Frank Miller is one of the most influential American comic book writers and artists. The Dark Knight Returns (1986) helped shift the entire comics industry, and his stripped-down Batman: Year One (1987) is one of the best origin re-tellings, informing the likes of Batman Begins and so much of our current superhero landscape. Sin City (1991), 300 (1998), Daredevil (1979-1986) - the man did some amazing work before the turn of the century, and now he wants to finally have a proper go at Superman.
Just one question, though. What the hell does a post-9/11 Frank Miller Superman story even look like? The reason I bring up September 11th is because, well, how best to put this in a manner that doesn't sound insensitive...9/11 broke Frank Miller's brain.
I love the idea of a focused origin re-telling of the Man of Steel from one of comics' greatest, and I maintain that the intersection of art and politics, even when diametrically opposed, makes for an interesting outcome. But Frank Miller is also the dude who went on the following tirade about 2011's Occupy movement:
"Occupy" is nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists, an unruly mob, fed by Woodstock-era nostalgia and putrid false righteousness. These clowns can do nothing but harm America.
"Occupy" is nothing short of a clumsy, poorly-expressed attempt at anarchy, to the extent that the "movement" – HAH! Some "movement", except if the word "bowel" is attached - is anything more than an ugly fashion statement by a bunch of iPhone, iPad wielding spoiled brats who should stop getting in the way of working people and find jobs for themselves.
This is no popular uprising. This is garbage. And goodness knows they're spewing their garbage – both politically and physically – every which way they can find.
Wake up, pond scum. America is at war against a ruthless enemy.
Maybe, between bouts of self-pity and all the other tasty tidbits of narcissism you've been served up in your sheltered, comfy little worlds, you've heard terms like al-Qaeda and Islamicism.
Lest we forget, Holy Terror was originally pitched as a Batman vs Al Qaeda book!
Mind you, none of this is to say that this book shouldn't happen or that I'm going to avoid it. I'm very curious to see what comes of it, and not just for the morbid reason of seeing how this American icon, who he once famously satirized as an arm of the State, is influenced by Miller's politics.
In his interview with Vulture, it's clear Miller believes Superman to be a foundational pillar of DC mythology. While speaking to Inverse last year, he also laid out plans to have the Superman mythos confront the character's Jewish roots by setting pop culture's most famous Moses parallel against the very backdrop that Siegel and Shuster created him as a metaphor for: anti-semitism cir. World War II:
"I’d like to write that. I’d like to have him face a death camp.”
If that's still the plan for Superman: Year One, colour me equal parts interested and terrified.