Dark Knight III The Master Race #1 Review

The sequel to the sequel of one of the most lauded mini-series of all timeis out, Dark Knight III The Master Race. Is it worth the six dollar cover price? Is it worthy of the hype that DC has given this comic? Will it make fans forgive Dark Knight 2, which has a legacy as one of the most disappointing sequels in comic book history? We can only answer the first two questions, and with only the first issue out, the third question is up to you guys.


Mini comic art by TBA
1:10 variant cover by KLAUS JANSON
1:25 variant cover by ANDY KUBERT and KLAUS JANSON
1:50 variant cover by TBA
1:100 variant cover by FRANK MILLER
1:500 variant cover by JIM LEE
1:5000 original sketch variant by JIM LEE
Blank variant cover
On sale NOVEMBER 25
32 pg comic: 6.375” x 10.1875”
16 page minicomic: 5.5” x 8.5”
FC, 1 of 8, $5.99 US • RATED T+


The epic ending you never saw coming is here because you demanded it! The Dark Knight rises again to face the dawn of the master race!


I don’t know if I wanted this to be really good or really bad. I go back and read the early Sin City stories and Dark Knight Returns and forget for a little bit the diatribe that was Holy Terror and the mess of an effort that was DK2. Frank Miller used to knock it out of the park and after DK2, started a slide that seemed to gel around a rant about Occupy Wall Street protesters that radically generalized a large group of people. However, I went into this with a clear head and took it for what it was.

For the record, I am lumping in the mini-comic “Dark Knight Presents The Atom” because it is part of the same story.


Frank Miller’s story aims to be something legendary. It tries to tell the same kind of story that was told in Kingdom Come, but reduces the scope of the story, at least at the beginning. It doesn’t focus entirely on Batman, giving equal time to Wonder Woman, her daughter with Superman, and the Atom. From first glance, this isn’t a Batman story it’s a Justice League story. By the end it looks almost as if this is a Superman story.

Without spoiling it, it’s obvious who the “Master Race” will be in this tale, recasting a legendary society. Like many fans that have taken to the Internet, I am worried that this will be another story to justify extreme action against an extremely dangerous foe out to eliminate us. This has all the signs of being one of those stories. The largest disservice comes from everyone handling events as if they are describing something legendary happening, even when there are no signs of it yet.

Andy Kubert’s art tries to reconnect us with the original Dark Knight Returns, but the Atom story reminds us that this isn’t a sequel to that legendary story that redefined the super-hero genre. This is a sequel to the disappointing, messy sequel to that story. In emulating that style, Andy Kubert loses a lot of himself, which does a disservice to his talent. Frank Miller’s art in the Atom story is better than the effort in DK2 or Holy Terror, but lacks something to make it special. This is a book trying to be legendary, when the most legendary books just started off as someone trying to create a good comic. Focus on making a good comic first and let the readers decide if it’s worth a legend. That’s what made Dark Knight Returns great.