Batman: Dark Knight 3: The Master Race Review Part 3 by Deffinition
We join Lara, the daughter of Superman and Wonder Woman, as she sides with the Kandorians in an affront to her father. Refusing to fight back, Superman takes a beating. Finding Superman guilty of lying to the people of Earth due to the fact that he presented himself as the last Kryptonian when Kandor exists, they cover him in dark matter and burn him in a collective laser eye blast.
After this the Kandorians deliver Earth with an Ultimatum. ‘Give us Batman or we will destroy the Planet.’ The people of Earth, afraid of the alternative outcome, demand The Caped Crusader’s surrender. Like an animal caught in a trap, they self-mutilate. Riots envelope Gotham, fear driving them to destroy everything in sight to draw The Dark Knight out. They are truly lost.
Throughout the narrative it is highlighted that Superman is one of the people. The Kandorians despise this fact and view it as a weakness. Perhaps it is. Superman was always more Clark than the Man of Steel and for better or worse he was one of us.
Weak and pacifist he is a shell of the man he used to be.
He symbolises the apathy of the people. Batman demonstrates that they need powerful symbols to shake them out of it and I believe that Superman’s return to the Battle upon the re-emergence of the Caped Crusader, signifies the shift in the people’s attitude to taking things lying down.
The Dark Knight Rises
Riding back into town The Dark Knight Returns. Playing heavily upon nostalgia he is equipped with the Batmobile and Armour suit from the prior entries. Ready to tackle the problem head on he rides for war. It’s brilliant to see Bruce back in the saddle in what is arguably one of the most iconic suits that he has ever worn.
It’s a truly triumphant moment that elevates the book and definitely stands strong as one of its high points.
Lacing the clouds with Kryptonite rain, Batman cunningly disarms the Kandorians Of their powers and with help from Clark wails on them.
Unfortunately it’s during this period in the book that the mini-comics fall to their lowest point. We get an absolutely dismal Carrie Kelley story and a Lara one that has a worse love scene than The Dark Knight Strikes Again. We see Baal and Lara romantically flying through the sky whilst lovemaking and the flashes of the Wonder Woman/Superman scene are enough to induce nausea.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s the worst part of the entire book.
Poor in art and pacing they really feel like phone-ins. At this point, the gimmick had to be sustained, no matter what and due to this, the inclusions feel forced.
I would have much rather focused on the main battle instead of having to divert from it with these side stories and the book becomes a better read if these are skipped.
Clashing between a stellar main plot and far inferior sub one, the Middle section of the book seems to really struggle with delivering on its potential. There’s a lot of great work here but it’s juxtaposed completely by the substandard side stories that feel like pointless diversions.