By Koppy McFad
December 22, 2011 - 00:02
Frank Miller's HOLY TERROR has gathered controversy since it was announced years ago. It was originally intended as story of Batman fighting Al-Qaeda but as you read this book, it becomes clear why DC Comics decided to distance itself from this project.
Not that the ties to "Batman" aren't immediately obvious. The book has a masked vigilante called "the Fixer" pursuing a beautiful female, cat-burglar when Al-Qaeda terrorists launch a campaign of bombings in "Empire City." The Fixer and his former opponent decide to join forces and show these burnoose-wearing baddies what real terror is.
Naturally, the story is violent and intentionally offensive. There is no attempt to show 'balance' by depicting either law-abiding Muslims or showing the motives behind the villains' actions. The Muslims in the story are depicted as mindlessly murderous with no real personalities. The hero is excessively ruthless, torturing a captured terrorist with glee. Miller clearly wanted to shock people while giving some readers the vicarious thrill of dealing out some vengeance on Al-Qaeda.
But even if you are not one of the many people offended by the open hatred towards Muslims in this book, you will likely find it a disappointment. Sure, the art is great but in both art and story, this book offers nothing new. This could just as easily be an issue of "SIN CITY". There is an overuse of "boot sole-in-your face" scenes, as if Miller was running out of ideas. The writing also offers the same over-the-top characterisation-- including outright stereotyping-- seen in SIN CITY and ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN. It is not just the Muslims. An Irish bomber shows up with a hilarious accent and an Israeli assassin appears with a Star of David tatooed on his face. Could we get any more obvious?
Miller may want to say something about Islamic extremism but this book could just as easily have been a story of Daredevil fighting Hydra. There is no realism in this story, either in the villains or the heroes. If Miller really wanted to rally people to stand up to Islamic extremists, he could have had a story about the troops fighting in Afghanistan. But then he wouldn't have been able to include any pictures of sexy girls in fish-net stockings.
Rating: 2 /10