Who Should Write Superman: Part 11

October 19, 2007

Writer’s Note:  Ibiteyoureyes was (mistakenly!) under the impression that the Who Should Write Superman series was started in order to discuss who should write the sequel to Superman Returns, and not the comic book(s). Blame his bad memory, and blame the disappointment that was this movie, and blame The Bush Administration (why not?),  for this mistake.

– – –

My first experience reading Frank Miller was not a good one. I picked up a copy of one of the Sin City graphic novels, “watched” a guy get hit by a car while grumbling campy dialogue for a few pages, and then put that copy right down.

There are two important points that I want to make, before someone from the Legion of Geeks (of which I – in addition to most of the saladeers – am probably a low-ranking member) flips out starts an anti-salad video blogging campaign (leave Frank Miller alone!) against this sweet and innocent textual blog.

  1. Let’s get this much gay at the inset: Miller has some serious talent. As some of his work has shown – he can take everything that is good about what is generally understood as the noir genre – and hone it into something special. Unlike some people, he can successfully turn style into substance. It just seems to me, though, that after a few early successes with this strategy, he got too big for his britches. And then his britches snapped open, like the britches of a certain other someone, and he was left with just some junk hanging in the air.
  2. I, as a person, and a biter of eyes, subject “the everyday” and “the mundane” to unhealthy levels of analysis and critique. It’s just the way I shook out. What does this have to do with Frank Miller? As I’ve pointed out, Miller uses many of the themes and devices inherent to noir, and I am a big, big noir fan – and one that places a lot of value on the importance of this genre’s roots. And I believe those roots should be respected. So when Miller (in my opinion) exploits the melodrama and the wisecracking and the tough-guy acts and the sex and etc. that serve as the genre’s main devices and tries to pass them off as the essence of the genre itself – rather than simply utilizing them to their fullest dramatic potential – that, quite simply, boils my bum.

Now…that being said…I firmly believe in battling my own early prejudices and judgments and giving everything as fair a shake as I can. So come over here and let me show you what things look like 180 degrees in the other direction.

I have read two Miller novels since that first, dirty dip in his bibliography, those two novels being: The Dark Knight Returns, and The Dark Knight Strikes Again. The quality and the success of these novels (particularly the first one) have convinced me that Miller should reach back in time, remember what made him good, and write Superman.

Why Frank Miller Should Write Superman

  1. Superman Returns did not go far enough in updating the tone of Superman’s story. To tell you the truth – I do not remember much about this movie, except that it was boring. I am decently sure I was not drunk when I saw it. What I do remember, is that Singer and Co. tried, with the occasional overact by Kevin Spacey, and the too-frequently-appearing trite or downright silly plot device (kid and piano), to complicate and shadow Superman’s “universe.” That sort of stuff just ain’t going to fly. Take your cue from Mr. Nolan, Mr. Singer. Frank Miller, off the same foot, based on what I saw in the two novels I read, would have absolutely no problem dirtying Superman and his universe up, and/or updating the big guy’s story for an America that wants more darkness, more cynicism and more sex (of the mid-air-with-other-superheroes variety, rather than the clueless dead beat dad variety).
  2. A Frank Miller Superman plot line would probably diverge in shocking, unexpected ways from previous franchise installments. Particularly, it would likely include a lengthy cameo sequence in which Batman uses his superior intellect, lots of bombs, and Green Arrow, to kick Superman’s ass. Imagine Christian Bale beating Brandon Routh into submission. And then taunting him for being weak. That’s the stuff that geek-wood is made of.
  3. Halfway through the script, Miller would probably kill off Lois Lane and just start peppering scenes with new hotties. Lois Lane has always been kind of annoying. I don’t see Miller tolerating her for very long into yet another Superman movie. Frank, if you are reading this, I suggest that you write a scene where she’s fighting with her kid – over something stupid like “the kid doesn’t want to eat his cranberry flavored oatmeal.” The kid can throw a tantrum, and then when Lois starts getting saucy with him, he can take it a step further: and throw the kitchen table…at his mom’s head.
  4. The likely transformation of Jimmy Olsen from dork to dork with a serious edge. In The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Jimmy Olsen is less like Kenneth the Page from 30Rock, and more like…Happy Harry Hard-on. I would expect a similar treatment in Miller’s script.

Those are really the only reasons that I have. And I think they are enough. Just image it…

…your Superman, crawling out from under the rubble after receiving an epic ass-kicking from Christian Bale…before finally…rising… to save an ungratefyl, dystopic, fallen Metropolis… from…whatever…all while dealing with the guilt of having not saved Lois “this time.” And on top of all that…he’ll be tagging lady-heroes in mid-air.

Frank Miller should write Superman.

4 Responses to “Who Should Write Superman: Part 11”

  1. dailysalad Says:

    Before people complain that Frank Miller has already written Superman, with very mixed results, I’d like to offer my commentary on ibiteyoureyes’ post. Heofeatingyoureyes is referring not to the Frank Miller of today, but to the essence of Frank: “Miller should reach back in time, remember what made him good.” Or, another interpretation: the Sin City Frank Miller, and not the one who writes Superhero funny books.

  2. JT Says:

    Frank Miller is a fucking monster. ibiteyoureyes, you just got a thumbs up from my dark, disgusting corner of this shitbox world.

  3. theciceronian Says:

    JT, are you from the northwest?

  4. JT Says:

    To theciceronian,

    Who the fuck are you?

    Hugs and kisses,


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