I’m not sure I’m up for this, but I’ll give it a shot. I had hoped to see some discussion of Frank Miller’s latest on this board, but given the generally negative impression of his recent work, I’m not surprised I haven’t. Regarding Holy Terror, I’m not sure I quite get it. I read it twice and I’m still not sure I quite get it. So yesterday I went online to read some reviews and discussions on other boards to find out what others are saying about it. Reportedly, Miller’s stated goal is “to p*ss people off,” and if that’s so, he certainly succeeded. Very little of the online discussions I read had much to do with the work at all, though; rather, the discussions quickly degenerated into pure politics and name-calling. But I know we on this board are above that sort of thing.

I’ll start with a quick summary. As the story opens, “Batman” is chasing “Catwoman” above the streets of “Gotham City,” apparently working out their sexual frustration by beating each other up. Suddenly, Al-Quaeda launches a well-coordinated attack on multiple fronts, bring down the “Statue of Liberty.” After that, “Batman” and “Catwoman” (with a little help from “Commissioner Gordon”) take the fight directly to the terrorists, resorting directly to torture and violations of basic human rights. That’s enough of a summary, I think.

Frank Miller obviously has some issues to work out regarding the 9/11 attacks, and I like to think he’s doing it vicariously through his comics. OTOH, I know nothing about the man’s personal politics; he may be advocating the type of actions taken by his character, The Fixer, for all I know. The art is phenomenal. He includes caricatures of all the major political figures you might expect, plus individual mini-portraits of the victims of the attacks, which eventually fade as the panels become smaller and smaller and the numbers become too vast to count. It’s a technique I’ve seen only R. Crumb use to better effect (while doing the “begats” in his adaptation of Genesis.)

The second and third issues of Miller’s Dark Knight Strikes Again straddled the 9/11 attacks, and there is a marked difference in tone and technique in issue #3. I see his controversial All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder as a dark parody of superhero comics in general, and I enjoy it from that POV. I could be wrong, but I don’t think he ever intended it to be taken seriously (well, as a parody, yes, but not as an in-continuity origin story). I think this is the direction Holy Terror might be coming from, but I’m just not quite sure.

Has anyone else here read it? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

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We watched the animated version of Batman: Year One, yesterday evening, mu wife's first exposure to the story. It's difficult to say which aspect she hated more: making Selina Kyle a prostitute or making the Gordon's child a boy.

Alan Moore comments on Frank Miller's over-the-top ranting.

Favorite quote:  

“I think that the “Occupy” movement is, in one sense, the public saying that they should be the ones to decide who’s too big to fail. It’s a completely justified howl of moral outrage and it seems to be handled in a very intelligent, non-violent way, which is probably another reason why Frank Miller would be less than pleased with it.”

I have enjoyed Miller's recent work with my (and I had assumed his) tongue planted firmly in cheek. I had no idea that he was serious about the more over-the-top elements. Will the knowledge that he's serious affect my enjoyment of his future work? We shall see.

Yeah...let us know, Jeff.  I won't be buying any of his future work.  I used to give Year One and his Daredevil work as gifts to people...that will no longer happen.

But should we let Frank Miller's attitude and beliefs NOW affect our views of his previous work? No one has to buy his current efforts. I disliked All Star Batman immensely and what little I've seen of Sin City does not inspire me to delve into those either.

But his Eisnerish Daredevil reinvented the character and gave us deeper versions of the Kingpin, Bullseye and even the Punisher. Not to mention Elektra. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One, despite some bad decisions, are still major influences on the Batman mythos some thirty years afterwards.

I guess what I'm saying is that sometimes we must seperate the work from the creator.

I don't think anyone has advocated rewriting his position in history.

Philip Portelli said:

But should we let Frank Miller's attitude and beliefs NOW affect our views of his previous work? No one has to buy his current efforts. I disliked All Star Batman immensely and what little I've seen of Sin City does not inspire me to delve into those either.

But his Eisnerish Daredevil reinvented the character and gave us deeper versions of the Kingpin, Bullseye and even the Punisher. Not to mention Elektra. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One, despite some bad decisions, are still major influences on the Batman mythos some thirty years afterwards.

I guess what I'm saying is that sometimes we must seperate the work from the creator.

Colin Smith has a detailed and insightful analysis of Holy Terror here:

 

http://toobusythinkingboutcomics.blogspot.com/

Philip Portelli said:

"But should we let Frank Miller's attitude and beliefs NOW affect our views of his previous work?"

 

Rich Lane said:

"I don't think anyone has advocated rewriting his position in history."

 

Perhaps not, but Bill (for one) no longer gives Batman: Year One or Miller’s Daredevil work as gifts. The answer (by which I mean my answer) to Philip’s questions is, “No, we should not let Frank Miller's attitude and beliefs NOW affect our views of his previous work.” Miller’s earlier body of work exists unchanged; it is only our perception of it which is subject to change.

I just don't want to give him any more of my money.


Deciding not to support the man any more is not the same as re-evaluating the merit of his history of work.  

I truly enjoy the works of Ezra Pound, but if the racist, Nazi sympathizer were still around, I'd hang before he'd see a cent of my money.


Jeff of Earth-J said:

Perhaps not, but Bill (for one) no longer gives Batman: Year One or Miller’s Daredevil work as gifts. The answer (by which I mean my answer) to Philip’s questions is, “No, we should not let Frank Miller's attitude and beliefs NOW affect our views of his previous work.” Miller’s earlier body of work exists unchanged; it is only our perception of it which is subject to change.

But what if (in every sense of the phrase) Marvel put out Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller Vol 1? Would anyone of you buy it? Recommend it? Stop someone from buying it?

Could you even look at the originals as the classics they truly are?

No judgement from me but what would YOU do?

Asked and answered by some of us here.

Philip Portelli said:

But what if (in every sense of the phrase) Marvel put out Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller Vol 1? Would anyone of you buy it? Recommend it? Stop someone from buying it?

Could you even look at the originals as the classics they truly are?

No judgement from me but what would YOU do?

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