When discussing “Holy Terror,” Frank Miller has been very upfront that it’s a propaganda piece. Its goal is to paint the enemy in the most awful light possible to rally support. So when I read people like Wired.com’s Spencer Ackerman saying it is “completely uninterested in any nuance or empathy toward 1.2 billion people he conflates with a few murderous conspiracy theorists” I ask, “Why should it?” It’s propaganda. Propaganda is supposed to be one-dimensional. Did you expect it to be anything else? So onto the next question, is it any good?
First, let’s look at the art. Art wise, the book is sloppy as hell. Not Frank Miller’s best art at all. (I actually think he’s been getting sloppier since he left “Daredevil”) There are moments in “Holy Terror” where I can’t even tell what’s going on. His caricatures of politicians and other media figures are purposely grotesque. (Especially his Pelosi, she looks like a cross between Beavis and Fire Marshall Bill) Still, there are some positives about the art. Miller is great when it comes to using negative space. He also knows how to use shadow. Just look at when the terrorists attack the statue of justice. Its simplicity makes it effective. As for the spot coloring, I wonder why he chose to color “Catwoman’s” shoes orange. I don’t see the point other then to distinguish her from the Fixer.
Story wise, the hero, named the Fixer (originally Batman, but that’s been covered in depth) is a single-minded man of vengeance. When Al-Qaeda attacks his focus turns from having a “good time” with “Catwoman,” to inflicting painful and funny vengeance. The direct political incorrectness is hysterical. You laugh because it is cartoony and you laugh because you’re thinking about the look on some peoples when they see it. Just look at the scene where they’re dancing on “Moe’s” back or the look on a terrorist’s eyes when he realizes his bomb didn’t go off. It’s like something out of a Warner Brothers cartoon. So, what is the point of “Holy Terror?” Why is Miller doing this other then to “piss people off?” Catharsis.
“Holy Terror” is a catharsis. Many comics dealt with the feelings we felt after 9/11. Be anger, sadness, prejudice, questioning why, and most importantly heroism, there hasn’t been a piece that dealt with the emotion so many of us felt when those towers fell: rage. “Holy Terror” is sequential rage. It is the rage we felt in the black part of our hearts that we try to deny, but deep down inside we all have. The rage that makes you want to first offend the party as much as you possibly can before destroying them. I remember the anger I felt that day. Frank Miller remembers too and channeled that desire revenge into “Holy Terror” and in this day and age where special interest groups get you fired if present an image contradictory to their own, it’s refreshing to see a creator do the exact opposite of what they want.
“Holy Terror” is Frank Miller’s middle finger to Al Qaeda and the P.C. patrol and he’s doing it because he can. If a regular creator tried something like this certain groups would try to get them blacklisted. I find it ironic how there is more outrage over this book then Rick Veitch’s Truther series, “The Big Lie.” I may not like it but it’s his opinion and I don’t want him to lose any work because of it. Everybody has the right to a job, and you have no right to deny them that. Thankfully none of this has happened…yet. But in an age where WWE has to have sensitivity training…who knows. Anyway, back on topic, if you’re a Frank Miller fan, a fan of un-P.C. humor, or just want to see Al Qaeda brutalized, you’ll enjoy “Holy Terror.” If you’re easily offended, well avoid. I doubt Frank Miller cares.