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Batman kicks al Qaeda's ass
February 15, 2006 8:34 AM   Subscribe

Batman kicks al Qaeda's ass Frank Miller is working on a Batman vs. Al Qaeda comic. At least he's being honest that it's utter propaganda.
posted by jbielby (82 comments total)

 
Oh christ, what a tool.
posted by stenseng at 8:41 AM on February 15, 2006


"I'm The Allahdamn Batman."
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:44 AM on February 15, 2006


Why doesn't he go all the way and write a comic book where George Bush drives over to Afghanistan in the batmobile and kicks the crap out of Osama? If we're going to indulge in fantasies, let's not limit ourselves.

And maybe he can also make out with Osama's hot niece too.
posted by rks404 at 8:47 AM on February 15, 2006


And at least I am being honest that there is no way I will read such dreck.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:47 AM on February 15, 2006


It's been a long time since heroes were used in comics as pure propaganda. As Miller reminded, "Superman punched out Hitler. So did Captain America. That's one of the things they're there for."

"These are our folk heroes," Miller said. "It just seems silly to chase around the Riddler when you've got Al Qaeda out there."


AT first my reaction matches strenseng's, but after thinking about it I think it may well come across as a nice tieback to the history of comics. He;s trying to bring back a role superheroes did use to play but haven't much at all anymore - the closest I can think of personally is the 9/11 reaction Spiderman. It might totally fail and just come across as utter cheese, but I appreciate that he's taking a strange risk.
posted by luftmensch at 8:47 AM on February 15, 2006


This actually isn't as dumb as I first thought. Whenever the US has been in a war there have been superhero stories about it. Superman beat the crap out of Hitler on multiple occasions. And you know that know self respecting Batman's going to ignore the guys at the top of the most wanted list. He's Batman! The only problem with this kind of story line is explaining why he hasn't defeated Al Qaeda yet, given that he's a superhero.
posted by unreason at 8:47 AM on February 15, 2006


Not really surprising, given his previous work (Dark Knight Returns, 300). He seems to have that *hooah stomping on the degenerate's face while eating raw cow meat* attitude.

Batman needs to take a break, honestly. I can't believe I'm this bored of such a good character.
posted by selfnoise at 8:47 AM on February 15, 2006


He can't stand entertainers who lack the moxie of their '40s counterparts who stood up to Hitler.

Oh, you mean those 40s entertainers who had the "moxie" stay in Hollywood and pretend to fight?

Holy Terror is "a reminder to people who seem to have forgotten who we're up against."

Like the President?
posted by brundlefly at 8:48 AM on February 15, 2006


I wonder if there will be a follow-up by Loeb and Sale where Batman goes and beats up Iraqis?

I just finished reading Men of Tomorrow and one of the things that struck me is that Superman did not go and beat up Hitler. Instead he focused most of his attentions on the homefront and when he did get involved with GIs, it was mostly as a USO entertainer or maybe against the odd German mad scientist. The writers just couldn't see how if Superman got involved in fighting the Nazis the war would last more than a weekend.

Judging by the various Batman vs. _______ debates I've seen, I'd expect this matchup would be the same. If Batman turned his attention to anything outside of punching Gotham crooks in the nuts, said problem would be resolved toot-sweet, certainly in less than 200 pages.*

* Unless, of course, he punches each and every member of al Qaeda in the nuts, which would easily fill 500+ pages of nut-punching glory. Batman's insane and a perfectionist, so that could happen...
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:50 AM on February 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


Sounds like a crock. Miller can surprise you, but I don't need any more reminders that al Qaeda is bad.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:56 AM on February 15, 2006


Naw, RIB; Loeb and Sale will do a twelve-part series where it's revealed that Joe Chill's real name was Joe Hussein - AND EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG!!1!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:57 AM on February 15, 2006


This will probably be shit, given Miller's recent track record. My guess is that he's reached a point where he's so established as Frank Miller, Comics God that no editor can stand up to him and curb his excesses.

