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Friday, March 09, 2007


Bronze John Weekend

So here comes 300, and with it Frank Miller's continued assertion that violence is sex. (Only better.)

Why Frank bothers me, in Lance Mannion's words:
Miller, who created the graphic...ahem...novels Sin City and 300, is credited with saving Batman for DC, but he did it by turning a goofy kids’ comic book about the world’s greatest detective into a perpetual revenge fantasy starring the world’s most violent arrested adolescent. Batman since the Dark Knight returned has been a medium for late teenage and early twentysomething men whose own adolescences were arrested at the point they first took an honest look in the mirror and saw that they would never be the type who quarterbacks teams to Super Bowl victories and date cheerleaders, to see their self-pitying misanthropy acted out in not quite cathartic violence. “Take that world, for not appreciating me!”
Then again, my favorite version of Batman wore an Indian headdress and fought alien dinosaurs on the moon in 3,700 AD, so what do I know? (Concession: Miller's Batman Year One is very entertaining. Were it the only example of that approach to Batman, it--and Miller's approach to the character, would be unimpeachable. That, however, is Earth 53.)

Also, Mannion's point about how laughable it is to compare George Effing Bush to either Xeres or Leonidas, who were both, ahem, warrior kings.

Whatever, dude!

I live on Earth Three Thousand!!!

Boo Ya!
Thanks for this. I've passed the link on to a few non-comics-readers who've asked me for an opinion on 300 in my presumptive capacity as their "designated comics guy" -- I explain that I haven't read the GN and don't plan to see the film, but Mannion describes some of what I see in Miller's work more generally.
I've whored it out everywhere else (and John Rogers said nice things about it!), so I may as well whore it out here:

My take on 300, for whatever it's worth to you. And your little dog, too.

I've also got recent stuff on BULLET POINTS, CIVIL WAR, and George R.R. Martin's latest self pity fit, if you're interested. Check the main page.
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