Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1
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Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1

Writer: Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello Artist: Andy Kubert, Klaus Janson Publisher: DC Comics Release Date: November 25, 2015 Cover Price: $5.99 Critic Reviews: 46 User Reviews: 41
7.6Critic Rating
7.9User Rating

The epic ending you never saw coming is here because you demanded it! The Dark Knight rises again to face the dawn of the master race!

  • 10
    Following The Nerd - Phil Robinson Dec 2, 2015

    Finishing up, of course in Gotham, when Yindel has the Bat held at gunpoint all by herself, the shocking revelation that follows is proper edge-of-your-seat reading, leaving you frantically Googling when issue two hits the shelves. But for Bat-fans and Miller-maniacs alike, this is proper, weapon's-grade storytelling. Never a fool to rush in, this part-history lesson, part-homage to tales gone by is the perfect re-introduction to the world and to the characters, all the while being expectedly unexpected. Read Full Review

  • 9.6
    Comicsverse - Matthew Murphy Nov 26, 2015

    Again, that's not to say I didn't enjoy this issue. I spent six dollars on this book and it was worth every damn penny. The use of texting as a narrative device to bring the DK universe into modern times is sheer brilliance, the police brutality scenes hit home, and the panels where Batman is on the ground being beaten are hard to swallow. The reveal that Carrie Kelly is under the mask and that they are brutally beating a woman also made it all the more disturbing to me. That's what I like from Azzarello though, he tests his readers with topics that are hard to chew and it fits perfectly into the world. This is not the story that DC Comics was promising, but I have to say it did exceed my expectations. The team of Azzarello and Kubert is one to watch, and I can't wait to see what is coming next in this series. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    IGN - Joshua Yehl Nov 23, 2015

    The Dark Knight III: The Master Race delivers a pitch-perfect first issue, channeling the vibe of The Dark Knight Returns by telling a slow-burn story with mythic characters set against a modern day backdrop. The art pays homage to Miller's iconic world while improving and inventing where needed -- an impressive show of artistry on all fronts. While Miller is co-writing with Azzarello, it's Azzarello's voice that shines through, lending the book the crime smarts of 100 Bullets, the reverence for Batman's legend in Joker, and the epic quality of his Wonder Woman run. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    Doom Rocket - Jarrod Jones Nov 25, 2015

    There's no question that Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello work beautifully together. You can almost blame destiny that these men have been joined together to tell such atale, considering their mutual strengths.(It's only fitting that Mr. Azzarello refers to Mr. Miller as "sensei".) If you're looking for any weakness in this collaboration, you're just not going to find it in the first chapter toThe Master Race.Miller's political pyrotechnics are tempered by Azzarello's notoriously sharp-edgedwit, Azzarello's noirish sensibilities emulsify within Miller's thundering doom, and through the whirlwind brought forth bytheirmight,Dark Knight IIIfinds a voice of its own.Both men have already secured their place within the legend of the Batman. But ifwe're going to walk through Miller's world once more with Azzarello's unforgiving gaze upon us, it's only right that we prepare ourselves for a staggeringmajesty. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    Comicosity - Matt Santori Nov 23, 2015

    In a comic market that is currently at a crossroads " between material aimed at a long-time audience of mostly white men and that which appeals to the ENORMOUS number of women and persons of color that make up the comic-buying public today " Dark Knight III may prove to be a hybrid book that unites both. Or it may be the thing that elicits the fiercest divisiveness yet. I can't tell. Read Full Review

  • 9.4
    Major Spoilers - Stephen Schleicher Nov 25, 2015

    A magnificent opening chapter, The Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1 is a book that even the most closed minded and cold of heart should check out. I'm in for the full ride, and can't wait to see what happens next. Read Full Review

  • 9.4
    Monkeys Fighting Robots - Nick Enquist Nov 28, 2015

    A great chapter in this new story. Definitely worth reading, and one of the few books I will be picking up issue to issue. Can't wait for the next one. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    PopOptiq - Logan Dalton Nov 26, 2015