But using superheroes as a lens through which to look at the current world situation isn't an inherently bad idea. Superheroes hang around as a cultural institution for so long because they resonate with people, after all. Darwyn Cooke's issue of DC's Solo series a few months ago included a short, powerful, and entirely-consistent-with-established-character story about how The Question would have reacted to 9-11.
posted by COBRA! at 9:00 AM on February 15, 2006


* Unless, of course, he punches each and every member of al Qaeda in the nuts, which would easily fill 500+ pages of nut-punching glory. Batman's insane and a perfectionist, so that could happen...

I'd pay good money for that one.
posted by COBRA! at 9:01 AM on February 15, 2006


Maybe Batman feels an affinity with Muslim women. I mean his outfit is basically a glorified burqa.
posted by oh pollo! at 9:02 AM on February 15, 2006


I don't get why the reaction to this is so overwhelmingly negative. Especially considering no one has read or seen it.

Would the reaction be better if Batman, like, joined up with al Qaeda and helped blow up another couple buildings?

I mean, being a liberal, is it ok for me to hate al Qaeda and still hate George Bush? Or is it like a pick a camp kind of a thing?
posted by kbanas at 9:02 AM on February 15, 2006


The only problem with this kind of story line is explaining why he hasn't defeated Al Qaeda yet, given that he's a superhero.

Batman isn't a superhero, since he has no superpowers.
posted by delmoi at 9:03 AM on February 15, 2006


But will he fight Bert?
posted by brain_drain at 9:05 AM on February 15, 2006


delmoi,

He is a superhero. I've had this argument so many times in so many different ways, which probably explains why I've been laid so few times.

He's not a vigilante. He's a superhero. I would explain why, but I'm going to lunch, so just take my word for it and blindly cave.
posted by kbanas at 9:06 AM on February 15, 2006


I don't get why the reaction to this is so overwhelmingly negative. Especially considering no one has read or seen it.

Because for the past few years, Frank Miller + Batman = runny taco shit.
posted by COBRA! at 9:06 AM on February 15, 2006


Batman isn't a superhero

Don't let Batman hear you say that, or he'll kick you in the nuts.
posted by unreason at 9:06 AM on February 15, 2006


Not really surprising, given his previous work (Dark Knight Returns, 300).

Dark Knight Returns had some pretty stinging critiques of Reagan's policies in there. It was a really great work on a number of levels--exploring the fact that Batman is really an unhinged psychotic, and some significant social commentary. Seeing Sin City prompted a long discussion between me and my brother about its representation of St. Augustine's case in Civitas Dei of a state "with justice removed"--where Leviathan is no longer a force of order, but just another one of the gangs. Frank Miller's work to date has all had a very compelling philosophical, psychological and social subtext. I was a little shocked to here about this project, but given that it's Frank Miller, I'll probably at least thumb through it to see where he's going with this. It could be as awful as it sounds on the surface, but if it is, I'll be surprised. I'm going with sonofsamiam:

Miller can surprise you, but I don't need any more reminders that al Qaeda is bad.
posted by jefgodesky at 9:06 AM on February 15, 2006


Frank Miller used to be a genius. Anyone who read The Dark Knight Returns or Sin City or his run on Daredevil can tell you this. But somewhere between writing and drawing the first issue of Dark Knight 2 in 2001 and (eventually) finishing that steadilly devolving series, something broke inside his brain.

Basically, the man has a monstrously bankable name with little of the quality that made him great. How else do you explain the ridiculousness of "I'm the goddamn Batman!" or this piece of flat-out propaganda?

Sidenote: Do not confuse Batman, Holy Terror! with an incredibly good Elseworlds graphic novel called Holy Terror. Both feature the Batman. Both might be reflective of our times. But only the original is brilliant.
posted by grabbingsand at 9:06 AM on February 15, 2006


COBRA!

I don't know. I loved the Dark Knight Returns, and I loved Dark Knight Returns 2, although, obviously, it's not quite so good.

Taco shit? Wherenow?
posted by kbanas at 9:08 AM on February 15, 2006


No big deal. It's just kinda sad that Frank Miller and the rest of the comics industry have run out of ficticious supervillains and have to borrow one from the Bush Administration.
posted by wendell at 9:08 AM on February 15, 2006


Yeah folks, Miller's no rightwinger. He carried on his anti-Regan riff in Give Me Liberty (although the liberal guy who succeeded Pres Rexall was also a royal screw up).
posted by PenDevil at 9:13 AM on February 15, 2006


Also... Why do I have the feeling Ras'Al Ghul is gonna be involved somewhere here?
posted by PenDevil at 9:13 AM on February 15, 2006


COBRA!

