Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Universe Presents : The Atom Cover Preview… Worthy? Or Exploitation?

Frank Miller SupermanFrank Miller’s Dark Knight Universe Presents : The Atom cover of which you can see part of above is drawn by Frank Miller, a legendary comic book artist and if you know of any of Mr Miller’s previous work you were probably expecting something… else… The cover is to the companion comic to upcoming Dark Knight III: The Master Race and is cooperation piece between Mr Miller, Brian Azzarello (who is co-writing) with Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson taking up the art duties.

This cover has had all sorts of reaction from the internet fan community, mostly it is horrible, it is a bad joke and is this really Frank Miller? You see Frank is a bit of a legend in the comic book industry and frankly to be honest you do expect better from him. It is not wrong to think this.

Daredevil by Frank Miller

I’ve seen Rob Liefield come out in his defense talking about all Mr Miller’s contributions to the comic book industry over the years, and how we all would be lucky to produce one tenth the influential work that he has; and I have to agree. Mr Miller’s work has greatly influenced the direction of comics with pacing, panel layout and general dynamic of comic book story telling…

Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller

But his work has also degraded through the years, with the Dark Knight Strikes again, and the horrible Holy Terror story showing Mr Miller at his worse. So I have this thought about this cover.

It is exploitation… It is obvious this isn’t Mr Miller’s best work, but perhaps with the rumors of Mr Miller fighting a deliberating illness it is his best effort? And DC is so desperate for the Dark Knight Returns money that they will publish anything associated with Frank Miller because they know it will get them cheap publicity and sales. Sadly, this does a disservice to Mr Miller and DC… If this cover was submitted as a test by an unknown artist they would be roundly rejected by DC Editorial (and laughed at)…

Imagine Frank Miller as an over the hill wrestler who keeps getting trotted out because he sells tickets and the crowd pops for him, but every time he gets in the ring it is kind of sad to watch him stumble around and the crowd knows it too. This is going to be Mr Miller’s legacy, this cover should not have been given this light of day… It does the legend of Frank Miller no favors.

I don’t find the cover an object of ridicule, but rather something that is kind of sad to see… Here is the full cover below…

Frank Miller's Dark Knight Universe Presents : The Atom Cover Preview

And as a comparison here is the first appearance of Superman in the Dark Knight Returns Graphic Novel drawn by Frank Miller.

Dark Knight Returns Superman by Frank Miller

This was the one time where DC should have just said no…

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About Nick

Just an Englishman lost in the USA who happens to write now and again... Anyone got a cup of tea?

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