Frank Miller Admits to Hating Superman in a New Interview About The Dark Knight Universe

Friday, 27 November 2015 - 8:46PM
DC Comics
Batman
Superman
Friday, 27 November 2015 - 8:46PM
Frank Miller Admits to Hating Superman in a New Interview About The Dark Knight Universe
Anyone who's ever read Frank Miller's 'The Dark Knight Returns' ought to be pretty familiar with the legendary fight between Batman and Superman that takes place at the end of the story. While Batman's victory in the book is no doubt one of the most triumphant moments the Caped Crusader has ever experienced in comic book history, it was also one of the most humiliating moments for the Man of Steel. Now, in a recent interview with DC Comics All Access, Frank Miller has actually admitted to hating Superman:


Opening quote
DC All Access: Just talking to a bunch of the DC artists and writers, you know, they'll say that the fight between Batman and Superman is one of the most seminal events in comics.

Frank Miller: And remember who won.

DC All Access: So my big question is: do you hate Superman?

Frank Miller: Of course, who wouldn't hate someone who could fly, someone who is just loved by everyone, was the handsomest guy who could get all the dates. Of course I went for the underdog who had a nasty streak to him and played a much nastier game than Superman.
Closing quote


Of course, all of this seems to be said in a lighthearted, almost joking manner. It's questionable as to whether he actually harbors hatred for the character or whether he just heavily prefers characters like Batman. One thing's for sure, however: most die-hard Superman fans have never been OK with Miller's portrayal of the character in his Dark Knight Universe and it has been debated among comic fans for quite some time as to whether or not Miller really does despise the Man of Steel.

Still, it's hard not to agree with Frank's sentiments about rooting for the underdog. The question of who would 'realistically' win in a comic book brawl between Batman and Superman was always a bit of a ridiculous question — the answer of course depends solely on the writer.  When it comes down to it, which is the more powerful message — a story about a godlike being defeating a character who is nothing but human, or a story about a dedicated man accomplishing something that seemed to be impossible?         

Miller depicted Superman as a government lapdog who would do absolutely anything that the president ordered him to do. When it comes down to standing by his friends and doing what he knows is right versus following the orders of the country he loves, he picks following the orders of the country he loves. While his fight with Batman was intense and drawn out, with Batman clenching the victory only at the last moment, the Dark Knight's words to Clark Kent are cold and hard:

Opening quote
We could have changed the world…now…look at us…I've become a political liability…and…you…you're a joke. I want you to remember, Clark…in all the years to come…in your most private moments…I want you to remember…my hand…at your throat…I want…you to remember…the one man who beat you.
Closing quote



Likewise, in the Dark Knight Strikes Again, an even worse picture of Superman is painted by Miller. Almost every line Batman speaks to or about Superman is laced with anger and hate - he's 100% condescending and arrogant, and when he battles Kal-El early in the story, it's a no contest beatdown that leaves Superman looking like a fool.

While Miller's writing is usually phenomenal, it's crystal clear that he's never shown much love for Superman in his work. TDKR is one of the best Batman stories of all time, yet almost all DC fans will admit that the iteration of Superman that is presented in the story is not in any way true to the core of the character. In fact, when Batman v Superman director Zack Snyder was discussing his take on the Man of Steel, he stated: "I sort of used Frank [Miller]'s Superman to tell me what not to do, in a way."

Right now, the third installment in Miller's Dark Knight Universe has just begun with Book One hitting shelves earlier this week. It's off to a great start, and from the looks of it, Superman will probably end up playing a sizable role in the title as well. Fans can seemingly look forward to Superman being shown in a more positive light, probably because of co-writer Brian Azzarello's heavy influence on the book. In this week's DC You interview included in the back of most new releases, Azzarello said that after reading the The Dark Knight III, 'You're going to like Superman again.'
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