I don't know. I loved the Dark Knight Returns, and I loved Dark Knight Returns 2, although, obviously, it's not quite so good.

Taco shit? Wherenow?
posted by kbanas at 11:08 AM CST on February 15 [!]


Yeah, Dark Knight Returns was great. Dark Knight Strikes Again, not so much, at least for me. But the real taco shit can be found in the pages of All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder, which stinks so badly that it only makes sense if you think that Miller's trying to make some sort of statement that DC will publish anything he writes as long as there's a bat-symbol on it.

The downward angle of the quality-over-time graph doesn't leave me hopeful for this new one.
posted by COBRA! at 9:16 AM on February 15, 2006


Hmm, maybe we are jumping the gun. What if Batman starts off on his global nut-kicking tour, and for every terrorist scrotum he smashes another terrorist pops up out of anger. It just keeps going on and on like that, till we get to the heavy-handed Twilight Zone-style ending where Batman is staring off into the distance at an endless line of new terrorist recruits.
posted by brundlefly at 9:19 AM on February 15, 2006


Not really surprising, given his previous work (Dark Knight Returns,[...])

Um, what? Did you not pick up on the glorious treatment of Superman as a tool of US Imperialism? Did you not catch that Batman in the end creates something which looks very like al qaeda? In short, did you actually read Dark Knight Returns?

I won't even get into the sequel's portrayal of a US government by special effects and cultural terror, because as has been pointed out, it's really not as good. But, yeah, I was a little disappointed by this, from someone I have had tremendous respect for. I've not followed comics much in years, but it sounds like the derivative has generally been negative in his work of late.

However, it's a good point, made here and by Miller, that his job is not providing political or even cultural commentary. His job is playing with the popular mythology: exploring it and bringing it into the light. He has always done this pretty well, and like it or not - the "war against al qaeda" *is* a big part of the current mythos for our culture. So, I wait with some trepidation to see what he pulls off.
posted by freebird at 9:22 AM on February 15, 2006


Nothing beats Dr. Doom's tears.
posted by Peter H at 9:22 AM on February 15, 2006


Batman's a tricky character because of his almost hypocritical scope. Is he a lone force for justice in the dark streets of Gotham, or is he the World's Greatest Detective? If he is the former, he would nutpunch al Qaeda when he encounters them in Gotham. If he's the latter, al Qaeda wouldn't have gotten the chance to exist, let alone pull off an attack.

Toss in the existence of other superheroes in the world and one wonders if Batman would even get the chance to take a swing at a single nutsack before Supes or (more likely) The Spectre took out the lot of them.

If Miller wants to write a story about a superhero fighting al Qaeda, that's fine. I just don't think Batman, or any established DC-universe hero, is the best choice. Miller doesn't need the word 'Batman' printed on his covers to sell product, his name alone is enough, so he would be free to make up a new hero and a new world where he could draw out his nutpunch tales to his hearts delight.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:22 AM on February 15, 2006


I think in the eyes of most comic fans, this important International debate was already addressed forty years ago in Fantastic Four #1, versus the Mole Man.
posted by Peter H at 9:31 AM on February 15, 2006


Yeah, Dark Knight 2 is where I think he got a bit lost.
It’s a worthwhile subject. Don’t know how it will be treated. I don’t buy into Miller’s superhero as mythos angle given what appears to be his intended execution.
The (Greek) gods didn’t directly involve themselves in battle. They influenced, they lent a hand, they didn’t directly engage.
When they did in the Trojan war I believe the goddess of love got wounded and Zeus said “enough of this shit” (to paraphrase) and put everyone on the sidelines.

Unless they’re in downtown Gotham, I don’t see where it’s Batman’s biz.

That and the funky thing about comics is you have these villians who never win. They are only on rare occasion as competant or as powerful as superheros.
So if we’re going to have some al Qaeda powerhouse or mastermind who Batman beats on....

