’s a worthy successor to the original through and through, and that Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello have succeeded in crafting something that needs to adorn the shelves of all Batfans.

An undeniable strong suit of this book has been its ability to callback to Miller’s earlier works without seeming like a rehash. As expected, that continues here as a Batman with his youth restored channels Year One by summoning swarms of bats with hypersonics, effectively throwing the Kandorians for a loop. In doing so, you really get the feeling that this is Bruce Wayne’s plan being carried out, and that the win is largely due to his cunning. DKIII has often toed the line between being a Batman story and that of one focused on the DC Universe at large, the latter of which DK2 was guilty of, so it was nice to actually get the sense that this was a Dark Knight tale in a purer sense. However, it’s ultimately Lara who scores the pinfall on Quar, if you get my wrestling allegory, so the lean is highly debatable.

Those of you who felt Superman was treated poorly in the first two Dark Knight stories – and rightfully so – will find him to be redeemed here. Seriously, it was freaking awesome to see him unleashed – even the Caped Crusader was impressed. And, if you’re like me and prefer to see DC’s two biggest icons being buddies as opposed to bitter rivals, then you’ll really dig the conclusion. Actually, it’s starting to make this feel more like DC continuity proper, a creative decision that some fans of this universe will undoubtedly contend.

Also of note is Carrie Kelley getting a new superhero identity, but it’s not a drastic change. In fact, it’s a smoother transition from being Batgirl than it was coming from her previous alter egos of Robin and Catgirl. Still, it’s kind of weird for her to burn through several fashion choices in a limited run.

The minicomic included – Dark Knight Universe Presents: Action Comics #1 – serves as a tremendous epilogue, briefly spotlighting each hero to cameo in the main story, and is narrated by Superman himself. It’s executed in a such a way that I could hear Hans Zimmer’s closing piece from The Dark Knight Rises playing in my mind, as a real sense of hope was conveyed.

Barring some panels that appeared to be rushed from an otherwise rock solid artist in Andy Kubert, Dark Knight III: The Master Race #9 is nothing short of a terrific ending in my view. If you’ve been onboard for the journey to this point, you’ll be rewarded and then some. Truth be told, there’s no doubt in my mind about being willing to double dip when the collected edition arrives.

Dark Knight III: The Master Race #9 Review

Without a doubt, Dark Knight III: The Master Race has proven itself worthy of adorning the shelves of Batfans everywhere.

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