Review: Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1 Director’s Cut

by Eric Joseph
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Writers: Frank Miller & Brian Azzarello

Artists: Andy Kubert & Klaus Janson

The latest series to join DC’s acclaimed line of Director’s Cuts is that of Dark Knight III: The Master Race, which is still in the midst of its run. I just want to state that I’m not going to discuss the story in depth or reiterate my feelings at length regarding it. If you are interested in my opinion of the series’ first issue in its original form, please click here to read my full review.

What I do want to talk about is what makes this particular edition special. The first thing that you will no doubt notice is that this issue is presented (mostly) in black and white. Aside from some dialogue boxes, this thing goes full noir. The funny thing is that Andy Kubert’s artwork looks even more like Frank Miller’s when colorless.

Okay, I will at least say this about the story, since I feel the need to look back as it’s been nearly a year since the first issue shipped: I do believe it reads as well as it did when I originally laid eyes on it. Although the series has yet to conclude, it’s interesting to go back knowing how most of the story plays out. I remember wondering if Bruce Wayne could actually be dead upon witnessing the cliffhanger. Yes, it may sound stupid, but keep in mind this book has a focus on legacies and, seeing as how it’s outside of proper continuity, no character is truly safe.

One thing that’s conspicuous by its absence is the mini-comic. Solicitations promised that it would be reprinted and full-size in its inclusion. I could see this affecting some peoples’ decisions to buy because they technically aren’t getting the full DKIII #1 experience.

What is included is the original script that provides much insight into the development of a definitive Batman tale. Also to be found is a variant cover gallery, which is quite generous because this issue sure did have an onslaught of alternate covers. I just wish they had been presented in color. I know black and white is the standard for Director’s Cuts, but we’re talking supplemental material, not the main attraction. Let’s just hope this isn’t the case in the trade paperback.

Speaking of which, I’m glad this came out before the trade, which often isn’t the case for Director’s Cuts, so I would like to see some of this stuff included. If you like Blu-Rays with all the bells and whistles, this is a comic book for you. But, to be quite honest, the $7.99 price tag means that only die hards are likely to double dip.


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