The Greek gods were often at odds with each other. And their opponents (Titans, Hekatonkheires, Giants, et.al) were sometimes allies. Also the Æsir have - f’rinstance, Loki. And are in fact fated to lose to their opponents.

It seems to me - again, depending on how it’s ultimately done - that Miller is forgetting one of the things about those early comics, apart from the void they filled, is that the writing generally sucked. It was for the most part purile dreck, with a few exceptions who perhaps made up for the rest of it, but nevertheless, propaganda is always, ultimately facile work.

It has to be because of the audiance it addresses. Or rather the internal part of the audiance it addresses. Certainly it can be enjoyable, but what differentiates say the Illiad from “Why We Fight” is that there is no glorification of the protagonists. They are shown with all their flaws and it is the story itself that is great.

In terms of effect - propaganda is a straw and art is an oar. Why Miller would want to limit himself is beyond me.

Perhaps it’s just parody. Turning our psyche on it’s head. He’s certainly smart and sardonic enough to think that deeply.

Meh. This is more of a Captain America job either way.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:34 AM on February 15, 2006


I mean, Batman doesn’t kill people.

Insofar as superheroes in war - I think the Marshall Law series covered that well - most particularly Marshall Law V. Pinhead.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:36 AM on February 15, 2006


Holy shit, yes. Marshall Law is the best comic book superhero series of the last thirty years.
posted by Peter H at 9:37 AM on February 15, 2006


Batman got on my nerves
He was running me amok.
He ridiculed me calling me a bum
posted by keswick at 9:39 AM on February 15, 2006


What part of Al Queda saying they want to see you all dead do you NOT understand>
posted by HTuttle at 9:39 AM on February 15, 2006


Wired had an interesting article this month.
posted by artifarce at 9:39 AM on February 15, 2006


What part of Al Queda saying they want to see you all dead do you NOT understand

Okay, you're right. Release the spandex.
posted by Peter H at 9:40 AM on February 15, 2006


Smedleyman writes "propaganda is a straw and art is an oar."

Nice turn of phrase.
posted by brundlefly at 9:41 AM on February 15, 2006


What part of Al Queda saying they want to see you all dead do you NOT understand

All of it, my arabic sucks.

But seriously folks - good point: Captain America or Superman would be much better choices. Fuck that: I haven't bought a new comic in years, but I would buy every damn issue of...wait for it....

Nick Fury versus Al Qaeda

I mean, come on! Why mess around? That would totally work - it would satisfy the chuckleheads, and be over-the-top enough for those of the more postmodern persuasion to appreciate.

Yes - Marshall Law is pretty much tops. Holy crap, I loved that stuff. Harvesting organs from the orphanage he funds, all bondaged out in barbed wire...solid.
posted by freebird at 9:46 AM on February 15, 2006


What's the friggin' point?
posted by JWright at 9:52 AM on February 15, 2006


Miller is either crazy or he's chasing the fat loot potential of his name + batman.

Forget this "goddamn batman" stuff. I have no idea how anyone would let him near the Batman franchise after his last three issues on "All Star Batman and Robin". He's taking a dump on the page and people are eating it up.

The dialog is beyond the pale. The plot, non existant (so far). The characterization is... Frank Miller-esque, which to me is a good thing, but there's something off about it. The whole package reeks of something he just doesn't give a damn about anymore.

I feel sorry for Jim Lee being attached to the project.

/ rant over
posted by C.Batt at 9:58 AM on February 15, 2006


But seriously folks - good point: Captain America or Superman would be much better choices. Fuck that: I haven't bought a new comic in years, but I would buy every damn issue of...wait for it....

Wait until you see what the Boy Wonder does to Osama in the Bat Cave.

"Robin, what the HELL are you doing?"

"Holy Prayer Rugs Batman. He bends over like that five times a day. You're never around. I couldn't take it anymore."
posted by three blind mice at 9:59 AM on February 15, 2006


ha, three blind mice.

