I was once told that a writer or journalist should be objective, but I’m not a writer… I’m not a journalist either; I’m a fan, a geek, an enthusiast, a whatchamacallit of comics, gaming, & movies. Sure, I may be typing away and sharing my thoughts and opinions, but keep in mind that I’m doing it while enjoying Guardians of the Galaxy in my living room, not a den or at a coffee shop sipping on an overpriced cup of coffee (Joking…). Taking myself seriously is something I just don’t do, but I digress… There are graphic novelists, then there are graphic novelists, and Frank Miller is one of my all time favorites in the business… Stan Lee and Jack Kirby may have created most of today’s Marvel Universe and DC Multiverse characters, but it was Frank Miller who injected them with epinephrin.
I was eleven years old when I was introduced to comic books, and my very first was Detective Comics featuring Joker’s Last Laugh, which was FANTASTIC! I was instantly a fan of the caped crusader, but it wasn’t until the summer of 1986 that I became a true fanatic… Frank Miller’s Masterpiece, Opus, Ode to Batman if you will changed everything! Up until Dark Knight Returns, all I knew of Batman was the soft core or Disney-esque POW BOOM BAM. It was Frank Miller that introduced us all to Carmine Red and then splattered it marvelously across bruised faces and fists.
My mom, sisters, and I were visiting family in New Jersey during the summer of 1986… My cousin was another comic book geek and he had a basement filled with comics. While my sisters and cousins were outside splashing around near an open fire hydrant, I was in the basement eating, drinking, and farting comic books. It was glorious! Then there they were – four (4) issues, the fourth of which had just been released. “It had been a decade since Batman had retired the cowl, when the 55 year old Bruce Wayne decides to dawn the suit once more to fight the criminal element eating Gotham alive”… The realism that ensues after the dawning of the cowl was something I didn’t expect, but later understood and accepted as necessity in order to tell the real story. What can I say, it was love at first sight!
Well, Frank Miller’s back in the news and it seems he has his eye on The Dark Knight once again… In his first tweet in 3 1/2 years, Miller confirmed what Brian Azzarello had already announced to the C2E2 crowd in Chicago earlier: “DK3” as in Dark Knight 3, baby, which all eight (8) issues are slated for release in the fall! I am SUPER STOKED about the fact that Miller’s decided to make his sequel of Dark Knight Returns (1986) & Dark Knight Strikes Again (2001) into a threequel by adding DK3.
For those of you who are still trying to wrap your minds around the significance of Frank Miller, several of the movies including those of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and Dark Knight Rises are influenced by Frank Miller… Most recently, there was another smash hit that I’m sure you’ve heard of, or seen that appeared on Netflix: Daredevil; its entirety was influenced on Frank Miller’s 1993 “four (4) issue series” called “The Man Without Fear”. In fact, the upcoming Batman v Superman by Zach Snyder was (say it with me…) inspired by Frank Miller.
Did you know that Miller wrote for Robo-Cop II (1990) & Robo-Cop III (1993)? Sure, it wasn’t received too well by the critics, and Miller thought that it was the end of his career in films, but then came the birth of the Sin City series, which took him most of the 1990s to write… And just when the career he thought was over Before there was 300 “The Movie” (2006), there was 300 “The Comics” (1998), by you know who. Frank Miller is everywhere and his work has been some of the most influential in making some of the best movies we’ve seen. I certainly speak for all my fellow comic book geeks, enthusiasts, & whatchamacallits, when I say that I can’t wait to pick up my first copy at the comic book shop!