Frank Miller’s third installment in his seminal work, The Dark Knight Returns, released last week to… kind of a meh. Dark Knight III: The Master Race begins with Bruce Wayne allegedly dead and Carrie Kelly filling in as the Caped Crusader.
The story in this first (of 8) issue is pretty easy to follow and keep up with. Unlike the first Dark Knight Returns, it doesn’t feel too heavy handed, yet. You can feel something different here. It’s Frank Miller, but watered down. Brian Azzarello’s writing influence is felt here and actually helps make this story more accessible and less dense than earlier works.
Andy Kubert’s art is equally impressive. The visuals are great and show off some rather impressive set pieces. The sight of Superman on ice is particularly impressive. If you’re a fan of the first DKR, but not so much the second one, give DK3 a try. The biggest complaint that I can say thus far, is that this new limited series from master Frank Miller feels more like… any other special event. It’s good, and I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t Earth-shattering like the original was.
But beyond the standard fare, there were a few things in this first issue that were either pretty damn cool, or totally unexpected. These rated a call out of their own, because they alone may be worth the price of admission.
1. Wonder Woman’s boob
Yes, Wonder Woman plays a big part and her boob makes a one panel appearance. After taking down a nasty looking minotaur, Wonder Woman uncovers her right breast so that the baby boy on her back can breastfeed. The real story here is who the baby’s daddy is, but even in silhouette her breast and nipple are unmistakeable. I know it’s petty and childish, but it was also unexpected. Which leads us to…
2. Wonder Woman has a baby son
Strapped to her back during the entire minotaur fight, Wonder Woman’s baby doesn’t seem to be phased by what’s going on around him. After feeding her baby in front of the downed minotaur, she takes it back to her Amazonian sisters to take care of him. His name is Jonathan, like Clark’s adoptive father. But is it Superman’s baby? Could it be Bruce Wayne’s? We don’t know yet, but the kid is dark haired and only a few months old.
3. The Atom gets his own mini-comic
In the middle of the first issue of DK3, is a mini-comic starring The Atom. Not much happens here, but Palmer does lament about life and choices, before finding a small person in his lab. Turns out that the small person is from the bottle city of Kandor and the city’s inhabitants are tired of being small. This universe’s version of Supergirl (daughter of Supes and Wonder Woman) brings Kandor to The Atom to get his help in making the city’s inhabitants normal size again. Later in the main comic, we see Supergirl finding the city asking for help, so we see how the two tie together and will cross0ver at some point.
4. Superman on ice
Supergirl finds her dear old dad atop a chair in the Fortress of Solitude, covered in ice. He seems to be in some sort of hibernation but we do not yet know why. She comes to him for answers, but what makes this scene so great is the visual. Kubert’s art here is awesome and shows off the size and heavy nature of what we are seeing. We don’t know why Superman is frozen in hibernation, but I suspect it is for a very important reason.
5. Wonder Woman fights a Minotaur
While I kind of went over this up above, it can’t be undersold. Not only does Wonder Woman have a significant chunk of the issue, she fights an enormous minotaur that is attacking people. The fight between WW and the minotaur is pretty great and Kubert’s visuals bring it to life and turn it into something to be seen. From the entrance of the minotaur to Wonder Woman’s intro to Wonder Woman breastfeeding, it’s all told beautifully. Even the final shot of Wonder Woman arriving home is a beautiful panel. More of this kind of thing, please.
What do you think of Dark Knight III: The Master Race? Love it or hate it? Let us know in the comments below.
All opinions are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Deck Ape...or anyone else. Arrr!