Hey, is it just me, or has Batman already been fighting this fight since 1971?
posted by Peter H at 10:02 AM on February 15, 2006


So, will Batman acknowledge that terrorism isn't a solid thing that you can punch and in so doing defeat? Will Batman acknowledge that fighting Al Qaeda has nothing to do with fighting in Iraq? Will Batman wonder what on earth he's supposed to do about all the Al Qaeda terrorists he has no way to track down or ever completely wipe out because martyrdom of terrorists is one of the strongest recruiting points for terrorism? Will Batman ever encounter the current administration's policies in fighting the war on terror? Will Batman ever come to the realization that virtually nothing done in the last 5 years by this administration has in any way lead to a foreseeable victory in the war on terror? Will Batman have any knowledge of Abu Ghraib?

"These are our folk heroes," Miller said. "It just seems silly to chase around the Riddler when you've got Al Qaeda out there."

Out where? I mean, terrorism is bad and all, but the country is currently embroiled in a struggle to differentiate the terrorists who attacked American soil and the insurgents who are fighting against an enemy invader on their own turf. The country is currently oversaturated with disingenuous propaganda without needing any more. The country is already oversaturated with propaganda that dillutes the discussion over whether or not the war in Iraq is effectively fighting terrorism or just helping terrorist recruitment.

What celebrities is this supposed to be a contrast to? I know George Clooney has stood up for what he believes in. And a good deal more thoughtfully and courageously than Miller's book as it has been described in these articles.

If I'm wrong, I'll be glad to hear it. If this book is a thoughtful look at a difficult situation that doesn't muddy the waters any further than they already are, then whoopee. But, even as a lifetime fan of miller's work, I sincerely doubt that's what'll happen.
posted by shmegegge at 10:06 AM on February 15, 2006


Could this be the worst comic ever? My eyes are still bleeding from Dark knight Strikes back...
posted by Artw at 10:08 AM on February 15, 2006


Batman got on my nerves
He was running me amok.
He ridiculed me calling me a bum


Rock over London, rock on Chicago!
Wheaties. The breakfast of champions.
posted by suckerpunch at 10:08 AM on February 15, 2006


Also: really it needs a scene in full on DKR style where the ageing Bruce Wayne accidentally shoots a lawyer in the face.
posted by Artw at 10:19 AM on February 15, 2006


Wait.. I thought Batman was killed by Chuck Norris? (Flash link)
posted by educatedslacker at 10:20 AM on February 15, 2006


World War II comics left no doubt as to who the good guys were...
...and even the advertisers did their part.
posted by cenoxo at 10:26 AM on February 15, 2006


on Warren Ellis' mailing list this morning was this little tidbit:
But it's okay: because Frank Miller's
going to draw pictures of Batman
beating up Osama Bin Laden. 9/11
really drove that poor guy out of
his mind. Amused to note that it
made mainstream news everywhere.
Doesn't matter if the book's half as
brain-damaged as it sounds, it'll
sell a million copies.

posted by Dr. Twist at 10:35 AM on February 15, 2006


Look, the obvious choice to fight Al-Qaeda is Thor.
posted by furiousthought at 10:43 AM on February 15, 2006


whoreswhoreswhoreswhoreswhoreswhor_
posted by queen zixi at 10:44 AM on February 15, 2006


Batman got on my nerves
He was running me amok.
He ridiculed me calling me a bum


I whooped Batman's ass
I whooped Batman's ass
I whooped Batman's ass
I whooped Batman's ass
I whooped Batman's ass
I whooped Batman's ass

Batman thought he was bad
He was a fucking asshole in the first place
He got knocked to the floor

I whooped Batman's ass
I whooped Batman's ass
I whooped Batman's ass
I whooped Batman's ass
I whooped Batman's ass

Rock over London, rock on Chicago!
Wheaties. The breakfast of champions.


I miss Wesley. I'm glad I'm not the only person who thought of him upon seeing this post.
posted by aladfar at 11:03 AM on February 15, 2006


"These are our folk heroes," Miller said. "It just seems silly to chase around the Riddler when you've got Al Qaeda out there."

Of course it's silly. Almost all superhero comics are silly in that way, to the point that when someone writes a comic that portrays the 'heros' waking up to this fact (like The Authority's early Ellis run) it's unusual and it quickly results in a world that doesn't resemble ours at all.

