Frank Miller has been a power house in the comic industry. He gave Daredevil a new lease on life and, while Batman was already on the mend in the 70’s, Miller forced the mainstream to recognize just how awesome and dark Batman can truly be! He’s done creator own work as well with the likes of Ronin, Martha Washington, Big Robot and Rusty, Sin City. Holy Terror, and more. You can check out my Creator Spotlight on him right here on Bleeding Fool!
But, along the way, Frank…lost his mind – some would say. Other says he started writing Sin City and never stopped. His mentor, Neal Adams, believed that Frank believed his hype and the fame went to his head. Whatever the reason, his reputation was damaged. But then, to a lot of peoples surprise, The Dark Knight III The Master Race was released! Now to be fair, Brian Azzarello did a lot of the writing in there too but Miller WAS still involved with the backup stories and the plotting. It was great! The whole series not only felt like a proper sequel to the Dark Knight (much more so than DK Strikes Again) but…it felt like an apology to how Frank treated Superman! SUPERMAN was the main star of the story, even more so than Batman! And that (finally) leads us to the topic today!
After working on DKIII, Frank decided he wanted to tell the origins of Superman his way, the version he used in the Dark Knight series! With him came his Daredevil Man Without Fear collaborator John Romita Jr! And together they worked on Superman Year One! Does it bring anything new to the table? Well, with this first of three books it…doesn’t really. It does feel like retreads but still told in a way that’s interesting. But the ending is where it starts to veer into fresh territories as Clark Kent enlists to join the Navy of all things!
But, overall, what makes me enjoy this book so much boils down to two things. 1) It’s the best Superman’s being written so far, especially compared to Bendis. and 2) This is the most optimistic Frank Miller has been in ages! This feels like classic Frank again. That he is back on the ball! And Romita’s artwork…I know many hate it, but I love it! I grew up with his artwork and, while some projects can be inferior to others. This one felt mostly like a strong outing! That ~ and he’s always had more of a Frank Miller style than a JR Sr style!
So yeah, check it out below as I gush about this first book and insist that you check it out for yourself too.