The stakes continue to rise. Superman desperately tries to win his daughter over from the vile influence of Quar, leader of the remaining murderous citizens of Kandor, continuing the relational strife we’ve seen between these two so far, Quar goads Lara into attacking her father, accusing him of betraying his people. It’s a familiar story element, this time presented in vital brutality as Lara beats her father into submission in front of an audience of the world, watching in real-time as he’s hurled into buildings and bloodied all the way up the planet until they’re atop the Fortress of Solitude.

Still, Superman refuses to fight his daughter, and is burned into an obsidian-like form by the combined heat vision of every rogue Kryptonian before him, before being crushed by a mass of ice. The floating sheets of hardened seawater give way to this immense physical pressure, sending Superman’s body to the bottom of the Arctic. Knowing how this has played out in previous DC stories, we can likely expect to see him again real soon.

One of the viewers of Kal-El’s tragic end is Bruce Wayne, shedding his crutches as mysterious concoction and a giant syringe carefully placed by Carrie Kelley has the old Bat back on his feet and feeling a bit more like stepping back into the fire, at least by the appearance of his freshly-donned cowl. His army behind him, he presents a gift to his prodigal understudy.

In mere panels, we see the Flash appear in a burst of light, and brutally incapacitated by one of Earth’s mighty attackers. One of Batman’s legion appear from under a manhole next to Barry’s crumpled body, a look of hopelessness in their eyes. Difficult to watch unfold, but man, is it compelling. Perhaps there’s an intended subtext there.

Finally, and most exciting to me, we see Ray Palmer. Not as dead as we were made to think when he was made to shrink eternally and trod upon by Quar, the vicious leader of this siege of the planet. Onward into the void, The Atom descends, and for an eternal moment, he seems to lose himself. We’re left on the note that this scientist has not abandoned hope, and that he may yet manufacture a way out of his infinitesimally small oblivion. It’s a turn of events that feels similar to the climax of the Ant-Man movie, but isn’t too similar such that it feels disinteresting. I certainly hope to see Mr. Palmer back in action.

Grade

A-

Conclusion

Book four is over as quickly as it begins, but not before giving us glimpses of wheels in motion. I'm finding it difficult to aptly summarise the events of DK III. A lot happens, certainly, but changes between issues are sometimes very gradual, and at other times, so many different things are touched upon or changed, it's challenging to decide how best to do them justice in a written review like this. DK III is coming together much like his previous Dark Knight works, where there are tons of smaller moving parts, and there's basically one main story to summarise, though processing all of the minutiae of the subplots and minor details is a bit more difficult on an issue-by-issue basis.In any case, this story has been a whirlwind of blood and guts and unexpected plot twists, and I'm loving every panel of it. I can't wait for book five.