Feb 18, 2015

Wed Review (Frank Miller - Holy Terrror)


I re-read this tonight just to see if it was as terrible as I remember. I didn't even finish it the first time I read this book before I promptly gave it a one-star. Having read more of Miller's work in the interim, I think I understand Miller's stance more thoroughly.

This comic is pretty much a Sin City story substituting the protagonist for Batman* and the enemy for the Al-Qaeda. And, like how Sin City is over-the-top and stereotypical, this comic is as well. I didn't like it because the stereotypes in this case were not against mafia-esque gangs but entire groups of people (people living in the middle-east). Batman says to a captured enemy: "So Mohammed, pardon me for guessing your name, but you've got to admit the odds are pretty good it's Mohammed" - I don't know if that's Miller being racist (is that racist? its a bit like assuming a white English man is named John - in one of my highschool classes there were three Michaels, out of 15 boys, so I would call anyone I didn't know Mike), or making fun of America as captured in the persona of Batman.

I wonder if this book would be higher rated if Miller took out Al-Qaeda and substituted a made-up group, as is common to super-hero literature. In his previous works, Miller seems very critical of a hands-on government. Even in his latest blog post condemning the Wall-street protests, the reader can deduce that Miller is against any kind of government intervention - preferring the lesser evil of a free-market allowing the 1% to thrive. I would like to read this book not as Miller wanting to attack the Al-Qaeda, but rather as his fears of how the government can take control of its populace during a period of 'terror'. (ie, the ridiculous USA PATRIOT Act** post-9-11.)

As much as I would like to deny it based on this book, we can't deny that Miller is one of the most prominent writers of modern times. Even if comics remain a small element of literature Miller has found an enormous audience in his movie adaptations of 300 and Sin City. The popular Nolan Batman films are strongly rooted in Miller's Batman work and the Daredevil flop was strongly based on his Daredevil work, and we can expect the next Daredevil movie to follow suit. Does this man's nasty opinion deserve to have such a large and unwitting audience?

*The character is called The Fixer, but this story is obviously a revision of a Batman story

**stand for: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2000

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