Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Dark Knight III: The Master Race #5 Review (Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello)


Following Quar’s ultimatum to bring him the Batman, Gotham’s tearing itself apart to find him or else the Kandorians kill them all. But the heroes are rallying as Carrie, aided by Aquaman, sets out to free Superman from his black matter prison, Wonder Woman is having second thoughts about isolationism, and the Dark Knight’s plan begins to unfold… 

There’s a LOT of silly contrivances from Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello that you just have to swallow to enjoy this ish. Carrie has a magic tuning fork (where did Bruce get it again??) that saves Superman, the Flash is laid up with broken legs but is using an ultra-high-speed computer to co-ordinate weather drones (that was handy - I guess Bruce built one for just such an occasion?), and Batman has synthesised kryptonite and can suddenly control the weather. O...k! 

It’s fun though and that makes it alright. We finally see what Batman had in store for the legions of flying Kandorians and it’s pretty cool, levelling the playing field for the heroes. The Bat-Tank rolls out once more demolishing shit in its wake, the prospect of Wonder Woman joining the fray is tantalising, and that final page is awesome. Add Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson’s fine art and the series looks to have found its legs at last with this issue! 

The backup is as disappointing as the majority have been. This one follows Lara and her romance with Kandorian Baal as they fly about flirting - what a pointless story. It’s drawn in Frank Miller’s horrid modern-day scratchy style too that not even Alex Sinclair’s brilliant colours can save it. I’d much rather jettison these backups and the extras for longer issues of the main story but I guess DC’s gotta make its money teasing this out as much as possible. 

Besides the crummy backup, Master Race #5 sees Miller/Azzarello prepare the stage for the final battle between the soon-to-be-reformed Justice League and the Kandorians, and it’s entertaining stuff. It’s basically table-setting but seeing the buildup is exciting. Looking forward to the next issue!

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