Frank Miller’s third Dark Knight story is now in full swing with its second issue. The stakes have raised dramatically, and there’s been more information given about the world, as well as a few new intriguing surprises. There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s not waste anymore time with the introduction and dive right into issue 2 of The Dark Knight III The Master Race.
Issue 2 starts off just where the last issue ends. Carrie Kelly has been revealed as the new Batman, and incarcerated by the police. Ellen Yindel is pressing her about the fate of Bruce Wayne, who Kelly says is dead. She manages to escape custody through an intense chase with the famous Batmobile tank from The Dark Knight Returns that’s mysteriously being controlled by someone who won’t be revealed here.
Meanwhile, Ray Palmer is working with a scientist of Kandor, and Supergirl to regrow the city, and allow a new race of Kryptonians to live on Earth due to the fact that Kandor is running out of resources. Their work goes according to plan, but Dr. Palmer’s preconceived notions that the Kryptonian’s are compassionate, and benevolent was misguided due to their excessive manipulation. A religious sect led by a Kryptonian extremist named Quar, emerges from Kandor life-sized with a pile of dead Kryptonians on the ground. Quar destroys Kandor, and Ray Palmer is crushed by another Kryptonian. Their plan is to take over Earth and make it a new paradise for Kryptonians, humans be damned.
A complaint that some readers had of the first issue was that the plot didn’t seem to be going anywhere. The first issue seemed to be more about establishing the world rather than moving the plot. This issue makes up for that by moving the story forward with the rise of the Kryptonians, and Carrie Kelly’s escape. There’s also a lot more background information that starts filling in the gaps of the story. We as an audience start to learn more about what’s happening in the world, and what happened to Bruce Wayne.
There are still media outlets, but they’re even more underplayed in this issue. The action is contained to the car chase scene with the Batmobile, which as stated before, is a lot of fun and exciting to look at. We also start to see the internal monologues of some of the other main characters like Carrie Kelly, Ray Palmer, and Ellen Yindel again. There’s more dialogue, and slower scenes in this book; each one not only pushes the plot forward, but gives us great character moments too. One in particular is a conversation between Ray Palmer and a Kryptonian scientist that illustrates the Kryptonian manipulation, and the naivete of The Atom. It’s very well written and proves that Miller and Azzarrello are a great writing team.
Andy Kubert’s art is still phenomenal, and some of the best on the market now. He manages to give a lot of movement to the characters in the panels, and he still evokes Miller’s style as well. Brad Anderson’s colors are bright, and pop out, it’s an interesting choice, as most would assume that the colors should be dark and gritty. But, no, the colors make the art come alive.
The second issue is definitely a strong step forward. The plot moves more, the stakes have been raised, and there’s a great sense of tension throughout the book. There are some nitpicks worth mentioning, like Carrie Kelly’s inner monologue is written like the slang from The Dark Knight Returns, and it is distracting. Ellen Yindel is underused in this issue. And Wonder Woman is absent despite having a larger part in the first issue. However none of these distract from the positives of the book. It’s definitely worth continuing.
Give it a read and let us know what you think in the comics.
Bonus Review: Dark Knight Universe Presents Wonder Woman
While Wonder Woman doesn’t play as strong a role in the second issue as she does the first, she gets her own tie in book that again is given free with the actual issue. Told from the points of view of Superman’s (and Wonder Woman’s) daughter Lara, and Wonder Woman herself, the two spar each other while also analyzing how they have treated each other. There’s not much in way of plot or back story, but the artwork from Eduardo Risso shines through. The characters Wonder Woman and Lara have great dynamic poses, and a fascinating fight scene that mirrors the mental sparring and ideology each one has. It’s not as good as the Atom story, since that one gave us more backstory, but it is an interesting character study, and definitely a welcome addition to the main book.