DARK KNIGHT III: the MASTER RACE #2 (of 8)
“Book Two” (28 pages)
Story by: Frank Miller & Brian Azzarello
Pencils by: Adam Kubert
Inks by: Klaus Janson
Colors by: Brad Anderson
Letters by: Clem Robins Covers by: Andy Kubert & Brad Anderson; Jim Lee, Scott Williams & Alex Sinclair; Frank Miller & Alex Sinclair; Dave Gibbons, Klaus Janson & Brad Anderson; Cliff Chiang; Eduardo Risso & Trish Mulvhill
[Retail incentive covers by: Sean Gordon Murphy & Matt Hollingsworth; Greg Capullo & FCO PLascencia]
[Convention variant cover by: Jill Thompson]
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $5.99
A battle of the minds leads to an impasse. Temporarily. Twenty-seven days in custody has led to a major brick wall. Carrie Kelley has clammed up more than any clam. Commissioner Ellen Yindel has made the intense interrogation part of her routine three times a day. All she’s received in return is stone-cold silence. She finally makes a breakthrough when she flatly admits she could care less about Bruce Wayne’s story and that she is able to literally face herself in the mirror day in day out on her own terms.
Carrie explains that Bruce was beaten so badly by some muscle-bound moron that a stay in the hospital led to his eventual demise. Bruce was fortunate to have Carrie by his side so that he did not die in vain nor alone. Carrie assures him that his life’s work was impactful. Flatline. BBBEEEPPP. NNNOO!! Bruce died 🙁
[Disclaimer: I accidentally skipped the first page when I flipped through the book. I actually thought the first sequence was Yindel questioning Kelley. Luckily, when I re-opened it to see the credits, the intro was Carrie hauled by the sneering GCPD. She was avering that Bruce Wayne and the Batman were one and the same and that he has left this earthly existence. End of my error.]
Kelley is snippy when the Commish inquires about Bruce’s remains. Let’s just say that she suggests cannibalism. Carrie clinches it when she mentions that Yindel’s own beliefs are irrelevant. Facts, not fiction.
Channel GX chimes in about the so-called ‘Bat Terrorist’. One panel to opine. Carrie engineers an ingenious escape. She signals the Batmobile (Bat-Tank) by whistling thrice. The vehicle blasts open the paddy wagon. She is as adept as her master in terms of vanishing. As expected, there is a high-speed chase. The monster truck makes it across the drawbridge and crashes on to the other side, idle. When the po-po peek within, she is nowhere to be found. The battle mobile charges forward. Carrie is underneath it. It ascends the one side of the bridge, drops forcefully, and speeds away.
Ray Palmer is hailed as a hero by the Kandorians. He will come up with a solution to their dilemma. Lara is not as convinced as her compatriot Baal. Lara is taken aback by Baal’s humility. She barely has time to continue criticizing when she flies in haste due to her mother’s beckoning.
The Atom brings the bottled city to the desert. With the press of a button, one thousand cooped-up Kandorians are finally free. Success!! Actually, there is carnage. Ray was duped. Baal’s ‘father’ Quar addresses the scientist. He smears Ray’s face with his bloodied hands. Quar attaches the device to Ray’s chest having reversed its tech. The Atom will continue to shrink into oblivion. Baal steps on his supposed saviour. NNNOOO. That’s two deaths!! *sniff* *sniff*
Fake-out!!! Carrie makes her way back to the Batcave. Lo and behold, Bruce Wayne is among the living with nary a bruise.
The female-centric focus is here to stay. I winced at Carrie’s battered face. I’m a feminist at heart. The sight made my blood boil. However, her perseverance granted her a major victory. She held out for almost an entire month without saying boo. That in itself is steely discipline!! Even with the exposure of the Dark Knight’s identity, she never shed light on his demise. It wasn’t until it suited her purposes that the details came out. Ellen Yindel is no slouch. She has rightfully risen through the ranks. Her staunch views of law and justice compliment her cop mentality and position. She sympathizes Carrie’s plight. She easily realizes that the Batman is a psychopath and in essence, a child abuser. Super-harsh!! Her humanness also makes her aware of the absurdity and that she herself may cave in to the stoic sidekick. Carrie has mastered her mentor’s techniques. No bars can hold a vigilante, especially not one that is doing actual good for the gored and gouged Gotham.
