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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The Frank Miller I knew from Daredevil: Born Again must have suffered a Regarding Henry-type head injury...in reverse.
I looked at this at my local last Wednesday, and again at the Barnes & Noble last night, but I can't stand Miller's ghastly, god-awful artwork.  Really, for me, he's right up there with Steve Ditko on the list of guys whose work is hugely popular for no reasons even remotely apparent to me.
Because I’m still trying to wrap my head around this thing that is Holy Terror, today I asked the opinion of the owner of my LCS. Before he would even answer me, I had to explain why I asked (and I’ve known him for 10 years!). I will say he shares Bob’s opinion of Frank Miller “ghastly, god-awful artwork.”

Speaking of “guys whose work is hugely popular for no reasons even remotely apparent,” for me, that would be Marc Silvestri. It’s been so long since Marvel has published a Hulk series I’ve wanted to read, I was going to buy the new #1 that shipped today as an act of pure desperation. I’d been looking forward to doing so all week, but I took a look at that art and put it back on the shelf.

Frank!  Come baaaack Frank!  Please!


... We've lost another one.


Ah well.  Robocop II was rubbish anyway.

It certainly makes one think that all the reviewers finding right wing messages in 300 were probably spot-on after all.

George Poague said:



Frank Miller's diatribe about Occupy Wall Street. Proof that old Frank has cracked up. The man has overdosed on Tea Party kool-aid.


I don't know what to say, except that I won't be buying any more of his comics. I suggest that Frank turn off Rush Limbaugh, find something to watch besides Fox News, and maybe leave his mansion and go talk to some of these protesters. They probably grew up reading his comics.



Wow. Well, I know at least one comics website that is suddenly full of Frank Miller fans...


But truly...those are the sounds of a raving maniac. "Rapists"? Really?


George Poague said:

I wanted to know more about Miller's intent behind Holy Terror, and now I guess I do. Thanks, George, for the links you provided, and thanks Rich, for yours. "Be careful what you wish for," eh? Wow.

I so get it now...Batman was supposed to be the VILLAIN in Year One and The Dark Knight Returns.

Wasn't Superman supposed to stand for the US military industrial complex and an overly simplistic take on colonial interventionism, and as such was sneered at by Batman, and the whole text of DKR, come to that?


Miller's come a long way.

Doc Beechler (mod-MD) said:

I so get it now...Batman was supposed to be the VILLAIN in Year One and The Dark Knight Returns.

You mean he wasn't? 

Yeah, Batman himself is on pretty dodgy ground in DKR too, but it's less clear that Miller disapproved of his actions.  Probably because he didn't.

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