While I was afraid to put that in the headline, apparently legendary comic book writer/artist Frank Miller wasn’t afraid at all to put that thing right on the cover of his new DC comic.
This image was revealed earlier this week to a typically overreacting 24-hours of social media bile. Most complained about the general lack of proper anatomy or perspective in Superman’s pose, along with the gall of Miller to blatantly display the outline of that mega-member in the dead centre of the piece.
The gall of Miller? Some people man… I mean, we’re talking Frank Miller here. The guy who turned super-heroes into an art long before that wanky term ‘graphic novel’ let everyone with a broken heart and an MFA produce some poetically painted crap or ragingly violent surrealist nonsense in comic book form.
The man earned his autonomy and creative power through a sheer force of beautifully blocky art and a punch-in-the-face machismo often reserved for pro-wrestling… or Hemingway. And now he’s revisiting (again) his most famous work, The Dark Knight Returns, with a new mini-series, including this special issue starring Atom and a monstrous Superman.
How can any have the balls to question the artistic decisions of a genuine master? When he produced that original Dark Knight series in 1986 no one seemed to understand what he was doing then either when he crafted a brutal and politicised, realistic future story about a nice and beloved cartoon character who was always perpetually frozen in time. And guess what, it set the stage for 20 years worth of violent copycats, alternate universes and “dark” gritty mainstream garbage.
But then, why draw Superman’s dick in the middle of a cover page?
That’s what Superman looked like in the 80s The Dark Knight Returns. You’ll notice the smooth tights around the groin.
Maybe he wants to call attention to the increasingly adult obsession with super-heroes being unable to embrace either the reality of these characters or how still being into this kind of fantasy is just stupid. Maybe he is trying to equate the brutishness of a character representing the ultimate male id with the most extreme interpretation of the most id of male body parts. Or maybe he just wanted to contrast the casual and applauded destruction and death caused by the good-est of good guy characters in the movie Man of Steel, produced by notorious Frank Miller-biter Zack Snyder, against the predictably knee-jerk complaints that would come from showing a natural body part as it would most likely appear in a spandex outfit like this.
All we know for sure is that Frank Miller drew this, and that means he did it for a reason. We might get it in 20 years or maybe it’ll just poke us all in the eyes tomorrow!