Ray’s empathy proves to be his downfall. He is not a hardcore scientist since he accesses his emotions. The best liars are the ones that tell the truth. Baal was sincere, up to a certain point. My beef here is that he didn’t put up any fight. Research be damned! Survival instincts should kick in. He should have closed his gaping mouth and put up his dukes!! Or at the very least shrink to safety. It’s obvious that conflict is the spice of any story. The Kandorians are now on Earth. The Master Race is indeed among us.
The most expressive stories are told through faces. Mr. Kubert gleefully zooms in on the two ladies’ standoff in the interrogation room. However, what the heck happened to Batman’s face?? The depiction of the beating is beyond grotesque. Bruce looks more like a grown-up Bat-Mite.
Any car buff is definitely appreciative of the full-page spread spotlighting the Batmobile. I like calling it Bat-Tank ^_^
Mr. Janson restores the title character’s glory with a silhouette in a single panel. Shadows are more significant than the light. What isn’t seen or stated is where the revelations lie. Ray’s non-consensual diminishing evokes pathos.
The bloodletting falls methodically while the panels shift wildly. The setting sun is super symbolic. The Atom has sealed his fate. Aside from that, it’s an omen for the citizens of Earth. Brad Anderson beautifully paints a somber sunset. The vaporization of Kandor heightens the danger ahead. The genocide is akin to the smashing of a giant toy by a spoiled brat boo-hooing his misunderstood nature.
Whistle while you work!! That’s exactly what Clem Robins was doing! Plus, the various narration boxes are a great guide to who’s who for the speaking parts.
I realize this is but the second installment of an eight-part epic. Some things have to simmer whereas others have to boil. There are a few highlights, specifically Carrie Kelley’s clout. Bruce’s predictable last-page appearance didn’t grab me. All in all, I give this story 7 out of 10.
DARK KNIGHT UNIVERSE PRESENTS: WONDER WOMAN #1
Story by: Frank Miller & Brian Azzarello
Art by: Eduardo Risso
Colors by: Trish Mulvhill
Letters by: Clem Robins
Cover by: Eduardo Risso & Trish Mulvhill
Family bounding fails miserably. Diana has summoned her daughter to talk some sense into her. Lara is at a rebellious stage. This is more than teenage tantrums. Given her double-powered DNA, she’s an omega-level powderkeg.
The training is supposed to ease the tension and have them talk out their issues. Lara finds the entire process pointless and monotonous. The two women have divergent thoughts. Wonder Woman, for all her might, cannot turn around Supergirl. There will be escalation when Lara openly declares her Kyrptonian heritage. She storms off. Oh, boy!
What is it about super-heroes being super-dysfunctional as they age??? I get that this is a bleak reality, deliberately disturbing but still…How irresponsible is WW for hauling her son everywhere she goes?? It was a bit of a scare when she slew the hybrid beast last issue but to have the boy bound at her back while sparring with his big sister? For shame!! I’m the biggest Wonder Woman fan I know but even this seems whack to me.
Mssrs. Azzarello & Risso collaborate once again!! Their stellar stint on 100 BULLETS ended not long ago with a follow-up mini-series. Eduardo emulates Frank Miller’s style. Diana the Amazon Princess looks like she crossed over from 300 into the DKU.
Lara’s piercing blue eyes are definitely her mother’s. The iciness within is indicative of her true heritage. The question is this: is she more unfeeling because of her Amazonian half or the Kryptonian one?
I’ve always liked Diana’s star-spangled blue shorts. I’m thrilled that they are not actually black. Trish Mulvhill brings out the primary colours of her costume as it appeared in the Golden Age. This is contrasted when Diana is covered in shadow to emphasize her battle-honed skills and prowess.
In one panel, she appears to be an ominous wraith; in the other she is poised to kill. I must compare this again to 300.
Clem Robins gets to have two times the fun. That KRAKK was heard all around the island! Once again, the captions are speaker specific.
Yet again, I prefer the mini-book to the main one. As unbiased as I can be, I give this chapter 8.5 out of 10.
This review is brought to you by my abso fave comic book store who shares its name with the home of a Cowled Crusader:
Tags: adam kubert, Brad Anderson, Brian Azzarello, Dark Knight III: The Master Race, DC Comics, eduardo risso, Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, Trish Mulvhill