    The Dark Knight III #1 is the best comic with Frank Miller's name on it since 2000, a showcase for Andy Kubert's growth as a sequential storyteller , and also a bloody playground to explore both social issues and burning questions about the nature of heroism. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Fox Force Five News - Keven Skinner Nov 26, 2015

    What comes next however " is truly shocking, confusing and absolutely unexpected. I'm not sure what the hell is going to come in future issues in light of what happened here but I have absolute faith in Miller and Azzarello. They've done a helluva job with the beginning of the end. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Chuck's Comic Of The Day - Chuck Nov 26, 2015

    The package is a bit pricey, and you'd have to be a mighty serious collector to try to gather up all those alternate covers - but what's inside is mighty promising so far. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Pastrami Nation - Nolan Smith Nov 26, 2015

    Azzarello takes the reigns here and crafts a tale that re-introduces us to this twisted world. I won't go in to details on the story, but this issue shows off the knuckle brawling action Miller brought to us. We see where the "trinity" of the DC Universe are now, and we even get a mini comic that shows where everyone's favorite pint sized hero, the Atom, is at now, and how it connects to the main story. The Dark Knight III feels like a natural successor to Miller's seminal work. This is an outstanding first issue, and leaves fans in shock with the last page's cliffhanger. The Dark Knight has returned, and this time I hope he never leaves. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Big Comic Page - Craig Neilson-Adams Nov 25, 2015

    Overall then, for a book that managed to have both dizzyingly high and worryingly low expectations, DKIII: The Master Race explodes out of the gate with a barnstorming first issue that manages to capture the edge and intriguing of the original while avoiding the heavy-handed political agenda of its sequel. Pats on the back for all involved then, and consider me firmly on board for the rest of this series. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    AiPT! - David Brooke Nov 25, 2015

    Much like the five minute teaser opening to X-Files, Dark Knight III will excite you, make your jaw drop at least once and get you geared up for more. You certainly might be frustrated with the lack of answers, but chaos and confusion are a big part of this series. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Flip Geeks - Paul Ramos Nov 28, 2015

    Perhaps, the critical points are the purists' perspectives. This new Dark Knight series possesses neither Frank Miller's nor Klaus Janson's art at all (plus, Miller's former wife-original colorist, Lynn Varley). However, that is too much unrealistic given with Miller's current physiological state right now. This Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1 is actually a great chapter to the ever expanding Frank Miller-Dark Knight universe! Can't wait for Carrie's fate! Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Nerds Unchained - Jeremy Radick Nov 25, 2015

    I can't say it's sea-change kind of story the original Dark Knight was, but frankly that's an unfair and impossible challenge for this book to meet. What I can say is that the issue showcases all of the strengths of the creators, and none of the weaknesses, and the result is an issue that leaves the reader eager to dive back into the universe Frank Miller created all those years ago. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Outright Geekery - Joshua Rathbun Nov 29, 2015

    A while back, I would have skipped this because of the last story, but DK III, so far, is great. DC, tone down the variants and just get this book out. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Dark Knight News - Eric Joseph Nov 26, 2015

    While this eight issue mini-series doesn't kick off with an issue as thick as its predecessors, the overall work will likely feel just as thick as previous volumes in the end, so don't feel that you're short-changed by this. It sets up what will no doubt be an epic story extremely well. Issue #2 will be here before you know it and that's where it will probably hit the fan with a vengeance. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Fanboys Inc - Buddy Beaudoin Nov 27, 2015

    With all the slow pacing of the story elements and difficulty in forecasting aside, DKIII The Master Race feels like a return to the acclaimed The Dark Knight Returns in art direction, character development, and overall vision. While not the quickest read, its exciting as hell as theres a very comforting feel to this book and youre left with a whole lot to look forward to from the remaining seven installments of the series. Book one gets it right. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Graphic Policy - Brett Nov 25, 2015

    I'll straight up say, I was floored by this first issue which completely surpassed my expectations and reminded me much more of the classic Miller comics I grew up reading. There's been lots of hype building to this, and when I got through it all and to that last page, that hype felt warranted. Read Full Review

