Spoiler Alert! This post contains spoilers for the first installment of DK3: The Master Race
Well, we know who the Master Race is now.
Picking up the first installment (of eight - really, DC?) of The Master Race felt a little like dusting off my own Bat-suit after years of neglect. Luckily, Seattle has a comic book shop that's open until midnight, which works out for guys like me who spend most of their days doing this old-fashioned thing called working for a living.
I had a feeling The Master Race would start off on a more solid footing than DK2. And it does. It goes back to basics, and is more similar in general style to The Dark Knight Returns. But it also feels contemporary. The first sequence in the book addresses a hot topic: police violence against people of color. The story is told in a series of cell phone texts and snapshots.
The Master Race feels a bit melancholy, subdued. The first words out of the gate, in Bruce Wayne's grey thought box, is A good death? There's no such thing. Absent from the book are the brimming confidence and machismo that we typically associate with Miller's Batman. We see Ellen Yindel, drinking from a flask, wondering how she managed to screw it all up. In the book's most memorable image, we witness Superman frozen in ice, paralyzed by his own emotional depression.
His daughter, Lara, wants to help by setting free the Kryptonians of Kandor. This story is told in an Atom-sized insert comic, a creative and fun touch. Will freeing the ten million Kryptonians cure Superman of his depression? Or let loose the eponymous Master Race?
The issue concludes with Carrie Kelley going into custody, in a battle that feels set up. Her answer to Yindel - that Bruce Wayne is dead - is undoubtedly incorrect, but it's not clear whether she is realizes it. For all the good in the first issue of DK3, there's nothing great. But it's still early. The pieces are in place, but we don't yet know what the game is. Much more than its predecessors, DK3 feels like a mystery. And I hope it stays that way for a little while.