Robin, to the AEI Briefing!


The LA Times profiles suddenly-cool-again Frank Miller and digs out some details on his new project:

At a comic book convention in 2006, he announced that he was working on a book about Al Qaeda attacking Gotham City that would be titled "Holy Terror, Batman!" People glanced around to see if he was joking. He wasn't.

The book is still not out, and in the industry there is the general sense that the project has stalled a bit. At the W, though, Miller said about 120 pages of his Batman tale have been drawn and inked and he's starting in on the "final 50 or so." He said he plans to finish it even though he senses squeamishness by executives at DC Comics and its parent, Warner Bros. Entertainment, in sending a franchise character on a blood-quest after terrorists. The topic is clearly an uncomfortable one for him, and he gave the impression that the title, the distribution deal and the nature of the project are in flux.

Still, the plot is decidedly straightforward: "Our hero's key quote is, 'Those clowns don't know what terror is,' " Miller said. "Then he sets out to get the guys."

With the hero as terrorism avenger, Miller is pointing to the days of comics in the 1940s, when Superman, Captain America and the Human Torch were drawn taking punches at Hitler or Hirohito.

"These terrorists are worse than any villain I can come up with, and I think it's ridiculous that people in entertainment are not showing what we are up against here…. This is pure propaganda, a throwback, there's no bones about it."

Miller also said he relishes a backlash. "I'm ready," he said, "for my fatwa."  

Michelle Malkin sees this as a sign that Miller "gets it." I don't think that Miller would win many fans on the conservative blogosphere if he elucidated all his views. He's that rarest of neocons: a president-hating hawk. In his first Dark Knight series he portrayed Reagan as a pajama-clad weirdo and Superman as a government stooge. In the second series, which was written post-9/11, the president is a malfunctioning hologram and thinly-veiled analogues for Ari Fleischer and John Ashcroft enforce the brutal will of the State. His hatred of al Qaeda is rooted less in patriotism than in the desire to fuck with people.

NEXT: First Annual White Heterosexual Male Scholarship

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  1. I always read Miller’s stuff as more or less apolitical anti-authoritarianism. So, he’s no fan of Republicans or Islamic fundamentalists.

    Makes sense to me.

  2. This bit, from an interview with Grant Morrison over at Newsarama, seems highly relevant:

    “[GM:]So, while I won’t pretend we all live on Sunnybrook Farm, I don’t think its appropriate – particularly in trying times – to present our fictional heroes as unsmiling vengeance machines. I’d rather Batman embodied the best that secular humanism has to offer – a sour-faced, sexually-repressed, humorless, uptight, angry, and all-round grim ‘n’ gritty Batman would be more likely to join the Taliban surely?

    NRAMA: Er?

    GM: And while we’re on that subject…Batman vs. Al Qaeda! It might as well be Bin Laden vs. King Kong! Or how about the sinister Al Qaeda mastermind up against a hungry Hannibal Lecter! For all the good it’s likely to do. Cheering on a fictional character as he beats up fictionalized terrorists seems like a decadent indulgence when real terrorists are killing real people in the real world. I’d be so much more impressed if Frank Miller gave up all this graphic novel nonsense, joined the Army and, with a howl of undying hate, rushed headlong onto the front lines with the young soldiers who are actually risking life and limb ‘vs’ Al Qaeda.”

    There ya go.

  3. I think Grant Morrison “gets it.”

  4. I love Grant Morrison, but he really shouldn’t fuck with Frank The Tank. Frank will slap him even balder.

  5. Would someone come up with an appropriate “law” (e.g. Godwins) referring to an endorsement by Michelle Malkin as being a universally bad thing!

  6. I’m Batman!

  7. fish,

    Would “That Stupid Gook’s Law” be too insensitive?

  8. fish,

    How about “Jumping the Internment?”

  9. Ugh. I wonder if people who read Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s depictions of the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, and Iron Man fighting communists in the 1960s carped that they would be more impressed if Stan and Jack would sneak into Poland and try to drive the Russians out.

  10. fish, I’ll go along with that if we get another law to invoke whenever someone (like Grant Morrison) goes all chickenhawk on us.