Ellis could get away with it easier because he was writing in a comics universe (Wildstorm) that didn't resemble ours already. Maybe all the DC editors are all so giddy at getting cape-rape into their books that they haven't figured out that once Bats and Supes start taking a role in national affairs they're not going to reside in a remotely similar world anymore either.

I think it was Bill Willingham who wrote an essay about a superhuman (who was pretty clearly superman) sitting around surveying the events in the world. He sees huge numbers of people starving in Africa, others being slaugtered another country, being oppressed in another, etc etc, then swoops out and rescues a small child from tripping on an escalator.

I believe he concluded by pointing out that if we don't apply this kind of illogic to the stories we soon create works that people are unable to relate to because they have no frame of reference in the stories.
posted by phearlez at 11:13 AM on February 15, 2006


I'd bet money this inevitable travesty will be published as Elseworlds (DC's 'out of continuity' line for particularly off-the-wall and apocalyptic stories). The thing with DC in particular is that the universe their comics take place in diverges massively from the real one - New York isn't America's first or biggest city in the DCU, since Gotham and Metropolis are bigger (not to mention Bludhaven, Fawcett, Central...), and I'm not sure there's been much (or any) in-continuity acknowledgement of al Qaeda, 9/11 or anything else. After all the space monsters, supervillains and assorted crises, a hysterical, dangerous US going apeshit over a couple of tall buildings being knocked down would seem a bit of an overreaction. And Batman isn't exactly the toeing-the-government-line sort anyway.

Beyond that, this'll likely see print in the aftermath of Infinite Crisis, when DC will inevitably be trying to tie up loose plotlines and plug continuity holes. Suddenly going 'ooh, by the way, remember those evil, evil terrists who blew up that building in some inconsequential city or other while you were all paying attention to Luthor/Doomsday/the Joker/Bat-Mite destroying the whole planet? Well, the goddamned Batman is gonna beat them the hell up!' would be too much of a headache to consider dealing with. Then again, they killed Ted Kord (even if the new Beetle is cool), so they're no strangers to insane, awful creative decisions.
posted by terpsichoria at 11:16 AM on February 15, 2006


hell yeah artiface.

batman year 100 looks like its gonna be one of the best books of the year.


I will hold judgement on batman vs Al Qaeda. It might be worth a purchase for the art alone if its miller. They article only states that he has inked 120 pages but im assuming that means he's doing the art.

This will be a non-continuity book and miller could spin it several different ways...

He could do a straight up sarcastic parody of the old propaganda comics of the 40's.

Or he could see how batman would handle a serious terrorist attack on gothom and while tracking down and fighting the terrorists he would have a lot of moral dilemmas.

You could throw in maybe sub plots like someone in wayne industries was selling arms to Al Qaeda.

What would be batmans response to the torture happening in us run iraqi prisons.

Hopefully this book will not be as bad as the current Allstar Batman book. While the art was stunning. The writing has been subpar. But Frank has written some great stuff in the past. His daredevil run is still the best of any creative team ever on that book. Ronin is one of my favorite books. Batman year one and Dark Knight Returns are probably the definitive batman tales. His independent stuff from Sin City, Martha Washington, & 300 are all great too.

Now only if little orphan annie took on Hamas...
posted by Dreamghost at 11:24 AM on February 15, 2006


I am now officially in love with the idea of Nick Fury hovering over Iran in that giant S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicopter Carrier thing. Clenching his jaw, cluster-bombing protestors and resolving disputes over water with cruise missiles and orbital lasers. No other character could actually pull off saying - fully satisfying all political persuasions - "Why do they hate Freedom? Why must they hate America?" as he releases the killdrones.
posted by freebird at 11:42 AM on February 15, 2006


kbanas: I mean, being a liberal, is it ok for me to hate al Qaeda and still hate George Bush? Or is it like a pick a camp kind of a thing?

One can hate al Qaeda, and also be skeptical of propaganda pieces and their effect on how the issues get framed.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:53 AM on February 15, 2006


>>something broke inside his brain.

