Robot 6

Quote of the day | Frank Miller, anti-capitalist Cassandra?

Perhaps the most disturbing scene in Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again (also known as DK2; Miller and Varley 2001-2002) is where Batman attacks the corporate leaders of the United States government, giving the word “terrorism” a new meaning. The Anarcho-terrorist superhero’s assault is directed against “the real monsters” (page 53, panel 1), the corrupt powers-that-be that rule behind a virtual president….In “late capitalism”, the virtual transactions of financial speculators determine the entire economy of countries, the “democratic” political system of their governments and, of course, the real life of their citizens. We should ask ourselves if the world we inhabit now is so different from the virtual United States ruled by the computer-generated president Miller imagined.

The Comics Grid’s Pepo Pérez wonders if Frank Miller and Lynn Varley’s The Dark Knight Strikes Again was prophetic (in a way Miller himself probably wouldn’t approve of today). Personally, I think it’s a stretch to compare the real America to Batman’s America. I mean, one has a glossy, shiny surface built on human suffering, as citizens participate in a sham democracy treated like a sporting event by blathering talking-head news-media figures, while corporations engaged in criminal conspiracies for which they suffer no lasting legal consequences loot the world with impunity behind the scenes. The other has Batman in it.



Very nice last paragraph there, Mr. Collins. Hats off.

Everything in DKR and DKSA is happening again.

In our hearts, we know that capitalism is slavery, there is no other alternative.

I don’t think so; this is a major stretch. For one thing, I don’t see how this is specifically addressing what Sean is talking about in reference to Perez. For another, we see the sordid America in both DKs, but where is any example of this “glossy, shiny surface” America he mentions in either? In the first, everything is already falling apart at the start. In the second, everything outside the superheroes is so vague and everything WITH them is just constant fighting without any seeming direction or focus. (Seriously, in DK2, on the streets apart from Brainiac, who are they fighting with specifically?) I mean, there’s NOTHING coherent in DK2 and not really any “real” people in it. It’s superheroes, supervillains, and a very vague mass who are only represented by a literal mishmash of media comments.

If prophecy it is, it’s one so vague it could apply to an awful lot.

John Roberson:

If you read the Comic’s Grid article linked to above you’ll see that the “glossy shiny surface” is the layers of multi-media representation that appear in DK2. It is the mainstream news, the sports channels, the massive amounts of coverage given to celebrity gossip, the president as a ‘front man’ for corporate interests and not a *real* president, whilst the nation/world rapidly decays .

DK2 is not a good book, but the ‘screen reality’ technique employed by Miller is a rare example of foresight in his work. Comics Grid is an academic group and they aren’t interested in questions like “did I like the story?” but instead offer an analysis (cultural and of the content. Please don’t dismiss it from one quoted paragraph and the CBR summary. The “mishmash of media comments” is counterpoint to the reality of the heroes/villains in the book. It is the story sold to the public through various forms of media, not the reality experienced by anyone.

Just because Miller has become an incoherent, babbling, hyper-patriot Islamophobe it doesn’t mean some of his earlier work might have some worthwhile, even radical, elements within it.

Back to topic:
This article and pretty much everything else on comics grid is well worth reading. You can learn a lot about comics, its history as an art form and the innovations made in recent years. You’ll also find a few books in there too. Nice to see it get a bit of publicity from CBR.

Oh god that last post is so full of typos. Many apologies.

“rapidly decays .” = “rapidly decays around it.”

” (cultural and of the content.” = ” (both cultural and of the content itself).

” doesn’t mean some of his earlier work might have” = ” doesn’t mean that some of his earlier work has no”

Oh, Sean, don’t ever change.


“Everything in DKR and DKSA is happening again.

In our hearts, we know that capitalism is slavery, there is no other alternative.”

Well, you could chose embrace communism, which leads to utopias like North Korea. Oh wait, that place was run by the nutty short tyrant who just died.

Or you could choose socialism which is the dominant economic system in Europe. Oh wait, Europeans are raping, killing and robbing each other because socialism is imploding because the productive people keep running to America.

Fascism? No, too associated with racist, genocidal Nazis.

So, I guess we’re left with capitalism, which enables poor people to become wealthy through hard work. See formerly homeless guys like Tyler Perry and Chris Gardner (of “Pursuit of Happyness” fame), who are now a hit filmmaker and successful stockbroker, respectively. Best of all, these new rich folk create more jobs in a year than Congress and Obama combined.

In short, capitalism is hardly slavery, but a means for the poor and middle class to get rich IF they want to. This is a stark contrast to socialism and communism which keep the poor poor and the wealthy wealthy. See Soviet Union, Communist China, Cuba, etc. That is TRUE slavery.

EdA wrote:

“Just because Miller has become an incoherent, babbling, hyper-patriot Islamophobe it doesn’t mean some of his earlier work might have some worthwhile, even radical, elements within it. ”

Let me guess. You’re upset that Frank Miller is a TRUE radical by calling the Occupiers a band of thieves, rapists and louts instead of adoring them like most of his comic creating peers.

You are probably even more upset that the rash of crimes committed by the Occupy movement prove that Miller is right not crazy:

In the pro-liberal world of comics, being a libertarian like Miller is the ultimate act of rebellion.

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