February 15, 2006


Batman Takes Aim at Osama (ABC News, Feb. 14, 2006)

Beware, terrorists! The Caped Crusader is targeting a villain more sinister than the Joker — Osama bin Laden.

At the WonderCon 2006 comic-book convention in San Francisco last weekend, legendary comics writer and artist Frank Miller revealed that Batman would hunt down bin Laden and al Qaeda in his next DC Comics graphic novel.

In "Holy Terror, Batman!" the Caped Crusader goes after the terror leader and his organization after Gotham City is attacked by terrorists. Though the graphic novel's title is a take on Robin the Boy Wonder's catchphrase, Miller said there was nothing campy about the story. [...]

Miller called "Holy Terror, Batman!" a "piece of propaganda" where "Batman kicks al Qaeda's a—." He said his graphic novel channeled an era in the comic-book industry when writers and artists used heroes to spread a clear message and generate patriotism.

"Superman punched out Hitler. So did [Marvel Comics'] Captain America," he said. "That's one of the things they're there for. … These are our folk heroes. It just seems silly to chase around the Riddler when you've got al Qaeda out there."

Sort of sad that artists and entertainers have become so openly despicable--at least the Communists had the decency to be ashamed of it--that such sentiments surprise us. We've come a long way (downhill) since Robert Warshow famously said: "Nobody seriously questions the principle that it is the function of mass culture to maintain public morale, and certainly nobody in the mass audience objects to having his morale maintained."

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 15, 2006 7:12 PM

Takes a cave-dweller to find a cave-dweller, eh?

Posted by: John Resnick at February 15, 2006 7:32 PM

a time "when writers and artists used heroes to spread a clear message and generate patriotism":

Of course that time was between June 1941 (when the Nazis invaded the beloved motherland) and 8 May 1945.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 15, 2006 7:34 PM

But. . . but. . . won't the Muslims riot in the streets? These are just like cartoons, aren't they?

Posted by: obc at February 15, 2006 8:45 PM

It's not that the entertainers and artists don't still take that obligation seriously. They are doing the best they can to maintain the moral of the public they are interested in. They despise the rest of us and if it weren't for the fact we're the majority, Robert Warshow would be right.

Posted by: Dusty at February 15, 2006 8:52 PM

It's Batman vs Osama, not Mohammed.

Posted by: oj at February 15, 2006 8:52 PM

The debate right now on where Miller is coming from on this is if he is a "born again" Sept. 11 foreign policy conservative, since his novels of the 1980s were extremely anti-Reagan, or if this is just an extension of some of his other story lines, which showed bleeding heart liberals were wrong in their compassion for the criminal element in the DC Universe.

But they still have a ways to go to match the old Paramount Superman theatricals in terms of their propeganda use of the Man of Steel (Supe was actually went as far as going out at night and sabotaging the Japanese war effort in those cartoons).

Posted by: John at February 15, 2006 8:56 PM

Miller lost all respect from me with Sin City. I've yet to see a more vile piece of nihilist crap.

Posted by: Gideon at February 15, 2006 10:53 PM

Its too bad. Holywood is missing out on all the great plots.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 15, 2006 11:19 PM

Miller's recent Batman works (Dark Knight Strikes Again, Spawn\Batman, All-Star Batman and Robin) have been so terrible, it's unclear whether he's intentionally parodying his own writing or has simply lost his marbles.

This is likely to be the most hilarious comic released in years.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at February 16, 2006 6:22 AM


I had to let the tiger out of the cage.

Posted by: oj at February 16, 2006 7:45 AM

M. Choudhury;

Go read his intro to V for Vendetta. That's quite a chuckle as well, as he laments the incipient facism of Margaret Thatcher and dreams of escaping it in … America.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at February 16, 2006 9:17 AM


That was Alan Moore I think.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at February 16, 2006 10:38 AM

A bif problem with the comics industry is that because of various business issues, one no longer sees comics on the newstand. Newstand distribution meant a large audience of readers, especially kids and teens. Instead, comics companies are dependent on a very small market of specialty stores where mainly adults buy. This means comic writers have a very small target audience, one that does not accurately reflect real popular opinion.

Comics made a mistake in not allowing certain heroes a chance to whack Al Qaeda. Characters like Captain America and Iron Man are specifically well suited due to their histories of championing America against Nazis and Communists.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at February 16, 2006 11:17 AM

Oh, man, busted! You are correct, sir. I will plead senility.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at February 16, 2006 1:32 PM