  11. Comic book talk. Can’t get enough insights from from Frank Miller, I say.

    Now I’ll go over to NRO and see if Jonah the whale and Podhorrors are yammering about BSG. Or maybe K-Lo is running her vibrator to “24” again.

  12. Trying to pigeonhole Miller as conservative or liberal or whatever is destined to fail. He really does take on everywhere. And he has absolutely no problem showing his “heroes” as incredibly flawed human beings.

    Batman is a lunatic, Leonidas is a dictator and half of the “heroes” in Sin City are psychopaths, prostitutes or hitmen. It’s just the people they fight are so much worse that these extreme personalities become necessary.

    That being said, I think “300” was the last decent work Miller has done. “Dark Knight Strikes Again” was a disaster of truly epic proportions. One of the ugliest and at times downright indecipherable comics I’ve ever read. Though I admit there were times I enjoyed myself (Giving the Flash running shorts — brilliant!), it just seemed like him screwing around rather than giving us a real story with actual craft behind it.

    But hey, I still want to see Batman punch Bin Laden in the face.

  13. Urkobold would like Frank Miller to know that Urkobold is available. Hero or villain work.

    Call me.

  14. Big Kidder

    Would “That Stupid Gook’s Law” be too insensitive?


    More to the point though not nearly specific enough to Ms. Malkin who I find to be a shreiking cringing coward!

  15. Miller started out an anti-authoritarian lefty, but you can see his views change over the course of the three comic book miniseries featuring the character Martha Washington in the 90s, until he finally thanks Ayn Rand in a text postscript for refining his views on individualism. A few years later in an NPR commentary, he said 9/11 made him realize that patriotism and the flag were appropriate, understandable responses by a free nation under attack by foreign tyranny. I’d say that attitude-wise (without having a detailed philosophy), he’s not so far removed from a Glenn Reynolds or for that matter a Virginia Postrel, despite his unforgivably Marxist script for _RoboCop III_ long, long ago before he matured. Be grateful for Frank — though it’s fair to be troubled by the political implications of his comic _300_, I concede (much as I loved the movie).

  16. Kirk Douglas,

    Just for the record, you stood there and let everyone else say that. You just stood up and opened your mouth in slo-mo so that others could take the rap for you. Frankly, I applauded when you were crucified, you bastard.

    Urkobold comics would rule. We need some artwork–what would the ?ber Troll look like, anyway?

  17. And yet more related news: He [Bush] called Iran “a significant threat to world peace, today and in the future” because of its nuclear weapons ambitions. He immediately amended his remarks, saying, “`today’ is the wrong word – in the future. They don’t have a weapon today.”

    Notice how he casually snuck in the word, “today”, which he immediately amended. This is like a defense lawyer or prosecutor saying something that they know will be objected to, but they throw it in there for the sake of provoking certain feelings in the juries. There will inevitably be some people who only heard that Iran is a threat today…they must have WMDs today…

  18. His hatred of al Qaeda is rooted less in patriotism than in the desire to fuck with people.

    Any other good reasons to hate al Qaeda, or are these the only two choices? Can I choose both?

  19. I’m Brian!

    Voila. ?ber Troll:


    (Summons THUNDERCHICKEN to do some really strange things to ProGLib’s neighbor, to serve as a warning)

  20. Meanwhile this:

    Army Chief Says Harry Will Go to Iraq
    By D’ARCY DORAN (Associated Press Writer)
    From Associated Press

    April 30, 2007 12:51 PM EDT
    LONDON – The head of the British army said Monday that he had personally decided that Prince Harry, the third in line to the throne, will serve with a combat unit in Iraq.



    (rim shot)

  21. Madness? THIS IS GOTHAM!!!

  22. Graham Chapman,

    Like making them pick up their garbage? That would be truly weird and eerie.

  23. If I may judge Frank Miller’s politics from the couple of his works that I remember well, he hates liberals.

    He also hates conservatives.

    And corruption.

    He could be one of us.

    Gabba gabba hey!

  24. ProGLib – no something like making them view the movie “Convoy” non stop for 36 hours…

    or something like that.

  25. With Rhodes Scholar Kris Kristofferson? An intellectual tour de force, I’m sure.

    I remember the title song, by the way. How strange.

