Knight For Action?
DKIII: The Master Race Book One
Writers: Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello
Artists: Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson; Frank Miller & Klaus Janson
Nearly thirty years after The Dark Knight Returns and fourteen years after its sequel Dark Knight Strikes Again, DKIII: The Master Race begins. There’s probably not been a comic as hyped or as pushed as DKIII this year or any year in recent memory. So now we have the first issue in our mitts, what is it like? The first issue is a meal in two parts: the first part is a 28 page story plotted by Miller and Azzarello and written by Azzarello and drawn by Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson while the second part is the Dark Knight Presents: The Atom#1, a mini comic bound into the main comic with a 12 page tale, written by Miller and Azzarello and drawn by Miller and Janson. Let’s start with the main comic. The good news is that Azzarello can be a very good writer and, while not a great deal happens in the 28 pages, Azzarello with Kubert and Janson, turns in a slightly lightweight but likeable entry point to the series. Kubert and Janson are a good match artistically and we get to see what Wonder Woman and Batman (not Bruce Wayne) have been up to since the last Dark Knight story. So there’s not much to it but it is pleasant enough. The real problem is the mini-comic. The writing here is serviceable enough but the art is pretty awful. There is the odd flourish that reminds us of Miller’s old spark of genius. But mostly it is ugly and cumbersome and even Janson’s inks can’t help to save it. So the second sequel to the seminal Dark Knight Returns is better so far than its immediate predecessor but we shall see if there is enough meat on the bones to keep things interesting. It would have been a better book if the minicomic was absent but hopefully his art may improve as the series progresses.