Batman kicks Al Qaeda's ass.

Nope, no joke.

[February 12, 2006 - During his WonderCon panel, Frank Miller discussed his next graphic novel. Once again, Miller returns to the world of the Batman, this time with Holy Terror, Batman!. Though the title plays with Robin’s classic catchphrase, the book deals with a serious subject. Gotham has been attacked by Al Qaeda and Batman sets out to defend the city he loves. The book, which Miller has inked through 120 pages, is expected to run roughly 200 pages total.

The reason for this work, Miller said, was “an explosion from my gut reaction of what’s happening now.” He can’t stand entertainers who lack the moxie of their '40s counterparts who stood up to Hitler. Holy Terror is “a reminder to people who seem to have forgotten who we’re up against.”

It’s been a long time since heroes were used in comics as pure propaganda. As Miller reminded, “Superman punched out Hitler. So did Captain America. That’s one of the things they’re there for.”](
Not sure how I feel about this. My gut reaction is that it trivializes the threat of Muslim extremism; but then again I’m one of those whose gut reaction is that graphic novels and the like are not “real” art, and I know others think differently.

Miller makes an interesting point. Captain America did punch out Hitler, and Batman is a folk hero. However, sensibilities have changed drastically since the '40s. Watching Bugs Bunny dish out hand grenades to terrorists probably wouldn’t strike most people as funny today, and as you say, seeing Batman punch Osama bin Laden might be seen to reduce the complexities of terrorism to a one-dimensional “Bang! Pow!” kind of story. I suppose I’m saying that I admire Miller’s gumption and don’t object to the idea in principle, but I think it might be nearly impossible to pull off.

A related concern might be: Can Miller still write and draw a good Batman story, regardless of subject matter? I don’t think DK2 left many people terribly satisfied.

I dunno. I think it’d be hilarious. But I’m strange that way.

I dunno. I think it’d be hilarious. But I’m strange that way.

Given what I’ve read about Miller’s politics, I am very surprised at this news.

I dunno, liberal/conservative, Democrat/Republican really doesn’t make a difference vis-a-vis Al-Quaeda, in my experience. There really isn’t much in the American political spectrum that I can imagine having a problem with AQ being the bad guys in fiction. Or is it something else?

I haven’t heard anything about Miller’s politics - what have you heard?

BTW, I’m with Nonsuch on this; my real doubts are that Miller can still write a compelling Batman story.

I’m not. Miller said some pretty nasty, Coulter-esque, anti-Muslim things after 9/11. I’d expect some pretty nasty stereotypes in this work.

Between that and how despicable his recent treatments of Batman have been, I can’t say that I’m looking forward to this.

Wow, I didn’t know that about him. Now I AM looking forward to this comic! :smiley:

This reminds me a little of Andrew Vachss’s novel, The Ultimate Evil, in which Batman goes after sexual predators of children.

There are enough real bad guys in the world, it’d be nice to have a superhero come along and kick their asses.

I gotta say, the arch-conservative, gay-baiting, black male-bashing subtext in most of Miller’s work from DAREDEVIL to 300 to the last of the SIN CITY stories – which I have increasingly grown wary of ever since I became aware of it – is not making me look forward to this. History has shown that any ethnic group Miller doesn’t already think favorably of will get stereotypically mocked and/or dismissed. Seeing as I haven’t even opened up my copies of DK2 again since it debuted, and I basically haven’t read ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER since the first two issues turned me off (maybe I’m supposed to read more into Robin’s mindset?), this announcement isn’t whetting my appetite.

I’ll probably take a look, but Miller’s last three Batman projects** (Batman/Spawn, DK2 and B&RTBW) have not warmed me to his work.

** Excluding Miller’s Dark Knight contributions to pieces like FANBOY #5 and WORLD’S FUNNIEST.

Miller’s always seemed like a pretty right-wing quasi-fascist guy to me, and I liked the Dark Knight. The Ethos of all his work that I’m familiar with–Daredevil, Batman, Elektra, Sin City–is that it takes a strong man to scrub away the filth and corruption that plagues society, all the villains and their liberal enablers and apologists: the psychologists and defense lawyers and media types who at best refuse to face the evil that lurks in the shadows and at worst secretly profit from it. Basically Travis Bickle if he wrote and drew comics. I’m not surprised by this at all.

“Rights? You’ve got rights. Sometimes I count them to keep myself awake at night. But right now you’re bleeding to death. And the only one who can get you to a hospital on time is me.”

Nitpick: "Sometimes I count them to make myself feel crazy."

I don’t know how anyone could read his characterization of Superman in DKR and think he was a “quasi-facist.” If anything, he struck me as an anarcho-libertarian type with very liberal leanings except that he didn’t trust government, and interviews I read from him at the time confirmed that impression.

Guess he changed his mind after 9-11…wouldn’t be the first.

I’m disappointed by how Miller apparently claims that other writers lack the “moxie” to have their characters face off against al Qaida. Does Miller really think that there’s a major pro-terrorist movement in this country that he alone is brave enough to confront? The reality is that other creators realize they’re writing comic books and having superheroes fight al Qaida would trivialize a real world tragedy.

To me, that sounds like a drastic mischaracterization of what he is saying. What he seems to be saying is that no one else wants to confront the issue because they are afraid of offending Muslims. As for trivializing a real world tragedy…hell, comic books have done it time and time again. It’s very hard for comic books to NOT trivialize something.

That’s not it, and I don’t think RikWriter has it either. Back in the 40s, characters like Captain America served to raise the morale of the public who read his adventures; they showed Cap facing a real-life enemy with courage, determination and absolute confidence in the rightness of his cause. They were, in Miller’s wholly accurate summary, propaganda, political speech explicitly condoned by, and in support of, the establishment. Comics have since adopted a much more anti-establishment stance; they pride themselves on critiquing society, on exposing the rotting underbelly rather than the gleaming mansion on the hill. I think Miller is implicitly saying that none of his colleagues has the courage to use a character like Batman for something so monstrously uncool and old-fashioned as a pro-war, pro-West, pro-USA propaganda piece. Whether that is true is something for a more knowledgable person than me to decide.

On the other hand, South Park did an episode where Cartman kills Bin Laden, and the whole thing was clearly a Bugs Bunny homage. Treating this kind of thing seriously with a fictional character would be more of a problem, I think. That’s what makes it trivial (or worse, self-aggrandizing and exploitive, like the rumors of a Rambo-tracks-Bin Laden movie).

I’m interested in hearing more about what Askia is saying about Miller.

You mean he’s actually going to give us some BACKGROUNDS this time? :eek:

Now if he’ll just promise not to draw everyone wearing Ronald McDonald shoes, I might actually buy the thing.

BINGO! We have a Winnah!

Look on the bright side: At least he admits it’s propoganda.

Please - comic books as a rebellious art form? Comic books are about as threatening to the establishment as TV sitcoms are. It’s considered a controversial political stance when the X-Men titles equate the anti-mutant movement with anti-semitism and racism. But stop and think for a second - do you know anyone who supports anti-semitism and racism? It’s just an easy way to sound like you’re being relevant while you avoid any real controversy. And that’s typical of comic books - they might attack the policies of the Luthor administration but you’ll never hear a word against the Clinton or Bush administrations.

Have you ever seen a comic book character take a stand on the Iraqi war? On gay marriage? On gun control? On abortion policy? Heck, have you ever seen a comic book character mention a real world candidate he or she was going to vote for?