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Wednesday, December 02, 2015 

Is Frank Miller reverting to leftism?

The new third entry in his Dark Knight graphic novels, written with another, more identifiable leftist, Brian Azzarello, suggests he may be shifting back to a left-wing position, as the book contains a [distorted] metaphor for Ferguson:
Today, nearly 30 years later, Miller just made Batman’s politics even more interesting. The first issue of Dark Knight III: The Master Race — a Dark Knight sequel co-written by Miller and Brian Azzarello and drawn by Andy Kubert — just hit stands. Within its pages, the Caped Crusader tackles an issue that’s at the forefront of current American progressive politics: police brutality. I mean that literally — about half of the issue is devoted to Batman tackling abusive police officers.

Spoilers ahead.

The comic opens with a young black man in a hoodie running from a police car. We see dialogue bubbles styled like text messages between him and a friend (presumably after the events we’re witnessing). The friend asks what he was doing in a bad part of Gotham late at night, to which the kid responds, “Getting arrested.” Friend asks why. “the man dont need a reason” [sic] is the reply. We see the cops exiting the car and raising their guns to fire at the helpless, unarmed boy, whose texts recall that he was “waitin for the shot BANG last sound id ever hear” [sic] when Batman appeared. Sure enough, we see Batsy crashing down onto the cop car and punching the living daylights out of the officers.
And here there was already a metaphor for Ferguson in the flagship titles. Why do we need another one? Though this may be a co-writing effort Miller made with Azzarello, it's still as much his story as it is the co-writer's (and by extension, artist Andy Kubert's), more or less, and he'd have to be held equally accountable for it. And in this earlier interview, he clarifies his standings in response to a question about DKR:
People often think it’s a conservative screed. But Ronald Reagan is literally a villain in the story! That interpretation has never made sense to me.
Especially since I'm not a conservative. I'm a libertarian.

Are you anti-gun?
Well, I'm a hunter, so I'm not anti-gun in that sense. But I am anti-gun when it comes to actually using them on people. You've gotta keep in mind that I voted for Hillary Clinton for president, so I can't be too pro-gun.

Did you really vote for Hillary Clinton?
I have. And I will again, when she gets the nomination next time.
It's not clear if he voted for Obama. But this is dismaying enough he's willing to give his vote to somebody who already proved herself unreliable with security procedures on mail. Forget whether he's for or against guns, what matters is that he's favoring a politician who even ignored the seriousness of a case involving 2 child rapists in Arkansas.

He's probably co-written this story as an attempt to get back in good company with many of his leftist peers. Well good luck with that, because there'll still be plenty more who shun him for his earlier attacks on Occupy Wall Street and scripting Holy Terror. I wouldn't count on Tom Brevoort changing his mind either. It's regrettable if Miller's going along with this, because DC in its current state doesn't need propping up.

If that's not enough, he's even made the mistake of stating that he "hates" Superman, for absurd reasons:
DC All Access: So my big question is: do you hate Superman?

Frank Miller: Of course, who wouldn't hate someone who could fly, someone who is just loved by everyone, was the handsomest guy who could get all the dates. Of course I went for the underdog who had a nasty streak to him and played a much nastier game than Superman.
Even if he's joking, that kind of statement's long served as a role model for all sorts of nuts - creators and audience alike - who've given a new meaning to dumbing down criticism, all at the expense of the people who worked hard to create these ideas in the first place. His statement is ridiculous because it obscures Bruce Wayne's own success with various ladies in past tales (Silver St. Cloud, to name but one example).

Miller's even told the NY Post that he's replaced Bruce Wayne in this 3rd graphic novel with a woman:
In the first issue, out Wednesday, it’s revealed that a woman has stepped into the famous cowl.

“I just think the suit looks a lot better on a girl,” writer-artist Frank Miller jokes to The Post.

The new Batman is Carrie Kelley, the former Robin introduced in Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns,” the gritty 1986 series that featured a broken, 55-year-old Batman coming out of retirement. It’s among the best-selling and most influential superhero stories of all time.

The new sequel, “Dark Knight III,” is being co-written by Miller with veteran comic book scribe Brian Azzarello, but Miller says the idea to replace Bruce Wayne with a woman was hatched back in the 1980s.