  • 8.4
    The Fandom Post - Chris Beveridge Nov 30, 2015

    The combination of Miller and Azzarello is spot on here, but the real beauty for me is seeing Kubert in this framework doing some of his best and most dynamic work that I think I've seen. It's a fantastic looking book that plays to his strengths as opposed to him trying to be Miller. And the end result of this fusion of creators looks like it's on the path to something special. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    The Rainbow Hub - Emma Houxbois Nov 26, 2015

    This is a solid opening to be sure, but none of the major questions around the series are answered here. I'm not going to make any sweeping statements yet, and don't anticipate even trying for any until at least the third issue, but I'm intrigued and heartened by the fact that for the time being, it appears to be completely focused on the female cast of the previous entries. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Black Nerd Problems - William Evans Nov 27, 2015

    It's hard to tell what the public anticipation was for the book and what exactly were the expectations upon launch. Speaking for myself, they were fairly low and they surpassed that, even if they didn't blow me away. A solid start to the new series, but it may need to tie somethings together quick to keep that potential. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Weird Science - Jody Cardona Nov 27, 2015

    This book took the step in the right direction to having a proper Dark Knight Returns sequel. The art for the the most part was good, the satire is kept to a minimum, the story is actually intriguing. The downside of this book are things that came from the Dark Knight Strikes Again; The art of Wonder Woman and Lara, the Atom comic, and a few annoying continuity issues, but it doesn't subtract from my enjoyment of this issue. I hope this keeps going up as time goes on...and hopefully we fix what Strikes again broke. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    All-Comic - Dan Leicht Nov 27, 2015

    Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1 gives the same type of gritty story you've seen previously in DKR and Strikes Again. This is a Gotham in total despair, a Gotham where the cops and villains are hard to tell apart. This is the type of Gotham that truly needs a Batman. Miller and Azzarello are able to once again create a world in despair for the Dark Knight to conquer, all while adding a modern spin on the tale. The artwork by Kubert, Janson, and Anderson is reminiscent of what we've seen before in the series, but definitely splashes in the colors when needed (a chase scene involving cops from the beginning of the issue shows the panels soaked in bright read and blue). Overall, you're going to want to get yourself a copy of this story. Looks like it's going to be a fun ride (in the Batmobile?!) Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    PopMatters - Matthew Fay Dec 14, 2015

    The inclusion of these new themes and plotlines, as well as the familiar elements of the past series, that make this first issue of Dark Knight III an engaging introduction. The comic reflects the better (instead of the worse) aspects of Miller's imagination, and permits a steady return to the Dark Knight world. While not revolutionary or groundbreaking, it's still a smart, gripping read, and the worthy, if lesser, successor to The Dark Knight Returns that The Dark Knight Strikes Again should have been. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    DC Comics News - Joey Garces Nov 26, 2015

    Dark Knight 3: The Master Race #1 is a solid return for Miller and with the involvement of Kubert and Azarello you can bet that we haven't seen anything yet. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Vine - Mat 'Inferiorego' Elfring Nov 25, 2015

    DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE offers a solid and entertaining read. It didn't blow me away, but it shows an immense amount of promise for greatness. Miller's world opens up even more as Brian Azzarello steps in to work with him and the artistic team is a wonderful fit for the first issue. DKIII doesn't feel like something that's trying to be DKR. It is its own story that pushes this world forward. If you're a Batman fan, then this is something you need to pick up on new comic day. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Newsarama - David Pepose Nov 23, 2015

    While this book is far from the revolutionary effort of its predecessors, DKIII: The Master Race still proves to be a heroic first effort from three stellar sequential artists. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Book Resources - Jim Johnson Nov 23, 2015

    "Dark Knight III: The Master Race" #1 defies what both Frank Miller supporters and detractors alike might be expecting. The addition of Azzarello and Kubert smooths out the artistic excesses of Miller's more recent efforts, but also doesn't quite bring the same level of moody ambiance or character depth that was seen in the first "Dark Knight" story. On its own, though, it stands out as a worthy introduction to a compelling Batman story. Read Full Review

