Once again, the backup story outshines the main story in The Dark Knight III #4 as Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson provide some iconic imagery, especially in the scenes featuring the Atom and Superman’s execution, but Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello’s storyline jumps around and portray the characters not named Bruce Wayne, Carrie Kelly, or Ellen Yindel in an arbitrary way. Plus there is that always problematic Islamophobia, which is starting to set in as the Kryptonians call Batman an “infidel”. Last time I checked, this wasn’t Holy Terror.
When it’s not awkwardly taking shots at texting young people, making non-statements about the media, various world leaders, striking up a Strange Fruit-esque conversation about race involving only white people , or turning Bruce Wayne into a Randian hero with Carrie Kelly as his mouthpiece and Superman as his attack dog, The Dark Knight III #3 is an intergenerational superhero epic that boasts Andy Kubert’s best artwork of his career and flaming post-apocalyptic palette from Brad Anderson.
JLA #1 is another feather in Bryan Hitch’s artistic cap as he excels at showing superheroes in action along with labs, helicopters, explosions, and even a decent flirty interaction between Clark Kent and Lois Lane. However, his plot maybe suffers from some hypercompression as ideas, threats, and allies are introduced at a rapid pace without proper establishment. There are also a few story logic issues, The Flash and Green Lantern are written interchangeably, and Cyborg is kind of treated as deus ex machina. These misfires make JLA #1 an average comic with great art.
After Bruce Wayne’s death in Final Crisis, DC Comics gave legendary comics creator and novelist Neil Gaiman the chance to pen one “last” Batman story in the vein of Alan Moore’s What Happened to the Man of Tomorrow, which was the last Superman story before Crisis on Infinite Earths. Equal parts love letter and thesis statement, Gaiman and artist Andy Kubert open the comic showing the usual Gotham City skyline, but with the names of important Batman creators, like Bill Finger and Jim Aparo in the background.