So you’ve heard about Holy Terror, Batman!, right? If not: Frank Miller has been promising for years that he’ll pen a Batman story that pits the Caped Crusader on a single-minded mission against al-Qaeda after a terrorist attack on Gotham. Miller’s up front about it being “a piece of propaganda,” but nevertheless makes a good point: “It just seems silly to chase around the Riddler when you’ve got Al Qaeda out there.” If you were Batman, wouldn’t you want to go after terrorists? (If I recall correctly, the Joker tried to sell Iran some missiles in the 80s from an Ethiopian terrorist training camp.)
Apparently not. Miller told the Los Angeles Times that he still intends to publish his polemical comic — just not with Batman and not for DC. Instead, he’s inventing a new protagonist called the Fixer.
“It began as my reaction to 9/11 and it was an extremely angry piece of work and as the years have passed by I’ve done movies and I’ve done other things and time has provided some good distance, so it becomes more of a cohesive story as it progresses,” Miller said. “The Fixer has also become his own character in a way I’ve really enjoyed. No one will read this and think, ‘Where’s Batman?‘”
There’s a fine comic book tradition of making amorphous problems into villains that heroes can punch. And there are certainly lots of members of al-Qaeda for Batman or the Fixer to punch up. But here’s also a good story to be written about a superhero looking for revenge who becomes mired in the complexities of calibrating his response to avoid blowback. Maybe I should write a character called The Drone. Based on this guy.