Tag Archives: Frank Miller

How Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns Brought Grit Back To Batman

The Dark Knight Returns reshaped the comic book industry; introducing an older, grizzled, beaten Bruce Wayne as he tries to save Gotham City once more. Scenes ripped straight from the pages can be seen in the movie Batman v Superman and the dark, gritty tone permeates the DNA of The Dark Knight and The Joker. The 1986 four-issue miniseries written and drawn by Frank Miller has sold over one million copies and is still heralded to this day. The book DC Comics: A Visual History calls The Dark Knight Returns “arguably the best Batman story of all time,” which “revolutionized the entire genre of superhero.”

“I took a sanitized version of a tough character and took him closer to his 1940s roots,” Frank Miller told Newsweek at an unveiling event for a black and white statue based on the suit Batman wore in The Dark Knight Returns at FAO Schwarz in Rockefeller Center. The 62-year-old veteran cartoonist was signing autographs for fans, juxtaposed between greeters in toy soldier outfits and ceramic statues of Paw Patrol.

The comic veteran known for 300, Sin City, Daredevil and countless other dark tales, had a hand in reinventing the identity of Batman after Adam West had turned him into a joke. All it took was a four issue-comic book miniseries.

“I was an artist possessed with a story and an artist doing a job,” Miller said.

In 1939, National Comics published Detective Comics #27, featuring the first appearance of Batman. Created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, the caped crusader was very unlike the icon we know now, 80 years later. He carried a gun and didn’t hesitate using it to shoot down criminals. Early Batman was more a pulpy crime thriller than a collection of super hero heroics. As the Golden Age turned to the Silver Age, Bruce Wayne’s gritty demeanor started to fold into fluffy Americana, featuring wackier story lines and his sidekick, Robin the Boy Wonder.

“Batman started out really dark and grim, he was killing people,” Jim Fletcher, the Creative Director of DC Entertainment, said at the event. “Then you go into the 60s when he’s goofy and he stays like that for a while.”

The “pows” and “bams” of Adam West and Burt Ward in 1966’s Batman television show, gave the hero a massive burst of pop cultural influence. But after two decades his comic persona was wearing thin — until Miller’s interpretation hit comic book store shelves.

“Around that time, I had fallen out of comics and Batman was going on adventures like flying through space, which I didn’t care for,” Fletcher said. “Then this book and Watchmen come out and it drags me back into comics.” Reading Batman not only challenging but defeating the god-like Superman and Miller’s reinventing of Gotham as gritty and decrepit opened his eyes to a world of creative opportunity.

“Batman is very relatable,” Fletcher said. There’s always injustice in the world and Batman is that normal guy who can get out there and do what needs to get done. He’s an outlet for people’s frustrations or anger for things they can’t control.”

These different iterations of Batman could not exist without the artists and writers innovating at their easels. Neal Adams, Jim Lee and Greg Capullo are just some of the creative forces that gave Batman life for generations.

“It’s always been about the characters and not the people who make them,” Miller said. “If you ask the average person who created Superman, they might say Richard Donner, George Reeves or Christopher Reeves. They certainly wouldn’t remember two Jewish kids from Cleveland.”

Batman will continue to fight crime in Gotham and avenge his parents long after the rest of us are gone. Whether it’s with eyebrows drawn onto his costume, a batarang flung from under his cape or a sniper rifle perched on a roof.

Reprinted from Newsweek

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DC Collectibles Frank Miller Batman Black & White Statue # 101

DC Collectibles has revealed the latest statue in the popular Batman Black & White series, the Armored Batman by Frank Miller.  

#101 in the series is based on the iconic designs from Frank Miller’s 1986 series, The Dark Knight Returns.

This armored Batman perfectly encapsulates the worn-out, dystopian vibe from the comics while showing the technological power Batman possesses in the story.

Frank Miller & Jim Fletcher (Executive Director, DC Collectibles)

While the figure is not due to hit shelves till summer 2020 it will for sure be one you won’t want to miss!

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Frank Miller And Rafael Rafael Grampá Return To The Dark Knight Universe This December With Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child

Bestselling writer and comic book icon Frank Miller will add yet another incredible chapter to his Dark Knight legacy this December, as DC announced plans to publish a sequel to the acclaimed Dark Knight III: Master Race.

Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child is a 48-page prestige format one-shot on sale December 11, featuring art and cover by Rafael Grampá. The story takes place three years after the events of Master Race, where Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Carrie Kelley, and Lara Kent overcame the renegade priest Quar and his cult of Kandorian fanatics in their bid to convert humanity into worshipping them as gods. During this interim, Lara has spent time learning about what it means to be human, while Carrie has grown into her role as Gotham City’s new protector, Batwoman.

When a terrifying evil returns to Gotham City, Lara and Carrie team up to take on this new threat, but this time with a secret weapon—Jonathan Kent. Known as the “Golden Child,” Jonathan possesses power unlike anything the world has ever seen and could be all that stands in the way of the destruction of Gotham City, as well as the whole planet.

