The man behind The Dark Knight Returns, 300, Sin City, etc., said he wanted to “really piss people off” with Holy Terror and judging by this hyperventilating review by Wired, I’d say he hit his mark and then some.
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.
Holy Terror, Miller’s long, long, long-awaited statement on 9/11 and counterterrorism, hit comic book stores Wednesday. Longtime Miller watchers have viewed it with apprehension, hoping that his dark views about the source of that national trauma wouldn’t turn the comic into a vulgar, one-dimensional revenge fantasy. They were wrong. It’s even worse than that.
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. It’s no accident that it’s being released ten years after 9/11. This comic would be unthinkable during the unity that the U.S. felt after the attack.
Holy Terror, the inaugural offering from Legendary Comics, starts out with the Fixer, an ersatz Batman, enjoying a tryst with an ersatz Catwoman when they’re interrupted by a nail bomb. The culprit: a “humanities major” named Amina, an Islamist version of the psychopathic Rorschach from Watchmen, who sneers that the “haughty” skyline of Empire City is like “sharpened sticks aimed at the eyes of God.”
The Fixer’s response is to go to war — indiscriminately. “We give them what they want, minus the innocent victims,” the Fixer thinks as he opens fire. To bring the point home Miller draws 14 stereotypical Muslim faces around the righteous anti-hero. Naturally, the only way to learn more about the next attack is to torture a surviving terrorist — which Miller illustrates pornographically — even though the Scary Muslim says “pain means nothing to me,” so it’s not like the Fixer is torturing, you know, a human being.