Dave Galanter
December 1st 1969 - December 12th 2020
He was loved.

Eighties and Nineties Message Board >> View Post
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Iron Man Unit 007

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,307
In Reply To
Superman's Pal

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,913
Subj: Re: New banner! How important was FRANK MILLER to 80s and 90s comics?
Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 at 05:30:21 pm EST (Viewed 288 times)
Reply Subj: Re: New banner! How important was FRANK MILLER to 80s and 90s comics?
Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 at 03:53:11 pm EST (Viewed 269 times)

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Sadly I have never read his Daredevil which is probably known as one of his high points.

I did read The Dark Knight Returns but like I said once before, I read it too late (in the '90s). I had already read a bunch of Batman Elseworlds stories and this was just another one on the pile for me. It was an okay yarn but it would never have occurred to me that it would be influential in any way. I guess at the time it came out people felt differently. I wondered why Batman seemed not as Batman-y (mowing down gang-bangers in a tank?) and why Superman was such a chump. I might compare it to Batman: Digital Justice which I actually liked better, which is kind of like Batman Beyond with a legacy Batman in the future. When I read Miller's Batman: Year One I liked it better.

Miller came back to write Spawn/Batman in 1994 which was "a companion piece to The Dark Knight Returns" whatever that means. I remember it being somewhat amusing but not all that memorable.

I haven't read his Wolverine or Ronin. From what I've seen of Ronin I always assumed the TMNT based a lot of their visual style on Ronin.

The Dark Horse era is where I met Frank Miller.

RoboCop 2 and 3 ... well, the movie of RoboCop 2 is okay but not great. Part 3 is awful. I can only imagine what Miller's original intentions were (obviously something different, because he swore off movies after this until Rodriguez brought him back for Sin City). If you want a slightly more accurate take on RoboCop 2 you should read "Frank Miller's RoboCop" from Avatar published in 2003 (9 issues). It is supposedly based on Frank's original script for the RoboCop 2 movie. It is bizarre, ultraviolent and offensive, of course. Supposedly only about half of what Frank put in his script made it into the movie. The leftover ideas were the genesis of the idea for Hard Boiled. I think one of the Rehab officers in Frank Miller's RoboCop is Seltz/Nixon.

Don't forget Miller also wrote RoboCop vs The Terminator (Walt Simonson artwork). It was sort of a fun action story with very little weight and a silly cop-out ending. They made a video game out of it.

Hard Boiled is just a roller coaster, action movie. It is not to be thought about deeply, it is just an exercise in excess. The excruciatingly detailed pages of Geof Darrow are the reason to pick it up.

Miller & Darrow also teamed up on The Big Guy & Rusty the Boy Robot which went the opposite way, the artwork was very clean and the story was pretty kid-friendly. There was a brief animated series on Fox Kids based on this series.

Give Me Liberty was great for me at the time, it was kind of political, very satirical, violent and actiony too. I felt the Martha Washington stories kept getting less and less interesting as they came out. They became less political and Martha became less interesting and it mostly just became action/adventure stuff.

I really liked Sin City, I don't know if I finished the entire canon, the last thing I read was Hell & Back and I think I got everything before that and all the one-shots and such. It's probably the story Frank was born to write. It just seems like Frank unfiltered by the censorship or standards of the big two publishers. Stories can be as long or short as they want, contain any content they want. Redemption through suffering seems to be a motif here. Great visual style.

I couldn't get into 300 quite as much, although it seemed equally over the top as Sin City. Didn't really care for the movie either, although my friends swore by it.

Well Robocop/Terminator was one of the first big movie franchise cross overs of that era. We'd also get Aliens/Predator at that time then Batman/Predator and Superman/Alien.

Dark Knight Returns clearly had some influence and has a lasting legacy despite the taint of the two sequels that Frank wrote. While the artwork on all 3 leaves something to be desired the story of Dark Knight Returns makes up for the art with a good story and a good take on just how retirement does not agree with Batman.

Also that story set the tone in that yes Batman can take down Superman. However Batman had years of prep time, he synthesized his own kryptonite so that it wouldn't kill Superman but make him mortal enough to be beaten in that fight. Plus Superman doesn't want to kill Batman and Superman was still whipped from the nuke blast and subsequent nuclear winter, he was NOT at full power.

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