Funny how Frank Miller somehow manages to keep generating controversy with his irreverent treatment of DC characters. After I finished DK2 I sincerely hoped DC was finished with Miller -- DK2 read like a joyless exercise, was obvious in its execution, and worst of all looked, by Miller's standards, lazily penciled. But such trivialities didn't affect Miller's Midas touch, apparently. DC made money on the book, so he's back with a "script" for All-Star Batman & Robin. The controversy? Potty-mouth schoolyard trash talking, insufficiently blacked out by the publisher's censors -- some pages are here, for the morbidly curious.
Hard to say just what I think of the whole thing, really. This latest exercise strikes me as being about as controversial and subversive and entertaining as Paul Krassner's Disneyland Memorial Orgy -- which, to my eyes, fails on all three counts. But if that floats your boat, lay down your plastic and chortle to your bitter heart's content. Miller got the last laugh when he cashed yet another paycheque from DC for typing up a dreary retread of Marshal Law.
I think the more pertinent question now is, was Miller the right guy to write and direct The Spirit? The movie is still being referred to in some quarters as "Will Eisner's The Spirit" but that's about as accurate as calling DK2 "Bob Kane's 'The Batman.'" The movie is Miller's, and the keepers of Eisner's creative flame should probably brace themselves: as with Batman, it could well be Miller who takes complete ownership of The Spirit's identity.
Speaking of retreads: here is my public fan-letter (with reservations) to Miller; here is what I thought of the Sin City movie. My chief kvetch? "The flick was too talky. Always with the voice-over narrator, that let-me-Spillane-it-to-you prose, yak yak yak. Which can be Miller's weakness, as well -- though I usually credit him with a sense of humour he may or may not have toward his own material." Hm. Anyone want to take me to the movies this Christmas?
Finally, a tip o' the hat to Occasional Superheroine, whose post on the ASBAR controversy provoked 82 comments, and counting.