  26. A kobold is like a 1/2 CR, a troll is somewhere around CR 8. There is no way a kobold could be an Uber Troll.

  27. “His hatred of al Qaeda is rooted less in patriotism than in the desire to fuck with people.”

    It sounds to me like his hatred of al Qaeda is even more rooted in his hatred of al Qaeda.


  29. That’s the American “kobold”. In German, it’s the word for troll. At least, it is now, because VM and I have agreed that it is. Plus, why would the Urkobold call himself that if it were inaccurate? I mean, he’s got a registered trademark and everything.

    I wonder if he remembered to register the URL?

  30. A no-handed economist could still best a size-small 1/2 CR critter with a propensity for barking! Kobold’s don’t even have a whole HD! They suck more than Goblins!

    HAH! Suck it, KOBOLDS!

  31. Wow, Timothy, you go on whistling past the graveyard. You’re so screwed when the Urkobold reads your posts. Fear his power and his use of CAPSLOCK!

    This isn’t a game, my friend, this is real, deadly life.



    Incidentally, Urkobold has no use for the URL, but the gmail name was available. 🙂
    Urkobold never smiles.

  33. highnumber,

    You should register it at GoDaddy for $8 or whatever the price is now. Except that instead of .com, register it under the German TLD, .de. Chortle.

  34. Really, I think this could be a major blog, especially when the Urkobold rapes and pillages his own comments section. There’s been a vacuum ever since Maddox stopped like posting stuff.

  35. WWUrKD?

    Smite his enemies with mighty CAPSLOCK!

  36. The UR-Kobold found a pointy stick. It is now a 1 CR creature. I am afraid. How many class levels does the URKOBOLD have?

  37. Urkobold HAS NO CLASS.

  38. URKOBOLD is a commoner! HAH!



  40. Perhaps is is URKOBOLD who is the toy! But URKOBOLD is a wonderful toy, although he should not be used without consulting a physician.

  41. Let’s see… Miller, in his works, has demonstrated:

    -contempt for accepted authority and procedures

    -love of strength and power in the hands of an overman

    -contempt for intellectuals

    -contempt for mainstream religion

    -contempt for big business

    -a fondness for magic and shortcuts to power

    -a fondness for blatant homoeroticism

    -a view of modern life as decadent

    When you put all these together, I think it’s pretty clear that Miller isn’t a liberal, conservative, or libertarian. He’s a balls-out fascist.

    Which, “Frankly”, is fine with me. Fascists made- and, in Miller’s case- continue to make some cool-ass shit. Just don’t give them any political power.

  42. Perhaps is is..


  43. Great, now I’m getting spam emails from this Urkobold punk. If I get my hands on this @#$**#$! he’s gonna wish he was never born!

  44. Teh Melatury Layer tips lyke Mi!

  45. Timothy,

    This is the Urkobold coming out with music and fun.
    If you’re not careful, you may learn something before it’s done!
    Hey, hey, hey!


  47. Upon reflection, Urkobold realizes that is being born, albeit an odd but not unprecedented way to be born.

  48. Which HEAD would that be, Urkobold? And what kind of BURST did it entail?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  49. highnumber,

    “Industry: Law Enforcement or Security?” Chortle.

    Any artists out there? We need a dramatic representation of the Urkobold. Remember, the Urkobold is the primal force of trollishness. The troll archetype, the font from which all things troll-like sprang. Or be springing from.

    I don’t believe that a blog totally dedicated to trollism has ever been attempted. Not without bloodshed, anyway.

  50. Oh hail great Urkobold! Keeper of the MAGIC MERKIN!

    Fear! Fear! Timothy!

    URKOBOLD! can make you violate every one of the CLRM’s assumptions! AND LIKE IT!!!!!

    HE WILL MAKE YOU CALCULATE AND DRAW THE IS CURVE IN (e,Y) Space! (Mundell-Fleming model with perfect capital markets and a small country)

  51. Urkobold is the primal force of trollishness…

    Funny, he didn’t look trollish

  52. No, not trollish, but he(?) does look sort of ethnic.

  53. And behold!
    I shall cast these raiments
    Upon the Waters of the Maytag.
    Go now!
    And do not turn back,
    lest ye suffer Severe Tire Damage.

