Nov 15, 2011

Top 5 Frank Miller Parodies!

Making fun of Frank Miller seems to be the name of the game this week, because of some rather inflammatory things he said about the Occupy Wall Street movement. I'm not really sure why people are up in arms about it. I mean, it's Frank Miller. Why should his political opinions, which have always been pretty extreme if you look at his work, hold any value whatsoever? It reminds me of when I was in college and Art Spiegelman came out with IN THE SHADOW OF NO TOWERS, and it became the talk of the town for about a month. Yes, it's inflammatory, but even Spiegelman in the book says he's not really thinking very clearly and is paranoid, so why should anyone get angry? Even if you agree with him, do you really want Frank Miller being the flag-bearer for your movement?

But on the other hand, we did get this from Ty Templeton.

Click here to read the whole thing.

Now, it may be cheap, but I never said I had any class, so here I am, about to show you the top 5 Frank Miller parodies! I'm avoiding things like DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN and ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN, even though I'm convinced they're parodies and Frank couldn't have degenerated that much, since I have no way to actually prove my conviction. But that's okay. There's plenty more to pick from. Ready? GO!

5. WORLD'S FUNNEST by Evan Dorkin and Frank Miller

In this story, Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite tear up the entire DC multiverse. There are different artists for each earth, depending on how they fit, and it's a humorous treat as well as a visual one. You've got Dave Gibbons drawing the Silver Age DC, Phil Jimenez drawing the post-Crisis DC, Jaime Hernandez drawing the Shazam! Earth with the Captain Marvel Family, and, for the purposes of this post, Frank Miller himself drawing the DARK KNIGHT RETURNS earth.

This is why I'm convinced that Frank Miller's later works are self-parodies. He knows.

Thanks to CON C DE ARTE for the images!

4. DESTROYER DUCK #2 by Steve Gerber and Jack Kirby

DESTROYER DUCK is one of those rare series that barely anyone's ever heard of, but should be more talked about because of some notable things. It contained the first appearance of Sergio Aragones' Groo the Wanderer. It was written by Steve Gerber. It was inked by Alfredo Alcala. And it was drawn by the King, Jack Kirby. And in issue #2, we're introduced to Medea, who is a clear spoof of Elektra. (Get it? Medea? Elektra? They're both Greek?)

Only instead of Elektra's sais, Medea uses a toasting fork.

Check out Kirby Dynamics for a full scene with her in action!

3. GRIT by Alan Moore and Mike Collins

In DAREDEVILS #8, from Marvel UK, back in 1983, Alan Moore parodied Frank Miller's DAREDEVIL run with this story entitled "Grit." It was drawn by Mike Collins. I absolutely love how they just overdo Frank's "weapons go through everyone and don't pierce the clothes" schtick.

Interestingly, when I see this go online now, people use it as an example of Moore's disrespect of the mainstream superhero industry. It couldn't be more wrong, and shows the importance of taking things into context. Just seven months prior to this, in DAREDEVILS #1, Moore wrote this really complimentary piece about Frank Miller, called "The Importance of Being Frank."

Thanks to 4ColorHeroes for that.

2. MIGHTY MOUSE #1 by Michael Gallagher and Ernie Colon

In 1990, Marvel had the rights to one of the greatest funny animals ever, Mighty Mouse! And they kicked it off by spoofing Frank Miller and DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. Check out the cover!

There are even scenes in there that play off of DKR explicitly, like this one where he's lamenting the death of Robin Scrappy, which caused him to retire.

Fun stuff. I would get the rest of this series if I could find it.

1. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #1 by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird

You knew this was coming, yes? The origin of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is closely tied in to Miller's version of Daredevil, as I've explained here before.

Also, the Foot and Shredder are inspired by Miller's take on Marvel's the Hand as well as Miller's Ronin, respectively.

But it's important to note that people parodied Miller because they really liked his stuff. Remember, folks, these were tributes. They wanted to show that they liked Miller a lot. And so they did it.

These days, the Miller parodies are explicitly anti-Miller.

Perhaps deservedly so, but still. How sad things turn out sometimes.

Some of these stories and the ones they parody can be found in these books:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah, I always chuckle when I read Grit! Parody at its best.

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