Crime comic books in the 1950s caused controversy leading to their suppression and near extinction. Twenty-five years later, the dark hero, femme fatale, and bleak outlook of crime story comic books are even more striking and subversive. Terrence Wandtke traces the history of crime comics from their beginnings to the current resurgence and analyzes the cultural forces that give rise to influential works like Frank Miller’s Sin City, Brian Azzarello’s 100 Bullets, and Ed Brubaker’s Criminal.
The Dark Night Returns is the third book published in the RIT Press Comics Studies Monograph Series.
About the Author
Terrence Wandtke is a professor at Judson University where he teaches courses on film, literature, and comic books. His books include The Meaning of Superhero Comics (McFarland) and the collections The Amazing Transforming Superhero (McFarland), and Ed Brubaker: Conversations (forthcoming from the University Press of Mississippi). He is the founder of the Imago Film Festival and the area chair of Comics and Comic Art for the Popular Culture Association.
Publisher: RIT Press (02/2015)
Illustrations: 33, mostly color
Size: 7 x 10 in.
Shipping Weight: 0.4lb
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Table of Contents
xi Foreword by Gary Hoppenstand
Ink, Paper, Crime, and Punishment
Crime Comics and Other Black Masks
1 Chapter 1
Classic Crime Comics and the Big Sleep
31 Chapter 2
The Dark Mirror Reappears in the Future: Dean Motter and Howard Chaykin
65 Chapter 3
The Dark Night Returns to the Mainstream: Frank Miller
101 Chapter 4
After Dark (Another Generation of Comic Noir):
Brian Michael Bendis, Brian Azzarello, and Ed Brubaker
Crime Comics and America’s Memento Mori