I just think he's gotten too old and too successful. Out with the old talent and in with the hungry new talent, please. This will happened to your favorite band, if it hasn't already. Every creative type has a shelf-life and a lot of these legends are just done. Nothing to be ashamed of. I'm just afraid big brand corporate names like Miller and Gaiman will be constantly stealing the comics limelight with their post-peak works and obscuring fresh new talent.
posted by skallas at 11:54 AM on February 15, 2006


Well, it could've been worse. It could have been Batman from the '60s TV show kicking Al Qaeda's ass.

"Now, let me just get my Bat-Terrorist Repellant Spray out of my utility belt!"
posted by WCityMike at 12:38 PM on February 15, 2006


It ends with video of Batman being unmasked and beheaded.
posted by pracowity at 12:43 PM on February 15, 2006


Poor Frank Miller. He's keeps acting out, trying to get attention, and the industry just keeps paying him.

The above posters are right, though. The old comics, where Superman punched Hitler? That took place issues after Lois was blackified. Comics sucked then.

I think the actual event stuff should not be in comics. The only comic it's actually worked in is Ex Machina. And even then, it seems pretty forced. Meh. I like my fiction fictitious.
posted by graventy at 12:45 PM on February 15, 2006


The old comics, where Superman punched Hitler? That took place issues after Lois was blackified. Comics sucked then.

No, that storyline was done several times. It was actually done first by the original creators of superman in 1940.
posted by unreason at 12:56 PM on February 15, 2006


This was some of the interesting news of the last few comicon days, but more interesting was this: Grant Morrison will be writing Batman.

Does this mean that Bat-Mite will be coming back? I have no idea. But he did characterize him as a "hairy-chested love god," which sounds promising. The guy can only be angsty about dead parents for a certain number of years. Bring on the dancing.

Michael Allred has to be sad that this is happening while he couldn't reference the batusi on his recent cover for Solo.
posted by mikeh at 1:04 PM on February 15, 2006


Not surprised.
posted by FunkyHelix at 1:04 PM on February 15, 2006


skallas: Out with the old talent and in with the hungry new talent, please. This will happened to your favorite band, if it hasn't already. Every creative type has a shelf-life and a lot of these legends are just done.

Oh, I don't know about that. Eisner and Tezuka just kept getting better with age. What frequently happens is that artists mature beyond their fan base. On the other hand, there are the ones that get sloppy and repetitive as they get older.

I personally can't speak though in regards to Miller because he's one of those artists in whom I can recognize skill and still not like.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:33 PM on February 15, 2006


Just as long as he doesn't draw Mohammed....
posted by Miles Long at 1:35 PM on February 15, 2006


pracowity said 'It ends with video of Batman being unmasked and beheaded.'

That would be fab. Maybe his capture could come after Batman is portrayed doing some serious gratuitous torture of hapless innocents he's mistaken for insurgents.
posted by jack_mo at 1:39 PM on February 15, 2006


Turns out it wasn't Zarqawi in the Nick Berg video, but Batman!
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:40 PM on February 15, 2006


>>> Nick Fury versus Al Qaeda

Wasn't that sort of addressed in John Ney Reiber's post 9/11 re-boot of Captain America (pub'd in hardcover as The New Deal). Fury tracks down a somewhat disillusioned Steve Rogers ands sends him after a terrorist named Al-Tariq.

And as much as the Right might be looking forward to Bats vs Osama, they really didn't appreciate a modern Cap who questioned authority.
posted by grabbingsand at 1:46 PM on February 15, 2006


Frankly, I'm amazed ol' Bats is heading over there to fight them.

Let's examine his backstory for a moment: a billionaire playboy goes to the Middle East, trains with a wanted criminal, returns to the US with the express purpose of terrorizing people, and starts wearing a black cowl.

"Rich Saudis" my ass. They should be freezing WayneCorp assets.
posted by Amanojaku at 2:25 PM on February 15, 2006


my impression was that he'd be fighting al qaeda on gotham's streets.
posted by shmegegge at 2:40 PM on February 15, 2006


oh, and grant morrison writing ANYTHING just depresses me. He's at the point now where when he tries to revitalize some old franchise he comes up with some really good ideas and spoils them with piss poor craftsmanship and shoddy revision.

