For Frank Miller’s latest entry into the Dark Knight series, The Master Race, one lucky Houston comic book shop has a special variant cover drawn by Tony Harris, the Eisner Award-winning artist who has worked on Starman and Ex Machina. Pop Culture Company was one of the 47 stores chosen to receive a unique cover.
Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns was released to great acclaim in 1986, and often tops lists as the best Batman story ever told. The book follows an aging, retired Bruce Wayne who once again dons the cowl in order to save Gotham from destroying itself. The upcoming film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, is heavily influenced by Miller’s story and will debut in March of 2016.
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Miller followed up with The Dark Knight Strikes Again in 2001, which features Batman leading an army to liberate America from Lex Luthor’s dictatorial rule. The Master Race, co-written with Brian Azzarello (Joker, Before Watchmen: Rorschach), picks up three years later and has Carrie Kelly, the former Robin, now assuming the mantle of Batman, claiming Bruce Wayne is finally dead. The series is scheduled to run for eight issues and ties in with an Atom one-shot in which Ray Palmer tries to restore the bottle city of Kandor to its correct size.
Tony Harris’s cover is a stunning portrait of Batman astride a horse, taken from an iconic moment in the first Dark Knight series.
“The sheer power of an animal the size of this black stallion, contrasted by the stark Fritz Lang-inspired background design, gives an excellent balance visually, while the final element of the snow, slightly blurred, moving across the whole image, unites all these parts into a tightly wound design that conveys a visual complexity with a powerful impact,” says Harris.
Master Race #1 is on shelves now, and Pop Culture Company is the only place Harris’s cover can be purchased. DC Comics will not be offering the variants appearing at any of the local comic stores chosen through its website, according to a DC representative.