Writers: Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello / Artist: Andy Kubert / DC Comics
I know we’ve said it multiple times before, but it bears repeating: Dark Knight III, the sequel to the sequel that none of us particularly asked for, is a lot better than I thought it would be. I’ve enjoyed the story progression and the incorporating of different mythologies and hallmarks, not only for the DC Universe proper, but the this specific trilogy as well. With last issue’s cliff hanger of Batman catching that heater to the chest, the battle is thrown into a sort of disarray. Batman and Superman, who were once feeling triumphant, are not out of the action as Superman races Batman… somewhere, to try and save him. The cities are still chaotic and the battle is far from over, even if the initial push of the Kryptonians has stalled. All of this sets up what will probably be the most lit battle in this book, by far, as the Kryptonians might be writing a check their attuned biology can’t cash.
What works in this issue is the inner monologue of Clark as he races to save Bruce. We see him weighing his impact and greatness against if he can save Bruce or not. Will all his gifts result in failure if he can’t even save his long time friend and comrade? It’s not a brand new concept, but it works well in this book, when everyone (except Batman and the other civilians) are powered up to the max.
I know it’s a staple of the Dark Knight series, but the overt political commentary and inclusion just never feels like it is part of the story as compared to sticking out sorely. Maybe it grounds the story like Regan in the first one, but I see Trump everywhere, I could’ve done without him in my pull list, brief as it was. But that is a minor nitpick. The art is consistent and effective. The pacing works remarkably well, even though not a ton happens as much as the pieces are moved around the board. Still, it pushed us forward in narrative enough to set up what could be a damn good finale.
Issue #7 asks a lot of questions and answers a big one, but leaves the real solution for the last issue, setting up a pretty big and anticipated battle. The book has been pretty good with only a few dips so far. If you’re reading this, you’ll probably agree it’s worth seeing out to the end.
Reading Dark Knight III: The Master Race? You can find other reviews of the series here.