Apr 13th 2010 By: Nick Nadel
Frank Miller attended the annual MoCCA Fest
in New York City (it's like SPX or Stumptown, but with more Michel Gondry sightings) over the weekend, and spoke on a panel about "the art of superheroes" along with Kyle Baker, Paul Pope, Dean Haspiel, and Jamie Hernandez. (Hollywood, I think we found your new A-Team.)
(This is not a photo from the panel. We just can't pass up a photo of a stylish fedora. Oh, and Eva Mendes.)
Among the talk about the magic of Jack Kirby, and Paul Pope's insistence that the Big Two allow up-and-coming creators to do more than "just another f---ing Superman or Batman story," Frank Miller casually dropped the bomb that he's no long working on "Holy Terror, Batman!," his long-in-development Batman graphic novel that would have found the Dark Knight facing off against Al-Qaeda. Described by Miller himself as a "piece of propaganda," the project has been eagerly awaited, both by Miller fans and by aficionados of potential train wrecks.
While discussing current events in superhero comics, Kyle Baker mentioned that he prefers to keep politics out of his superhero comics, saying that were he to address the Iraq war or terrorism, he would do so in the pages of his creator-owned work instead of "trying to shoehorn Batman into Afghanistan." When Baker said that was more Miller's sort of thing, the audience chuckled knowingly. To which Miller replied, gruffly, "No, I'm not doing that anymore."
Announced way back in 2006, "Holy Terror, Batman!" was meant to be, in Miller's words, "a reminder to people who seem to have forgotten who we're up against." (The Joker? Facist Superman?) "Superman punched out Hitler. So did Captain America," Miller told the BBC
in 2006. "That's one of the things they're there for." Perhaps Miller tabled the project for the upcoming return of "All Star Batman & Robin,"
or for his film work. ("Sin City 2," "301," the "Spirit" sequel that exists only his mind, etc.) Or perhaps he realized that the whole idea had perhaps exceeded its expiration date.
Miller had reportedly finished about 40 pages of "Holy Terror, Batman!," so there's a good chance that somewhere there's a Lynn Varley-colored page of Batman totally decking Osama Bin Laden. One can only hope this potential masterpiece will surface someday. In the meantime, comic book store clerks can breathe a sigh of relief that customers won't mistakenly pick up "Batman: Holy Terror"
thinking it's the latest Frank Miller graphic opus.