Holy Terror (graphic novel)
|Publication date||September 28, 2011|
|Main character(s)||The Fixer|
Holy Terror is a graphic novel by Frank Miller which follows a superhero named the Fixer as he battles Muslim terrorists after an attack on Empire City. Miller has described the book as "a piece of propaganda", and claimed that it is "bound to offend just about everybody."
The book was originally proposed as Holy Terror, Batman! in 2006 but is no longer a project associated with the Batman character or DC Comics. Miller explained in 2010, "It’s no longer a DC book. I decided partway through it that it was not a Batman story."
As originally announced the plot revolved around Batman defending Gotham City from an attack by the Islamist terrorist group Al-Qaeda. According to Miller, the comic would have been a "piece of propaganda" in which Batman "kicks Al-Qaeda's ass." Miller announced the graphic novel during a panel at the WonderCon comic book convention held in San Francisco in 2006. He summarized the work as, "not to put too fine a point on it, a piece of propaganda... Superman punched out Hitler. So did Captain America. That's one of the things they're there for."
Later that year, on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, NPR aired a brief memorial commentary by Miller which provided insight into his inspiration for this project: "For the first time in my life I know how it feels to face an existential menace. They want us to die. All of a sudden I realize what my parents were talking about all those years. Patriotism, I now believe, isn't some sentimental, old conceit. It's self-preservation. I believe patriotism is central to a nation's survival. Ben Franklin said it: If we don't all hang together, we all hang separately."
In a May 2007 interview Miller relayed that he was still at work on the graphic novel which he said was "bound to offend just about everybody". Miller also said he was about 100 pages into it with 50 remaining. The following year Miller said the series, until then being billed as Holy War, Batman, would no longer feature Batman. "As I worked on it, it became something that was no longer Batman. It's somewhere past that and I decided it's going to be part of a new series that I'm starting.”
In 2010, Miller said he was no longer working on that project, clarifying that Holy Terror was in progress but without Batman. He later said it would feature a new character called The Fixer and not be published by DC: "It's no longer a DC book. I decided partway through it that it was not a Batman story. The hero is much closer to Dirty Harry than Batman. It's a new hero that I've made up that fights Al Qaeda."
At San Diego Comic-Con International 2011, Miller further explained the reason to drop Batman and use The Fixer as the protagonist saying, "This character is much more well adjusted in committing terrible acts of violence on very evil people." Talking about the controversy the graphic novel might generate he said he hoped the book really pisses people off.
In August 2006, fellow Batman writer Grant Morrison criticized the idea:
Batman vs. Al Qaeda! It might as well be Bin Laden vs. King Kong! Or how about the sinister Al Qaeda mastermind up against a hungry Hannibal Lecter! For all the good it's likely to do. Cheering on a fictional character as he beats up fictionalized terrorists seems like a decadent indulgence when real terrorists are killing real people in the real world. I'd be so much more impressed if Frank Miller gave up all this graphic novel nonsense, joined the Army and, with a howl of undying hate, rushed headlong onto the front lines with the young soldiers who are actually risking life and limb 'vs.' Al Qaeda.
Upon release, Holy Terror was criticized as anti-Islamic propaganda. Spencer Ackerman of Wired said,
"Frank Miller doesn't do things halfway. One of the true comic-book greats, he’s created several of the most extraordinary stories ever to grace the art form. So perhaps it's fitting that now he's produced one of the most appalling, offensive and vindictive comics of all time ... Miller's Holy Terror is a screed against Islam, completely uninterested in any nuance or empathy toward 1.2 billion people he conflates with a few murderous conspiracy theorists."
- Legendary Confirms Frank Miller's "Holy Terror", June 28, 2011
- On Holy Terror, as quoted in "Comic book hero takes on al-Qaeda" BBC News. (February 15, 2006)
- Utichi, Joe (May 30, 2007). "RT-UK Exclusive: Frank Miller On "The Spirit"...In 3D?". rottentomatoes.com.
- Boucher, Geoff (July 29, 2010). "Frank Miller's 'Holy Terror' leaves Gotham: 'I've taken Batman as far as he can go'". Hero Complex (LA Times). Retrieved July 29, 2010.
- Mount, Harry (February 15, 2006). "Holy propaganda! Batman is tackling Osama bin Laden". Daily Telegraph.
- Goldstein, Hilary (February 12, 2006). "WonderCon '06: Holy Terror, Batman!". ign.com.
- Frank Miller (Interviewee) (2006). Frank Miller's 'Holy Terror Batman' (TV clip). Canada: Space.
- Miller, Frank (September 11, 2006). "That Old Piece of Cloth". NPR Morning Edition.
- Webster, Andy. "Artist-Director Seeks the Spirit of ‘The Spirit’". The New York Times. July 20, 2008. Page 2 of 2
- "Frank Miller Confirms He's No Longer Doing 'Holy Terror, Batman!'". ComicsAlliance.com. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
- "Twitter / Frank Miller: RT @aldorantes batman vs". Twitter.com. Retrieved December 19, 2010.
- Hunter Daniels (July 23, 2011). "Comic-Con 2011: Frank Miller on HOLY TERROR: “I Hope This Book Really Pisses People Off”". Collider.com. Complex Media. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- "Morrison in the Cave: Grant Morrison Talks Batman". Newsarama. August 23, 2006. Archived from the original on July 5, 2007. Retrieved December 27, 2006.
- Ackerman, Spencer (September 28, 2011). "Frank Miller’s Holy Terror Is Fodder for Anti-Islam Set". Wired.