  • 7.3
    Multiversity Comics - James Johnston Nov 26, 2015

    As shocked as I am to say this, "DK3: The Master Race" #1 was pretty damn solid. Though it doesn't do many favors for newcomers, "DK3" offers a compelling mystery for longtime "Dark Knight" fans while offering up what may be my favorite art from Andy Kubert, working with Klaus Johnson on inks. Plus, Frank Miller's art in the Atom back-up story is a far cry from the truly god awful cover that precedes it. If you can get behind the (sometimes) intentional messiness of its anachronistic setting and art, then "DK3" could be the book that makes you a believer again. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Newsarama - Richard Gray Nov 30, 2015

    Dark Knight III: The Master Race is so far exactly what one would expect from a book carrying this title, and perhaps that is what is holding it back from being great. It's a reminder of the greatest hits of Batman, a character that is necessarily defined by key moments in his existence. It sometimes seems that Batman has been mining the darker nights since the 1980s, although our era certainly lends itself to heroes that exhibit parallels the vigilantism of that earlier decade. It won't be until the subsequent chapters that we truly get to see if this is merely tipping a hat to a moment in time, or if it will break free and deliver a fresh and original playlist. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    SnapPow.com - John McCubbin Nov 26, 2015

    Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1 is a solid opening issue, building upon Frank Miller's legendary series brilliantly. It also sets up a fabulous premise, as despite not quite feeling worth the $5.99 cover price, it does leave alot to be excited about. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Comic Crusaders - 13th Crusader Nov 27, 2015

    Where I cast my doubts, lies solely with the non-Gotham resident characters that appeared in this issue. It already implies that there's a decent chance that this story might be more of a JLA or Superman themed book rather than a Batman book. That's not necessarily such a bad thing when you think about it; however, there's a side of me that hopes that I'm proven wrong, especially since I'm investing in this story strictly because of the Batman from the Frank Miller Universe. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    ComicList - Brandon Borzelli Nov 28, 2015

    "DK III: The Master Race" kicks off with a thirty-page comic with a twelve-page mini-comic for six bucks. The issue is mostly setup as it provides the dilemma at hand and rolls out some of the key players. The artwork tries to replicate the original "Dark Knight" look but doesn't quite rise above the normal dark Batman comic book. The comic is a decent read but doesn't measure up to the hype yet. You should still pick this up because it might become a classic even if it isn't there just yet. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    ComicBuzz - Dave Scott Nov 25, 2015

    This book was never going to match the impact or legacy of the first or the craziness of the second. When a creator writes and draws both, I think that the connection you can make with the work can be on a different level and I do miss Franks art. Its not the best Batman book I have read this month but it does have a story to tell and there is no chance that I will not be there to hear it told. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Batman-News - Jay Yaws Nov 26, 2015

    Better than expected, but it still reads like an incomplete part of a greater story rather than a solid introduction. There's a lot going on, several elements introduced that are all intriguing, different scattered pieces rather than one unified whole. Regardless, Miller, Azzarello, Kubert, Janson, and Anderson have managed to surmount the almost unrealistic anticipation and expectations to give us a flawed but intriguing start to the series. It actually feels rather small compared to how big I thought they were going to go, and for that I'm thankful. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Inter-Comics Podcast - JLWChambers Nov 27, 2015

    DKIII wasn't the disaster it could have been (and many expected it to be) but it also didn't do anything truly great. Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1 is thoroughly whelming. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Needless Essentials Online - Stan Ford Nov 27, 2015

    Andy Kubert's art tries to reconnect us with the original Dark Knight Returns, but the Atom story reminds us that this isn't a sequel to that legendary story that redefined the super-hero genre. This is a sequel to the disappointing, messy sequel to that story. In emulating that style, Andy Kubert loses a lot of himself, which does a disservice to his talent. Frank Miller's art in the Atom story is better than the effort in DK2 or Holy Terror, but lacks something to make it special. This is a book trying to be legendary, when the most legendary books just started off as someone trying to create a good comic. Focus on making a good comic first and let the readers decide if it's worth a legend. That's what made Dark Knight Returns great. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Henchman-4-Hire - Sean Ian Mills Nov 28, 2015

