Cover by Frank Miller (yay)

After remaining pathologically tight lipped during their NYCC media appearances—even a small “elite” media only press event—Dark Knight III constructors Brian Azzarello and Andy Kubert spill the beans on the big plot twist of the event comic’s first issue in an interview at CBR. And the story element is in fact the one that I heard was the genesis for the entire storyline. And would have made a nice surprise for those reading the story. I’m curious as to why DC didn’t even try to keep it under wraps. I guess they knew that it would be spoiled and wanted to get ahead of it?

Or Frank Miller was going to blab about it? “Media theft” partner Bleeding Cool ran a spoiler story by quoting this French language interview with Miller from the obscure French publication Le Monde*** from the Paris ComiCon without linking to it, but Miller didn’t mention the issue #1 plot twist probably because he knew that would spoil the whole fun of the story.

This is why we can’t have nice things, people. The story is actually a logical conclusion to the saga, and would have been nice to read in context.

Okay, okay. Next question. The subtitle for “DKIII” is “The Master Race,” which obviously conjures up notions of Nazi ideology. What can you share about the “Master Race” as it pertains to this story?

Azzarello: It’s meant to provoke, and it looks like it’s working.

Kubert: Again, you will definitely see how the title fits into the story when you read the series.

The offspring of Wonder Woman and Superman would certainly qualify as a master race, and we see both of them in this first issue. “The Dark Knight Returns” and “DK2” both heavily featured Batman’s super friends. Green Arrow, specifically, has played a major role in these series. Can you give us a tease of which other Justice League members, beyond Wonder Woman and Superman, will be featured in “DKIII”?

Azzarello: It won’t be Martian Manhunter. He is dead.

Interestingly, Azzarello and Kubert still don’t really talk about the theme of the book, which would seem to be safer territory. Maybe that’s being saved for a reveal at Buzzfeed or somewhere. Miller does allow that Batman is a revolutionary anarchist and the Master Race of the title refers to the Kryptonians who are trapped in the bottled city go Kandor, so you can see where this might so.

DC also released some new covers for DKIII Book 2. 

 ***BTW that was sarcasm as Le Monde is the biggest newspaper in France.

DKIII Book 2 Cliff Chiang.jpg
Cliff Chiang

DKIII Eduardo Risso.jpg

Eduardo Risso

Wonder Woman DKIII Mini Cover (1).jpg

Eduardo Risso


  1. “a logical conclusion to the saga”

    Wait…are we supposed to start pretending again that Miller hasn’t completely gone round the bend and left his awesome talent behind? You can like whatever you like but let’s not kid ourselves. The sequel was clearly the product of a diminished imagination and suggesting this latest bit of fluff concludes a coherent trilogy is ridiculous.


  2. You know, color me optimistic. The bottom line is that Frank Miller is a talented storyteller. What I’ve been disappointed by in the past is his tendency to let his idiosyncrasies and tics overwhelm his narrative, when he’s not careful.

    Think about it. In the 80’s, when he was coming up, he was responsible for corporate properties that had a decent amount of guardianship– and he had a trusted editorial relationship with Denny O’Neil on those projects. As a result, we most often remember how he leveled up Daredevil and Batman with a neat synthesis of crime fiction writing, cinematic techniques, and an infusion of principles from bandes dessinees, manga, and Will Eisner.

    But even back then, whenever he did work with less editorial input, his idiosyncrasy spiked hard. If you think his current art is ugly, check out Ronin from that period. Without a finisher, Miller’s got a wild pen. Good figure drawing is the last thing on his mind, as is background work. He’s more keen on texture, motion, and striking graphics. (That’s not a bad thing, either).

    Diana Schutz provided a guiding hand on Miller’s work in the 90’s, which led to more stylization and a broader, less nuanced style of storytelling, but his tics still never overwhelmed his narrative. The politics got stronger, for sure, but it’s still entertaining work. It’s only when we get to the 2000’s, when he came back to DC with very little reigning in that the scale tips. (Recall– even Holy Terror was going to be a Batman book. They just had the sense to pass on it).

    I think pairing him with Azzarello and Kubert is intentionally designed to bring things back into balance. Here, you’ve still got the storytelling sense and visual pacing that Miller excels at, with collaborators that tend to those sensibilities, resulting in a much better filter against the ongoing quirks and the evolving personal politics that we’ve come to find so offputting. I anticipate that when this third volume is finished, we’ll see a throughline of both Batman AND Superman both maturing and growing in the way they fight against overwhelming odds. (And Carrie Kelly coming up in the world as her own brand of bad-ass).

    Here’s a fun experiment. Track down something from the Fort Thunder camp, or a volume of Kramer’s Ergot or Mould Map. Weird, avant-garde work, right? High on the personal expression of the post-modern artist– less about the story. Then go look at DK2. Visual vocab of early 2000’s SPX, story sensibility of a classicist. It’s probably not quite the lemon you think it is.

  3. I find it amusing how people like to put down the efforts of guys like Frank Miller, Neal Adams (Comics Alliance even had a regular column belittling Batman: Odyssey) John Byrne, and others whose contributions have resonated decades after they did their initial works. Miller may not be your cup of tea (I didn’t care for DK2 and the Spirit) but making fun of his talent and creativity is laughable.

  4. “making fun of his talent and creativity is laughable.”

    Miller is one of the greatest comic creators of all time. But DK2 was a fiasco, no matter what deconstructionist, meta-textual hoops you jump through to pretend otherwise. DC running him out there again to embarrass himself is like a boxing promoter sending a broken down fighter with a big name out to get his head bashed in.

    I think it’s fascinating that when DC exploits an inanimate intellectual property like Watchman, everyone loses their minds. DC exploits a living creator to Jar Jar Binks his own timeless classic for a quick buck and people don’t even shrug.


  5. “DC running him out there again to embarrass himself is like a boxing promoter sending a broken down fighter with a big name out to get his head bashed in.”

    Alternatively, since Miller appears visibly ill and other writers and artists are doing the heavy creative lifting on the book, maybe DC is setting this up so that a sick man can earn some needed cash? I’m not suggesting DC won’t make a ton of money themselves, but rightly or wrongly, I have a feeling Frank needs this to happen now.

  6. In recent photos Miller looks healthier. As for DC “hunning him out”, he still has plenty of fans that are interested in his work.

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