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.
The Dark Knight III #2 has some wooden dialogue and a chase scene that is a little too similar to last issue’s magnificent one, but it does a great job establishing the characters of Carrie Kelly’s Batman and Lara while setting up the conflict between humanity and the Master Race. The Wonder Woman backup story is a real treat and positions Diana as a wild card in the issues to come in her roles as both warrior and mother. (Risso nails this part of her as she swings a sword with a baby slung on her back.)
The Dark Knight III #1 is bombastic in its themes and scale and type of art drawn by Andy Kubert, Klaus Janson, and Brad Anderson. There are ideological differences between gods and mortals, the law and citizens hinted at or show vividly on the page with blood flowing like red wine on the Gotham rooftops leading to the kind of conflict that spawns one of the biggest, final page cliffhangers in recent memory.
The first panel at New York Comic Con’s main stage on Friday, October 9 marked the triumphant return of an old favorite as DC Comics editors and creators gathered to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Dark Knight Returns. They also previewed the upcoming The Dark Knight 3: The Master Race. This miniseries is co-written by original Dark Knight creator Frank Miller and seasoned comics veteran Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets) with pencils from Andy Kubert (Flashpoint) and inks from the legendary Klaus Janson (Daredevil). All of these creators were present at the panel with Miller making a surprise entrance in his trademark fedora to thunderous applause. They were joined by DC editor and moderator Brian Cunningham and publisher Jim Lee, who worked with Miller on the controversial All-Star Batman and Robin.
This year, I will be attending my first ever New York Comic Con with a press pass from Popoptiq.com. I am very excited and a little nervous about getting the chance to rub shoulders with 150,000+ comics, sci-fi, fantasy, anime, and video game fans. (Sorry if I forgot your specific niche.) This year, New York Comic Con is really bringing their A-game as far as panels, guests, and even afterparty opportunities. This year’s guests range from Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto to the casts and writers of upcoming genre TV shows like Sword of Shannara, Ash vs. the Evil Dead, and Legends of Tomorrow and of course, a stacked comics creator lineup from living legends like Chris Claremont and Brian K. Vaughan and relatively new stars like Batgirl artist Babs Tarr and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and Jughead artist Erica Henderson.
With a dose of political satire, some soaring team-up action grounded in character moments (Storm struggling with her power; Quicksilver’s daddy issues; Wolverine the reformed assassin), and a robust arc for Cyclops, Ultimate X-Men #4-6 is definitely an improvement over the preceding three issues. The “death” of Beast is a cheap storytelling ploy, and I am still skeezed out from Wolverine’s sexual liaison with Jean Grey, but Millar and the Kuberts end this first arc on a triumphant, if dark note albeit with some skeletons in the closet waiting to be brought out for the following “Return to Weapon X” storyline.
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.