Frank Miller's comic "The Dark Knight Strikes Again" is... weird. Both the plot and art style - continued from his iconic work "The Dark Knight Returns" - is expected to be somewhat off-wall, but he outdid himself with the sequel. That said, the third act of the series takes a decidedly strange turn, with several twists & plot points coming seemingly out of nowhere.

Batman himself seems out-of-character, as does Superman. Most other characters fade into the background despite strong, ongoing appearances throughout the rest of the book, and the dialogue seems like random gibberish at times. The art style gets noticeably messier, and the plot itself takes a similarly chaotic turn. The change is visible enough that, in my opinion, it's like watching one of those "artists with Alzheimer's" photo galleries.

There have been rumors of both drug and alcohol abuse on the part of Miller, although I couldn't find anything concrete. The closest thing I could find was speculation from WIRED that Miller was suffering from a form of PTSD following the 9/11 attacks in New York.

Was Frank Miller under the influence of drugs and/or health issues while writing Book 3 of "The Dark Knight Strikes Again", or was the chaotic ending intentional?

  • Maybe the increasing chaos of art and plot are designed to make the reader feel the chaos at a more visceral level through the disintegration of the presentation. Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 2:01
  • 3
    Why do people always assume its drugs?
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 2:39
  • @Tim - well, in this particular case Miller was rumored for years to have issues with both drugs AND alcohol. But you'll notice I also asked about health issues. Or maybe the weirdness was intentional... that's what I'm trying to find out. I'll update the question at the end, though, if it'll help.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 4:56
  • @Withywindle - if that's the answer, and you have some sort of evidence pointing it out, make it an answer and I'll accept it.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 4:58
  • @Omegacron will do in the morning, I can't research it now but suspect the answer is something along those lines. Will detail when able. Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 5:04

1 Answer 1


Well, I found this statement from Miller about The Dark Knight Strikes Again:

I was halfway into writing the second chapter in which a giant bomb goes off in Metropolis and 9/11 happens… It was a little beyond resonant and downright creepy. It was then that I knew that I really had to find my own way as a pop fiction guy to respond to what had happened and to the new world that had been revealed. - Did the Dark Knight Strike Again? Frank Miller’s New Digital Reality

So, since chapter three was written post 9/11, given his reaction, I think it is safe to infer that event influenced the final chapter of The Dark Knight Strikes Again.

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