    I liked this comic well enough. It didn't blow me away or have me at the edge of my seat or anything. I recognized the characters and some of the context. It was fine. It's a nice start to a good Batman story. I didn't particularly get any 'Dark Knight' vibes from reading the book. Miller's classic art, of course, is nowhere to be found now. And word has it that Azzarello wrote most of this. But it's a fine, solid start to a Batman comic. And the idea of bringing the bottled City of Kandor to the Atom sounds like a perfectly fine catalyst for adventure. I think I'll keep reading, if only to see where we go from here. But I'm getting a big 'Before Watchmen' vibe from this whole project. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Pop Culture Uncovered - Adam Frey Nov 26, 2015

    As of this first issue, though,the main/mini-comic formatis frustrating to read, and we'll have to see how DC decides to collect the whole package when the story is finished. Are the mini-comics intended to bean expansion of the main Azzarello/Kubert story, or are they literal in-between chapters of the overall book? Does the main story read on its own, or will we be required to read a collected story which jarringly shifts between Miller's and Kubert's styles?We'll have to wain and see. Perhaps it will read just finewhen the series is collected, but as a monthly periodical, this format is annoying and a strike against this overall project. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    The Batman Universe - Donovan Grant Nov 25, 2015

    So little meat for a first issue requires so few words, and thats frankly all there is to say about this. The only reason to read the next issue is to see if the story starts then and there. Again, this isnt a bad story but its not good and unworthy of the names attached to it. I am not personally fond of Dark Knight Strikes Again but at least that had its own style and personality to it. And The Dark Knight Returns #1 is a timeless classic that can be read on its own without reading the rest of the story. This issue isnt bad tasting, but its still watered down, which doesnt taste good all the same. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Eye On Comics - Don MacPherson Nov 27, 2015

    DKIII is something of a buddy cop movie - not in terms of plot or genre, but from a creative standpoint. Azzarello is the young (OK, youngish), brash cop partnered with the weathered and cynical detective, and let's be honest, Frank Miller is too old for this shit. He's just two days away from retirement, fer Christ's sake. Whether he's reluctant to give up the badge and gun or DC keeps thrusting them back in his hands, either way, it's time for the gold watch. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Razorfine - Alan Rapp Dec 10, 2015

    The most interesting aspect of the story isn't Carrie play-acting as Batman and beating up cops (for apparently no reason whatsoever) but the small story of Lara bringing Ray Palmer the bottled city of Kandor. The ramifications of that pairing are truly intriguing and so rich they belong in an entirely different comic. To bad the rest is mostly filler. Hit-and-Miss. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Comics Bulletin - Chase Magnett Nov 25, 2015

    The singular flaw underlying almost every other flaw in The Dark Knight III #1 is that it is dishonest. The Dark Knight III #1 is a comic constructed to safely imitate greater works. It bears the names of Andy Kubert and Brian Azzarello, but never takes advantage of their substantial strengths, trying to twist them to be something they are not. The result is perhaps the most negligible comic featuring Frank Miller's name to date. Read Full Review

  • 2.0
    The Fandom Post - Alex Henning Jul 24, 2016

    It's a mediocre story at best, and it's confusing and atrocious at worst. I recommend only giving this a try if you're really a big fan of Frank Miller or just want to marvel at something bad. Read Full Review

  • 2.0
    The Hub City Review - Matthew J. Theriault Dec 1, 2015

    Just as Millers The Dark Knight Returns saw an elderly Bruce Wayne, long past his prime, coming out of semi-retirement, The Master Race sees Miller himself do the same. Unlike Wayne, Millers clearly lost a step or two, no longer in fighting form. Despite the modern setting, its take on Gotham is stale and outdated. Far from the masterpiece which The Dark Knight Returns is remembered as, the first issue of The Master Race is only a masterful failure. Read Full Review

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