“Dick Grayson [the original male Robin] in my series made a good sidekick, but he never measured up. He went insane and became a bad guy,” Miller says. “Carrie is Batman’s equal.”

“She’s a great character,” says Klaus Janson, the inker on “The Dark Knight Returns” who’s back working with Miller after three decades on “Dark Knight III.” “Frank was able to introduce a female Robin 30 years ago, and he deserves a lot of credit for that. It was kind of a radical move.

“Nowadays, we have a female Thor and a female Wolverine, and people make a big deal about it, but Frank did that 30 years ago.”
While this may take place in a stand-alone tale, it still reeks at least a little of diversity-pandering, and there's already been a Batwoman and a Batgirl role, so this is nothing new by now. That's why to say people make a big deal out of it isn't quite so, unless it's the complaint that the idea's been taken too far.
Miller and Azzarello said during a New York Comic Con appearance in October that the new sequel will “piss people off.” Miller says polarizing readers has always been in the DNA of “Dark Knight.”
That's just the problem. Here, it certainly isn't healthy to write divisive stories, because it takes away from whatever entertainment value the story might have. The original Secret Wars from 1984 may have been an early example of this too (when Spider-Man walloped a few X-Men he thought were turning traitor), and that wasn't helpful either.

It's sad to see Miller's still got some kind of leftist standing within him, which once again puts him in the position of somebody whose best work does have to be taken with a grain of salt.

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I agree that much of this probably has to do with getting back in the good graces of his peers. But how in the world could a "libertarian" vote for Hillary?? Does he really understand libertarian ideology? How can he claim that label and still vote - yet again - for the author of Hillarycare in an intellectually honest manner?? Libertarianism is anathema to Hilary's policital bent.

Maybe Miller considers himself a libertarian because he's pro-choice on abortion, drugs, and gay marriage. But if he voted for Hillary, then he's anti-choice on all other issues.

And, yes, it appears that he's trying to get back into the good graces of the limousine liberals who run Hollywood and the comic book publishing business.

Re: the cop-bashing, he's joining in with the liberal meme that we have an epidemic of white cops (and, sometimes, white civilians) murdering innocent black kids right and left, and getting away with it. An objective examination of the facts reveals the exact opposite.

Besides being a drug dealer, Freddie Gray was known to have a history of faking injuries and then filing shakedown lawsuits. He died while in police custody. If he really was ill or injured, and the cops ignored his pleas for medical treatment, then he just cried "wolf" once too often.

Tamir Rice was shot when he pointed a realistic-looking toy gun at a cop.

Eric Garner was not choked to death. The cop used a legal head lock, not a choke hold. Garner died of medical complications caused by his own obesity. And he provoked the altercation, which aggravated his health problems.

Saint Skittles (aka Trayvon Martin) ambushed and attacked a neighborhood watchman, who, wisely or not, had every legal right to be where he was. And Martin should have been in jail at the time, but the local authorities never prosecuted him for his previous crimes, because they wanted to keep the crime statistics down.

Laquan McDonald had a knife, and made threatening moves toward the cops. Maybe the cop over-reacted, maybe not. I don't doubt that a young male high on PCP or crack might have to be shot multiple times to stop him. Even if he was shot more times than necessary, that's no proof of criminal intent. If the cop panicked and continued shooting after the danger was over, then he should be fired (a person who panics in an emergency shouldn't be in a stressful job), but he should not be criminally prosecuted.

Michael Brown robbed a convenience store and choked the clerk. Then he assaulted a cop, who was forced to shoot him in self-defense.

Less than a week after the shooting in Ferguson, there was a police shooting in Salt Lake City. Dillon Taylor was shot by a cop. Taylor was unarmed. It appears that he was trying to pull his pants up, and the cop thought he was drawing a gun.

There were no riots or protests, and little publicity. Taylor was white.

I don't claim that the cop (who is "non-white") was trigger-happy. He had to make a life-or-death decision in a split second, which resulted in a tragic mistake. And maybe Taylor could have avoided trouble by raising his hands when told to do so, instead of reaching toward his waistband.

But, of course, if you apply that same benefit of doubt to Ferguson or Chicago or Cincinnati, you are a racist.

BTW, the last I heard, Michael Brown's parents got into a fight with his grandmother over profits from the T-shirt sales. Like Trayvon Martin's parents, they never cared about their son when he was alive, but they sure care about the merchandising rights.

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