  54. And quite the babe magnet, apparently…

  55. Pre WWII DC was all about sticking up for the little guy, beating up on slumlords, muggers and murderers.

  56. Fascists made- and, in Miller’s case- continue to make some cool-ass shit. Just don’t give them any political power.

    Works for me…

  57. Actually this isn’t the first time that Batman got involved with real-world affairs. Back in the 1980’s, when DC Comics let the readers decide if Robin was to be killed off, the Joker was invited to speak with Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini. The Joker then became Iran’s spokesman to the United Nations, with full diplomatic immunity. Sadly, DC Comics later decided to change the real-world references to some cheap knockoff country that’s situated somewhere next to Dilbert’s fictional nation of Elbonia.

  58. Everyone is forgetting the most important Frank Miller-ism: Whores.

    I really like a lot of his stuff, particularly Batman stuff, but the man is sort of illegible lately.

  59. Hey. Who just broke wind in here?

    “I’m Fartacus!”

    “I’m Fartacus!”

    “I’m Fartacus!”

    “I’m … “

  60. I don’t mean to be hating on the Urkobold?, but aren’t kobolds goblins or brownies, rather than trolls?

    As in many things comics-related, Jack Kirby got there first with the ur-trollishness.

    BTW, Jack carried a rifle in combat in WWII, while Stan was in uniform stateside, writing for the Signal Corps. They were far too old to “fight the commies” in the 60s, and, at least in Jack’s case, had already beaten the Nazis.


  61. Ah, yes, my cousin Ulik. I miss him. He married that WASP girl, shaved, got a job on Wall Street nad moved to the Hamptons.
    Race traitor.



  62. “nad”?

    Urkobold will be off punishing himself for not previewing.


    That’s no punishment. I bought half of those off the rack. You’ve condemned me to hunt down Joe Orlando-edited mystery titles and Kanigher/Kubert war books. I didn’t care for those back then, but have grown to appreciate them in the interim.

    “Punishing the Urkabold?” should make a fine euphemism for something or other.


  64. kevrob,

    That’s VM’s line.

    “Kobold” means “evil spirit” in German. It can mean the short little spritely folk, but it also shows up as a translation for troll. Whether it’s the big guy under the bridge or not, it’s perfectly acceptable for the Ultimate Force in Internet Trolling. Clearly, the Primal Entity for All Things Trollish knows how to identify Himself.

    Oh, and for those who don’t know, “Ur” (also German) means “first” or “primal” or sometimes “great” (in Germany, Frosted Flakes are called Urfr?stenflakenausstiegwunsch). It’s also a former town in Iraq.

  65. VM:

    “Troll” nay be a perfectly perfectly cromulent translation for “kobold.” That’s not going to stop me from picturing a goblin, elf or imp when I see the Urkobold? handle.


  66. Certainly, I don’t think that urkoboldism is premised on the fact that Internet trolls are a good thing. So an unfavorable image is certainly apropos. Some people picture a young, coke-snorting George Bush. To each his own.

  67. oh fer fuck’s sake, i was reading that as “URKO-BOLD” and i like that a lot more than some geeky ass d&d shit.

    now if you’ll excuse me i’m going to go fire up planescape: torment.

  68. What is this D&D thing with kobolds? I never even thought about it. It’s one of the German words for TROLL. You know, like Dan T.? Jeez. Ur = “primal”; kobold = “troll”. The Urkobold is the archetypal troll, the God of Trolls, if you will.

    No dice throws. No hit points. This is harsh, cold reality.

  69. yeah well maybe you should go suck on a bag of holding, then.

    seriously, am i the only person who thought it was maybe a steve urkle thing?


  71. shouldn’t that shit be hyphenated then?


  72. Ur-kobold is a description or title.
    Urkobold is Urkobold’s name.

    I don’t want to get all CAPS on you and lay out some punishment, SO STOP TRYING TO PEER BEHIND THE CURTAIN! I’m not decent.

  73. Be careful, Urkobold. You may lose your ? to a German vacuum cleaner company.


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