February 13, 2006

Frank Miller gets it

Comics creator Frank Miller, perhaps best known for his Batman series The Dark Knight Returns and his turned-into-movie Sin City, now plans on having the Caped Crusader battle ... al Qaeda.

Miller proudly announced the title of his next Batman book, which he will write, draw and ink. Holy Terror, Batman! is no joke. And Miller doesn't hold back on the true purpose of the book, calling it "a piece of prop[a]ganda," where 'Batman kicks al Qaeda's ass."

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 moxy 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."

"These are our folk heroes," Miller said. "It just seems silly to chase around the Riddler when you've got Al Qaeda out there."

A reader at Michelle Malkin's (from where I got Miller's quotes) notes how much of Miller's work in the 80s was decidedly left-wing -- his heroes always battled a quasi-fascist power structure. Indeed, The Dark Knight Returns fits that mold perfectly, as does a lesser known [personal favorite] Miller work, Give Me Liberty (and its not-as-good sequel, Martha Washington Goes To War). In the latter two, the stories focus on a dirt-poor inner-city young black woman, Martha Washington, who fights astronomical odds to first overcome a crooked military leader, and later, the very US government itself. I recommend the first series highly (I got all four original issues in mint condition for one dollar on eBay!); the sequel was needless, much like The Dark Knight Strikes Again. "DK2," as its known, seems like it was written while Miller was on acid.

Also quite noteworthy is Miller's "Born Again" run on Daredevil. Miller (who actually played one of the villain Bullseye's anonymous victims in the major motion picture "Daredevil") shines as never before on this Marvel run from the mid-80s, where the Kingpin discovers DD's secret ID, and subsequently ruins his life. The awesome David Mazzucchelli does art chores; Mazz also teamed with Miller on the stupendous "Batman: Year One" series.

Now, maybe Frank can have a chat with some of these guys ...!!

(h/t: Soccer Dad.)

Posted by Hube at February 13, 2006 05:32 PM | TrackBack

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I still don't know where Miller stands. Last year I found a book of political cartoons by Jeff Danziger titled "Wreckage begins with a W" and the foreward was written by Frank Miller. (Apparently Danziger taught a class that Miller took.) Here's a quote that I found:
"These are angry cartoons by an angry man in an angry time. You won't see any weeping Statue of Liberty in this book. This is gut-punch stuff, much needed in a time of flabby rhetoric and flabby thinking... When Danziger decides somebody's a jerk, a hypocrite, or just plain rotten, he shows little mercy. Hell, he so no mercy whatsoever... Current events are bringing out very good things out of Jeff Danziger. Very good, angry things."

Posted by: David Gerstman at February 14, 2006 06:39 AM

I just hope the art is more on the level of Dark Knight or the Martha Washington books. I read the first issue of DK2 and stopped, I couldn't stand that artwork. Drawn on acid is right.

Posted by: Jeff the Baptist at February 14, 2006 08:47 AM