For the better part of a decade, the comics world has been keeping its eyes on Frank Miller’s Holy Terror. Fans and pundits alike have relentlessly debated the project, needing not even a full page’s glimpse to form an opinion. Which, I suppose, was necessary, seeing as Miller played the hand so close to his chest that news was released only in infrequent snippets.
Occasional whispers of plot. Breathy sighs of editorial tumult. Stifled chuckles of creative insanity.
Lest we not forget that at one time Holy Terror was titled Holy Terror, Batman! The premise was simple: Batman and Catwoman are caught in the midst of a terrorist attack (ala 9/11) and then take it upon themselves to strike back against Al Qaeda. Depending on whose doing the `splaining, Miller’s intention was either to pay homage to classic WWII propaganda comics or simply to vent his anti-Muslim vitriol via the medium he’s helped redefine on multiple occasions.
Of course, DC Comics ain’t in the business of losing business, so Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle were never given the green light to hunt terrorists. Instead, Miller tells his story by employing The Fixer and the Cat Burglar, analogs probably just different enough to give some peace of mind to the legal department at Legendary Comics (publisher of Holy Terror). So again, it’s The Fixer and Cat Burglar that seek assistance of Dan Donegal (who’s totally not Jim Gordon) to seek revenge.
You might think that Frank Miller prefers using The Fixer so that the Batman purists aren’t offended. But you’d be wrong – dead wrong. In fact, the man’s even said that he hopes this book pisses people off.
Well, yesterday finally saw the release of Holy Terror and I’ve had given it a couple of read-throughs. Now, it’s time to sift through ten years worth of questions posed by both advocates and detractors, to figure out how the story stacks up. Does it trivialize world-issues by painting them in black-and-white terms and solving them with superheroics? Is it artful? Has Frank Miller gone off the deep end? Is it entertaining? Does it fall short of the expectations? Is it worth purchasing?
The answer, to all of the above, is a resounding yes.
Legendary Entertainment has premiered their poster to hype-up Frank Miller’s forthcoming ultra-bloody possibly-super-offensive graphic novel, Holy Terror.
Hit the jump to check it out.
Back when Frank Miller announced Holy Terror, Batman!, it seemed like it was too ludicrous of an idea to exist. Impossible, even. Time passed, nothing was said, and that only concretized that notion. Eventually Frank Miller announced it was going to happen, just without the Batman part of it. Which made it infinitely less cool, since Batman fighting Al Qaeda…without Batman is just some dude whupping terrorist ass. Even after that, not much was said regarding the title.
Like the One Ring, years passed and it was largely forgotten.
Until now. This pig is coming out in September.
For years, rumors and whispers have abounded that Frank Miller would return to Batman by having him fight Al Qaeda. The project, titled Holy Terror, Batman!, has been plagued by criticism and alleged concerns of DC’s higher-ups (I guess I could see how depicting a superhero as fighting a real-life terror network could be seen as an obscene act of trivialization).
Well, according to the LA Times, Frank Miller is still going ahead with the project; just without the caped crusader. In place of Bruce Wayne, a new hero called The Fixer will battle Al Qaeda. Miller explains:
“I pushed Batman as far as he can go and after a while he stops being Batman. My guy carries a couple of guns and is up against an existential threat. He’s not just up against a goofy villain. Ignoring an enemy that’s committed to our annihilation is kind of silly, It just seems that chasing the Riddler around seems silly compared to what’s going on out there. I’ve taken Batman as far as he can go.”
“It began as my reaction to 9/11 and it was an extremely angry piece of work and as the years have passed by I’ve done movies and I’ve done other things and time has provided some good distance, so it becomes more of a cohesive story as it progresses. The Fixer has also become his own character in a way I’ve really enjoyed. No one will read this and think, ‘Where’s Batman?‘”
I see all of the potential problems that will arise from the release of this project (which, by the way, DC is not going to be involved in). With that being said, I can’t help but get excited about new Frank Miller work – he’s a goddamn comics legend and anything he releases is at least worth considering.