Once again, the backup story outshines the main story in The Dark Knight III #4 as Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson provide some iconic imagery, especially in the scenes featuring the Atom and Superman’s execution, but Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello’s storyline jumps around and portray the characters not named Bruce Wayne, Carrie Kelly, or Ellen Yindel in an arbitrary way. Plus there is that always problematic Islamophobia, which is starting to set in as the Kryptonians call Batman an “infidel”. Last time I checked, this wasn’t Holy Terror.
When it’s not awkwardly taking shots at texting young people, making non-statements about the media, various world leaders, striking up a Strange Fruit-esque conversation about race involving only white people , or turning Bruce Wayne into a Randian hero with Carrie Kelly as his mouthpiece and Superman as his attack dog, The Dark Knight III #3 is an intergenerational superhero epic that boasts Andy Kubert’s best artwork of his career and flaming post-apocalyptic palette from Brad Anderson.
With Born Again, the greatest Daredevil writer gives readers the quintessential Daredevil story. It’s a story that has a soul to it, overflowing with literary themes, and social and political commentary. Miller’s writing is probably the best it’s ever been and artist Dave Mazzucchelli is on the top of his game. Miller writes a crazed Matt Murdock phenomenally (Probably because he can pretty much only write crazy people.), Nuke is imposing and horrific, and Captain America is so well written that it’s a crime that Miller was never given an opportunity to write the character’s title. Daredevil: Born Again is a great comic book that does everything perfectly. It’s an incredibly nuanced story of good vs. evil, but can be analyzed on a myriad of different levels. The most important thing about Born Again is that it demonstrates that absolute evil can be combated and defeated wherever the smallest sliver of hope remains.
The Dark Knight III #2 has some wooden dialogue and a chase scene that is a little too similar to last issue’s magnificent one, but it does a great job establishing the characters of Carrie Kelly’s Batman and Lara while setting up the conflict between humanity and the Master Race. The Wonder Woman backup story is a real treat and positions Diana as a wild card in the issues to come in her roles as both warrior and mother. (Risso nails this part of her as she swings a sword with a baby slung on her back.)
The Dark Knight III #1 is bombastic in its themes and scale and type of art drawn by Andy Kubert, Klaus Janson, and Brad Anderson. There are ideological differences between gods and mortals, the law and citizens hinted at or show vividly on the page with blood flowing like red wine on the Gotham rooftops leading to the kind of conflict that spawns one of the biggest, final page cliffhangers in recent memory.
The first panel at New York Comic Con’s main stage on Friday, October 9 marked the triumphant return of an old favorite as DC Comics editors and creators gathered to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Dark Knight Returns. They also previewed the upcoming The Dark Knight 3: The Master Race. This miniseries is co-written by original Dark Knight creator Frank Miller and seasoned comics veteran Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets) with pencils from Andy Kubert (Flashpoint) and inks from the legendary Klaus Janson (Daredevil). All of these creators were present at the panel with Miller making a surprise entrance in his trademark fedora to thunderous applause. They were joined by DC editor and moderator Brian Cunningham and publisher Jim Lee, who worked with Miller on the controversial All-Star Batman and Robin.
This year, I will be attending my first ever New York Comic Con with a press pass from Popoptiq.com. I am very excited and a little nervous about getting the chance to rub shoulders with 150,000+ comics, sci-fi, fantasy, anime, and video game fans. (Sorry if I forgot your specific niche.) This year, New York Comic Con is really bringing their A-game as far as panels, guests, and even afterparty opportunities. This year’s guests range from Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto to the casts and writers of upcoming genre TV shows like Sword of Shannara, Ash vs. the Evil Dead, and Legends of Tomorrow and of course, a stacked comics creator lineup from living legends like Chris Claremont and Brian K. Vaughan and relatively new stars like Batgirl artist Babs Tarr and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and Jughead artist Erica Henderson.
Only separated by two years “The Man Who Falls” and “Year One” attempt to tell the origin of Bruce Wayne becoming Batman. Frank Miller’s story is much better known than Dennis O’Neil’s one shot, but O’Neil had a much bigger impact on the tone of Batman Begins. Christopher Nolan showcases Batman’s search for his abilities rather than giving them to Bruce Wayne at the beginning of the film. Thus, Bruce’s training and its effect is of paramount importance during the film.
At East Coast Comicon, comics historian and researcher of the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe Peter Sanderson, former Uncanny X-Men editor and Daredevil writer Ann Nocenti, and former Amazing Spider-Man editor Jim Salicrup chatted and swapped stories about what Marvel was really like in the 1980s.
Daredevil is a character more or less defined by two extended runs by two specific creators. Created in 1964 by Stan Lee and Bill Everett in a clear attempt to tap into the success of Spider-Man, Daredevil has one of the all time great superhero hooks: he’s a blind lawyer who puts on a superhero costume and takes the law into his own hands. Unfortunately, that hook only takes the character so far, and like the X-Men, Daredevil existed in his early years as something of an also-ran at Marvel
If you’ve read any of Frank Miller’s comics, you’re probably familiar with some of his most beloved tropes found in his work from Daredevil to Holy Terror, including pudge-faced, long coated wearing anti-heroes, prostitutes, a crapsack urban setting, and hardboiled voice-over narration that ranges from unintentionally hilarious (” Sin City, she’s a big, bad broad flat on her back begging for it and I take her for all she’s worth and then I take her again and still she’s begging.”) to tight and poignant (“Worth dying for. Worth killing for. Worth going to hell for. amen.”) In “Hard Goodbye”, Miller plays with these tropes and devices like a kid with his favorite action figures, but he also constructs a three dimensional character in Marv, who is the dark grey anti-hero Sin City needs. Marv is a driven character, who will go to any means necessary to avenge the death of Goldie, a prostitute and “goddess”, who gave him the time of his life before she was killed. The plot of “Hard Goodbye” is filled with forward momentum and doesn’t go down any rabbit trails. Miller fleshes out some of the backstory of (Ba)Sin City, its ruling clan the Roarkes, and supporting characters, like Lucille and Nancy, but it mostly focuses on one violent, mentally unhinged (yet well-intentioned) man’s quest for vengeance , justice, or something in-between.
Batman Year One was the first Batman (and DC) comic I read back in 2010. The things that stood out to me were the poetic nature of Frank Miller’s writing (mainly the caption boxes), the parts that Batman Begins homaged, and how Jim Gordon seemed to have more page time than Batman. After rereading this story a few times over the year, I realized that Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli could have named this story “Jim Gordon Year One” and his ups and downs as he goes from a do-gooder cop from Chicago to an overworked Gotham policeman who has an affair with one of his co-workers to an ally of Batman. His character arc is just as compelling and more down to earth than Batman’s. Letterer Todd Klein shows this more grounded story by using more traditional letters in contrast with the fancy cursive script he uses for Batman’s caption boxes. However, both characters have their share of great moments in “Batman Year One”, which is also a little bit of an origin story for Selina Kyle’s Catwoman too. Sit back, relax, and enjoy this highlight reel of the best parts of “Batman Year One” in chronological order.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is the second book in Frank Miller’s seven-book series, originally published in 1993. For fans of the 2005 film Sin City but are perhaps unfamiliar with the original graphic novels, A Dame to Kill For provides necessary context behind one of the protagonists, Dwight McCarthy, and his troubled past with his ex-lover, Ava Lord.