Batman Takes Aim at Osama
Feb. 14, 2006 — -- Beware, terrorists! The Caped Crusader is targeting a villain more sinister than the Joker -- Osama bin Laden.
At the WonderCon 2006 comic-book convention in San Francisco last weekend, legendary comics writer and artist Frank Miller revealed that Batman would hunt down bin Laden and al Qaeda in his next DC Comics graphic novel.
In "Holy Terror, Batman!" the Caped Crusader goes after the terror leader and his organization after Gotham City is attacked by terrorists. Though the graphic novel's title is a take on Robin the Boy Wonder's catchphrase, Miller said there was nothing campy about the story.
Miller's reinvention of Batman in the 1987 graphic novel "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" is credited with reviving interest in the superhero and helping launch the series of Batman movies in the 1990s and 2005's "Batman Begins." He said his anger over both the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and subsequent acts of terror worldwide had inspired his latest work.
"Emotionally, it's really raw," Miller told the WonderCon audience. "Imagine the powerful rage when someone crosses the passion between a man and a woman or a man and his city."
Miller called "Holy Terror, Batman!" a "piece of propaganda" where "Batman kicks al Qaeda's a--." He said his graphic novel channeled an era in the comic-book industry when writers and artists used heroes to spread a clear message and generate patriotism.
"Superman punched out Hitler. So did [Marvel Comics'] Captain America," he said. "That's one of the things they're there for. … These are our folk heroes. It just seems silly to chase around the Riddler when you've got al Qaeda out there."
Like any art form, comic books seem to have always reflected and drawn inspiration from their times.
World War II and the battle against the Nazis provided the backdrop when Superman rose to fame in the late 1930s and early 1940s and Marvel Comics' Captain America debuted in 1941. The cover of the first issue of Captain America shows the superhero punching Adolph Hitler in the face.
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