for instance, in his earlier issues working on New X-Men, there's a scene where Wolverine and Cyclops encounter Xavier's spoiler alert Evil aborted Twin Fetus Sister Thingy, and Wolverine somehow smells out the evil and puts a claw to her throat. Cyclops, in order to deter wolverine's hair trigger instinct to kill, takes off his goggles, removes his RUBY CRYSTAL CONTACT LENSES, and delivers a 4 paragraph speech about how having removed all safeguards from his eyes makes it so he can kill wolverine in an instant just by opening his tightly squeezed eyelids for a moment. total time to render this scene in comic form? 2 panels.

think about that. you're reading a comic. in one panel, wolverine puts a claw to someone's throat. In the next, Cyclops has removed his goggles and taken out contact lenses made of rubies, carefully holding these lenses out on his fingertips, and then delivers a speech about how this elaborate procedure has allowed him to prevent wolverine's lightening fast surgical strike with GREATER EFFICIENCY as a method of deterrence.

let's never mind that the visor, by itself, is perfectly capable of opening wide enough for cyclops to fuck a guy up. let's never mind that at full blast cyclops' beams would obliterate the person he was trying to save. let's never mind the fact that ruby crystal lenses (while an interesting idea on the surface) would be impossible to put in without cyclops going out into the open air and WILDLY FIRING HIS EYEBEAMS INTO THE SKY OR SOME SHIT FOR 20 MINUTES. Let's never mind that if these lenses are in, then his goggles are wholly ineffective, since the beams would be completely blocked for as long as cyclops has them in. Let's never mind that his method of deterrence is to threaten wolverine's life for virtually no reason. Let's focus, instead, on how Scott Summers decided that the fastest way to stop wolvering from performing the slightest wrist movement was to TAKE OUT HIS CONTACT LENSES, REMOVE A FASHION ACCESSORY AND DELIVER A SPEECH.

Grant Morrison at work, folks. Interesting ideas written poorly because no one tells the man when he's written dog shit any more.
posted by shmegegge at 2:51 PM on February 15, 2006


Um, right yeah.

Ignore shmegegge, he's on crazy pills, Grant Morrison is aces.
posted by Artw at 3:06 PM on February 15, 2006


INFIDEL!
posted by shmegegge at 3:13 PM on February 15, 2006


I would totally read a Nick Fury vs. Al-Qaeda comic.

Also, at a certain point in Superman's history, they made him decide that spending all of his time hunting mundane civilian criminals was hurting humanity's progress, because the law enforcement wasn't creating the tools they needed to deal with their own mundane criminals, and Superman decided that he would henceforth focus only on other super-villains. So I could see Superman fighting super-terrorists, but beating on Al-Qaeda rank-and-file would not be within his domain.

While on one hand I generally argue that people have always been the way they are, throughout history, in this day and age, we are no longer as earnest as we once were to tolerate brazen propaganda pieces. I don't know whether we're too educated, too analytical, or too cynical, but our pop-culture expects and wants things that are either darker and more complicated than we had in the past's mass-entertainment-media, or we want a parody of it. I think it's a testimony to our modern sophistication that you can't produce that propaganda pieces that Michael Medved so desperately desires. Or that the propaganda we need is now being provided by cable news, rather than batman-vs-hitler comic books.
posted by deanc at 3:22 PM on February 15, 2006


I gotta agree with shmegegge, at least about Grant's run on New X-Men. It was total shit, IMO.
Now, The Filth, We3, and much of the current 7 Soldiers stuff... now that's a spicy meatball!
posted by papakwanz at 6:38 PM on February 15, 2006


Shoot, everyone knows Morrison's Doom Patrol was the best run on a continuing superhero comic EVAR, and so absolves him of any kind of criticism.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:19 AM on February 16, 2006


Frank Miller lost his shit years ago. The sucktastic trainwreck that is ASBAR can be seen as proof of this.

The good news is that in addition to Grant Morrison, Paul Dini will be writing a Bat book in this coming year. Which will be awesome, since he's one of the people who really "gets" Batman in my mind, especially compared to how the character has been written recently.
posted by kosher_jenny at 12:53 AM on February 16, 2006


Dini has stated he is gonna write more standalone storys and focus on batmans detective skills. Which i gladly welcome.
posted by Dreamghost at 6:26 PM on February 16, 2006


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