The Dark Knight III: The Master Race #8
Bruce and Clark return to the Bat-Cave, to the relief of Carrie Kelly, right as Flash informs them that the Kryptonians are attempting to lay siege to Themyscria. Superman rushes off to help the Amazons, but they prove themselves more than enough of a fight for the alien invaders.
This issue feels very much like it was tagged on; like the story really ended last issue, but DC wanted to squeeze some more books outta this event. Kubert, Janson, and Anderson beautifully illustrate the battle between Wonder Woman’s Amazons and the Kryptonians in a way that they must have intentionally illustrated to be reminiscent of Frank Miller’s other notable work involving ancient Greek warriors; but there really is no plot and very little stakes in the story left to carry it.
Still, the few scenes we get with Batman in this issue continue to drive home that this series is a reconstruction of the Batman that the original Dark Knight Returns so famously deconstructed over 25 years ago; a move that really drives me to wonder what in Miller’s life has prompted this seeming last past at some sanity with regards to his storytelling. Has he gotten past the old-age hump of grumpiness and is now sliding down the other side into wizened gentle grandpa territory, or has he actually been listening to the critics that, for the past decade, have labeled his work bigoted and pedantic? Maybe a little of both?
To rescue Greg from Black Cat, Peter accompanies Edmund on one last robbery as the Silver Bandit. Meanwhile, Cat takes care of the mark, another silver-aged thief named Javelynn at the Bar With No Name.
This issue reads much more like a superhero book than any of the previous ones, all of their smaller moments adding up to this big heist issue. Almost every character introduced since the first issue plays a role somewhere in the issue, whether they’ve had bigger roles, like Daredevil, or haven’t been around since #1. Peter and Edmund’s friendship is finally cemented through partnership, while his rapport with the villains at the bar bears fruit. And with one page left after a pitch perfect wrap up, Zdarksy throws us one last curveball to end things on.
Occupy Avengers #5
Clint, Red Wolf, and Tilda make a stop in the small town of Dungston, Iowa; where the people are outwardly hospitable, but really a suspicious and untrusting crowd who really don’t like having an Avenger in their midst.
This is such a creepy issue that has one amazing heck of a turn. The issue has a narration running through it from an unknown speaker who explains how they lost their ability to trust people “in the war.” All the townsfolk train their unblinking eyes on Clint and the gang as soon as they arrive, and make plans to get rid of him as soon as possible. Drawing parallels to Get Out, and that movies influences, the issue constructs a palpable tone of paranoia that doesn’t cease until the very end, where everything is flipped.