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The new Frank Miller work, Holy Terror, hit shelves this week and so far, the word ain’t good.
Miller is a comic book legend, having defined Batman and Daredevil with works such as The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One, Daredevil: Born Again, and is the creator of Sin City and 300. His stories have frequently tackled violence and politics, and have at times caused howls even while blazing artistic trails.
Terror, which launched the comic and publishing imprint of Legendary Pictures, was originally conceived as a Batman story and was a response by Miller to the terrorist attacks of 9-11. (The hero is now called the Fixer and features a female cat burglar who is not named Catwoman.)
In fact, part of the problem leveled at the handsome hardcover is that Miller didn’t do enough to make Fixer more than a Batman clone. “We transfer to completely new characters and yet Miller spends little effort in making them feel unique and independent,” says Comic Book Resources, which also notes the story is “surprisingly thin.”
Many are having problems with Miller’s angry political take with his revenge fantasy. Newsarama, giving the book 3 out of 10, said it “doesn’t look at the villains in any way or explore the differences between Muslims and terrorists” and calls it a “mean and ugly book.”
Geeks of Doom echoes the sentiment, noting Miller takes his analog characters and “turns them into murdering, torturing, rage-aholics with a limited vocabulary.”
Robot 6 calls it “the work of someone who was profoundly affected by the events of September 11th, to the point where fear took over from whatever artistic drive used to push Miller’s work. This isn’t a story as much as a revenge fantasy from someone who is clearly terrified of the world that he’s found himself living in, and closed himself off from reality as a result.”
Ain’t It Cool News didn’t mince words: “Sloppy, arrogant work by an arrogant bastard.”
Even the art can’t save this book. Everyone loves the opening sequence, calling it Miller at his finest, but it goes down hill from there, being described as a rush job, messy, and lazy.
In the end, it seems that Miller can’t stop being an artist who provokes.
(The book everyone loves this week, even surprising themselves? DC’s awesome Aquaman #1 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis.)
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