Writer: Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello / Artist: Andy Kubert / DC Comics
Oh… so that’s what Master Race means. Fair. Issue #3 kicks off with the real threat in this book thanks to Atom’s “good deed” of trying to restore some diminished Kryptonians. Well, doesn’t it always end well when some Kryptonians not named Kal-El or Kara start ghost riding Earth’s atmosphere? They possess a big enough threat that Bruce Da Gawd is compelled to come out of
retirement death to see what can be done. Much of the book from the Dark Knight’s perspective is spent waxing on about his contrast between himself and his young apprentice Robin and what her ascending to his cowl could mean.
Unlike the first two installments of this book, the story is much more streamlined and doesn’t go off the main course much at all. The stage has been set, the players (thus far) have been introduced and now that the threat has shown itself. And they are quite the threat. Azzarello gives us a slightly different approach to the “Kryptonians want to rule the world as gods” angle with their methods and sacrifice. It shows that appealing to their ego or talking them out of their goals has less wiggle room considering the lengths they are willing to “cleanse the Earth.”
While nostalgic, what doesn’t always work is the very cynical tone of people, especially the talking heads and faux news transcripts. What may have surprising and edgy when Miller was showing his disdain of Reagan years ago, falls a bit flatter now that it’s such common practice to have such a cynical mirror held up to society. Still, the book works well to set the showdown between the Kyrptonians and Earth’s heroes.
The art is pretty consistent to what you’ve been accustomed to with Kubert. Though not the emotional imprint that issue #2 held, Kubert does well with the grandiose moments this time around, showing the power and the terror that is the new threat, in addition to the struggle of bring the heroes into the fold to stand against them. There is tenderness in this issue and ultimate destruction; Kubert does well showing them both.
Okay, fine, it isn’t wholly spectacular but I am enjoying Master Race more than I thought I would. The next issue, provided it doesn’t give us some sideways plot movement, should have some big developments in it that genuinely make me excited to see what happens next.