Originally Posted by Motown Marvel
no, miller was once a great writer. year one and DKR i think are over rated, but still very solid pieces of work. his sin city stuff was fantastic. and i know thats completely different, but it proves he was a great writer, though a very specific one. and while he's become a parody of himself, and his work has stumbled into the "so bad its good" area, i do not think that are his intentions.
No love for Ronin? In my opinion, it's still to this day, not only his best graphic novel (imo.) but also one of my favorite comic books in general. Combining cyberpunk with samurai culture is definitely a tricky one to accomplish, but the way Miller managed it in here seems flawless.
And don't forget his incredible take on Daredevil. Sure, he took the 'fun' out of the character, and made him too 'grim and gritty' for his own good. But besides hating this fact, you can't deny that the way he managed to imply these things to the character seemed unbelievably smooth. Every issue was psychologically relevant und filled with some of the best dialogues in the superhero franchises history.
Big Guy and Rusty, in which he was able to write a kid friendly, fun comicbook you could easily hand over to your six year old cousin and feel good about it, but still get lots of entertainment out of it for yourself. The themes it respond to were very adult, and reading between the lines showed a very depressing world ruled by war and violence, making it one of the best anti-war messages in comicbook history. But the fact that these things were so subtly implied that it works as a perfect read for a younger audiences, makes it one of his most underrated masterpieces.
And while I agree with you on the point that TDKR is overrated, one can't deny that it's still, in many aspects, a masterpiece of it's own. From the top notch writing and noirish, Raymond Chandler esque dialogues that gave the readers insights into the character's minds like almost none Batman comic before it, to the spot on storytelling that made 'out there' themes very easy to relate to. If one says 'Dark Knight Returns wasn't that good' only reflects the readers preference to other comicbooks which is absolutely okay, in my book. As I said before, I prefer other comic books to Dark Knight Returns as well. In fact, DKR isn't even in my Top 10 list of favorite Batman Comics, maybe not even in my Top 20. But denying it's huge impact to the comicbook industry and disown all the things the comicbook did not only right, but even spot on in some respects, is - imo - a very ignorant move.
In other words: like it or not, but Frank Miller was a fantastic writer once, very much so.
P.S.: I'd even consider DK2 to be his secret masterpiece. But that's another story.