Superstar artist Grampá was handpicked by Miller for this return to the world of the Dark Knight. The mastermind behind the groundbreaking Mesmo Delivery, this incredible collaboration marks Grampá’s first comics work in six years, bringing his extraordinary detail and storytelling skills to a story that only Frank Miller could tell.

 “The Dark Knight Returns story began with its heroes getting older,” said Miller. “Now we’re seeing the next generation of heroes in action, and Rafael was the obvious choice for me to usher in these heroes that are vigorous, untested and loaded with promise. I think that Jonathan Kent in particular will surprise everybody with his unforeseen abilities and impossible mind.”

In addition to the main and variant covers by Grampá, the book will also include a series of open-to-buy variant covers by artists Paul Pope, Joëlle Jones, and Andy Kubert, in addition to Frank Miller himself. The 48-page prestige format book will carry DC’s Black Label content descriptor (for mature readers) and will retail for $5.99.

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Batman Celebrates 80 Years At FAO Schwarz With Frank Miller On September 14

In celebration of Batman’s 80th anniversary, this Saturday, September 14, fans can get a first look at the brand-new Batman Black & White statue ahead of New York Comic Con and meet Frank Miller, author of The Dark Knight Returns. 

He will be available for autographs from 12 – 1pm at FAO Schwarz in New York. Fans of all ages are also invited to shop limited-edition toys and collectibles at the iconic toy store.

FAO Schwarz
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10111

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Watch The Superman: Year One Trailer

From the creators behind The Dark Knight Returns and Kick-Ass comes a powerful new look at the early days of the Man of Steel. Superman: Year One is a prestige format three-part comic series by Frank Miller and John Romita, Jr. that offers an inspiring testament to the importance of choice and a definitive origin story to the world’s first superhero.

Issue 1 is available on June 19, 2019 wherever comics are sold.

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Batman Maquette From The Dark Knight Returns

One of the most influential stories ever told in the comics medium is Frank Miller’s 1986 undisputed classic, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. Celebrate the comic that is cited by filmmakers as an inspiration for their Batman movies with the new 12.5” tall Batman maquette based on The Dark Knight Returns, who stands ravaged, gritty, and battle ready.

You can pre-order the statue HERE for $299.95 and it will ship on February 28, 2020.

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DC Gallery The Dark Knight Returns Batman & Carrie Kelley Deluxe Statue

As seen in the classic Frank Miller mini-series, an older Batman teaches the finer arts of slingshot usage to his newest Robin, Carrie Kelley. This 9-inch-scale statue measures approximately 8 inches tall, is made of high-grade plastic, and features detailed sculpting and paint details. It comes packaged in a full-color window box.

Pre-order HERE for $69.95. The item will ship on August 30, 2019.

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Frank Miller And John Romita Jr. Open Up About Superman: Year One

Superman: Year One is going to surprise you.

That’s pretty astonishing when you consider that we’re talking about a character who debuted in 1938, written and drawn by Frank Miller and John Romita Jr., two stalwarts of comics that have been working in the medium for several decades. And yet, Superman: Year One still manages to feel unexpected, distinct and like a new high-water mark for the character and all those involved in the story’s creation. Part of this is undoubtedly due to the format and imprint that the comic is a part of. 

Releasing in three, large-format periodicals in June, August and October of this year, Superman: Year One is the third new book to come out as part of the DC Black Label line. However, it’s also clearly a labor of love for the two men behind it, as we learned when DC spoke to both of them about their much-anticipated new project.

Read the interview HERE.

Superman: Year One #1 by Frank Miller, John Romita Jr., Danny Miki and Alex Sinclair is available in print and digital on June 19, 2019.

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Check Out These Superman: Year One Covers

DC Comics has debuted all three of John Romita’s covers for Superman: Year One along with Frank Miller’s cover art for the collection which will arrive shortly after the final issue’s release.

The first issue of the large-format series is slated to arrive in stores in June 2019. The following two issues will be released in August and October, with the series’ collection hitting stores in November 2019.

In addition to the cover art, DC has released a new description for the series:

Superman: Year One is a coming-of-age story for the future Man of Steel, featuring a young alien-boy just trying to find his place in a new world. Faced with the need to hide his heritage and powers in order to survive, Clark will find his humanity through the grounding of the Kent family and the relationships that will define the man he will become. Told by two of the most revered voices in comics, Superman: Year One is more than a superhero story – it’s about the choices made by Clark Kent on his path to becoming a legend. It’s a testament to the importance of choosing to become a hero.

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The Dark Knight Returns A Call To Arms Mini Battle Statue

Coming in 2019 is a new line of mini-statues, each a re-creation of one of the most popular statues from DC Collectibles history, with the same quality and detail but at a reduced scale and price.

Long retired due to age and a changing world, an elder Batman makes his homecoming to the crime-ridden streets of Gotham City in the seminal Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. In this epic statue crafted from the art of the book, Batman leads the charge against a new foe, mounted atop a horse as dark as night. This high-quality mini-statue is made from polyresin, giving a rich depth of detail to both Batman and his steed. This is a must-have for fans of Batman and the Miller classic.

– Limited to 5,000 pieces and individually numbered
– Statue measures approximately 7.9″ tall
– Sculpted by Phil Ramirez
– On sale September 2019 for $150

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