Tue Aug 12 2008
By Charlie Jane Anders
We used to love Frank Miller, before his comics work turned into schlocky self-parody. But even in his prime, Frank wouldn’t be our first choice to direct a semi-major Hollywood movie, so we’re sad that Miller’s getting his shot at the brass ring with The Spirit. We can think of ten comics creators off the top of our heads who would do a better job of helming a movie than Frank, and here they are.
Darwyn Cooke (writer/artist)
What he’s famous for: He helped super-writer Ed Brubaker revamp Catwoman in 2001, with a fresh look that combined the clean lines of Batman: The Animated Series (which Cooke worked on) with a gloomy noir sensibility. Then he went on to reinvent the origins of DC Comics’ silver age characters with the miniseries DC: The New Frontier, which became a direct-to-DVD animated movie. Finally, he teamed up with Jeph Loeb to do a Batman/Spirit minseries, and then wrote and penciled a Spirit series for a year.
What we’d like to see: Scrap Miller’s The Spirit and give us Cooke’s on the big screen instead. I don’t even care if Miller’s done filming. Just include Miller’s version as an extra on the DVD of Cooke’s version. Cooke’s series nailed what Miller’s movie looks like it’ll miss out on: the playfulness and vividness of Will Eisner’s original comics. And Cooke found ways to bring the Spirit into the 21st century without losing what was cool about the character originally.