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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Colin Smith, linked to above, makes a pretty exhaustive case that Holy Terror is Islamaphobic, racist, fascist, warmongering and much else besides, and dishonest in certain key aspects. He does mention that the author is not the same as the text, but it's not a quibble I would lose any sleep over. Or read Miller's Anarchy (anti-OWS) screed again.

For most of us, our love of funnybooks has limits, and whether or not to give our hard-earned dosh to a hate-monger like Miller isn't that big of a dillemma.

As Colin says, if Miller had presented all Jews, or all Christians, in the way he presents all Muslims in HT, he'd find himself immediately well beyond the pale.

Winston Churchill famously said, "If you are not a liberal at age 20, you don't have a heart. If you are not a conservative at age 40 you dont have a brain."

I think he overstates the case, but I think that as people grow older, they're less interested in change because they have less time to adapt and more at stake, and they're more likely to want to protect the status quo due to their own investment in it--especially someone who's making $400 K selling one piece of artwork. . 

Frank Miller strikes me as someone who fears the way the world is going today (hey, it's hard to blame him for that) and wants to viciously strike back at anyone who threatens his status quo in any way, even tangentially. I'm betting he's one of the 1% and wants to thrash the people who are demonizing that fine group.

As noted, some of the words, especially "rapist," are simply name-calling at its worst, spewing venom because he can't even think about arguments against the Occupy Movement in a rational way. Arguing with him rationally would be useless, because rational arguments take two people.

What he says today won't impact the place of his best work in history, although certainly as that attitude infects his work today and in the future as it has, it becomes part of his legacy. It happened to Al Capp; most histories of him note how radically conservative he became in later years, because it showed up in his work.

If someone holds opinions that I think are hateful or irrational, it colors my enjoyment of their work, past, present or future. Since my goal is to be entertained, and that image would hurt the entertainment value, I wouldn't want to read it. Fortunately, there aren't many people whose public persona overrides their artistry for me.

I still enjoy Ditko's Spider-Man and Captain Atom, even though his Mr. A stuff is almost unreadable, and I don't know that I want to meet him. I don't think there's any actor whose opinions are so extreme that I don't watch him for that reason.

It's also true of many, many, many athletes. It's possible to admire what they do without liking who they are, but occasionally, those two are so inseparable that I can't isolate them.

-- MSA

Actually, Churchill may not have said that famous quote about liberals and conservatives at all.

I should have said "is famously quoted as saying." I knew the quote but was surprised when I googled it and found it was Churchill. It doesn't really sound like something he'd say.

Even so, the sentiment is probably accurate for many people. They rebel against the establishment until they become the establishment and don't see why these idiots are rebelling against it. That's why so many parents have a hard time being convincing when they tell their kids how bad it is to smoke pot...

Miller has proudly proclaimed "Holy Terror" as a work of propaganda, in the tradition of anti-Nazi and anti-Japanese propaganda during WWII.

The big difference there is that we were at war against the Nazis and the Japanese, and we're not at war against Muslims. Miller seems to live in a simplistic world these days, where anything he doesn't like or agree with is evil. He doesn't like the Occupy Movement or rapists, therefore the Occupiers are rapists.

-- MSA. 

And women are either kick-ass ninjas or hookers...some with hearts of gold. 

I'll call a spade a spade.   Miller has shown himself to be an arrogant, elitist, racist buffoon, and I will not in anyway be facilitating his livelihood with my purchases.

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