Holy Terror

Last updated on October 27th, 2011 at 07:34 pm

It’s been heavily promoted by Legendary Pictures, as only a movie studio can do.  Preview pages, an animated short, press releases and coverage everywhere.  For it’s first foray into comics Legendary has published Frank Miller’s Holy Terror, his response to 9/11.  I’m a huge Frank Miller fan, having read everything he’s ever done.  But this book is crap: don’t buy it.  I want my money back.  End review.

Still here?  Let’s get into the nitty gritty.  I’d give you the publisher’s information but there isn’t any.  The website gives almost nothing: the already released promotional material and a release date of September 28th and suggesting we pre-order a copy.  Oh wait, that’s come and gone.  Here’s pertinent information from Amazon.

There’s a deadly menace somewhere in Empire City, and The Fixer only has until dawn to save his town – and civilization as we know it! Legendary Comics presents an all-out, head-busting, bone-breaking, neck-snapping brawl of a tale from Frank Miller, one of the most celebrated storytellers of the medium. Years in the making, HOLY TERROR features the desperate and brutal quest of a hero as he is forced to run down an army of murderous zealots in order to stop a crime against humanity.

  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Legendary Comics LLC
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193727800X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937278007
  • Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 9.2 x 0.4 inches
  • $29.95 U.S.

 

For story we have a costumed vigilante, The Fixer, who eliminates an Al-Qaeda cell in Empire City after experiencing multiple bombings.  It’s basic, simple and to the point as most superhero stories are.  Except here we don’t have superheroes, we have masked vigilantes who enjoy torturing and killing.  They face Arab zealots who perform suicide bombings, shoot down helicopters and fit the classic “Arab terrorist” stereotype.

Events are told by our narrator Natalie Stack, a cat burglar who is also the love interest of The Fixer.  For some inexplicable reason this tale of death and terror has a thread of lust/love running through it, for no good reason.  They beat each other up and then make out before the first attack, then The Fixer keeps talking about falling in love with Stack.  It has no relevance to the plot, none.

Art is an odd mix.  We have Miller’s continual slide to scratchy lines and odd forms which played heavily in Batman The Dark Knight Strikes Again, but without any consistency.  The Fixer appears in the first half of the book as a thick musclebound opposing male and then becomes a slim almost effeminate character.  Spot colour is used randomly and without purpose: Stack’s shoes sometimes show up with orange soles, her eyes sometimes green.  Miller originally created this book a decade ago featuring Batman and Catwoman but DC wasn’t interested so the characters have been altered: it seems done in haste and rather crudely.

Frank Miller’s Holy Terror is a wide book like, 300.  Unfortunately the paper is very thin, the image on the other side bleeding through: it heavily detracts from the reading experience.  They cheaped out and it shows.  No extras are included.  I can only imagine it’s priced at $30 because Legendary think Miller’s name can command that premium.  Before this book it may have, but not anymore.

Scott VanderPloeg Written by:

Editor-In-Chief. Scott works in I.T. but lives to eat and read. His other ramblings can be found at eBabble. Art collection at Comic Art Fans. Joe Shuster Awards Harry Kremer coordinator.

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4 Comments

  1. October 7, 2011

    Thanks for the review Scott. I’ve been considering picking this up because like you, I’m a big Frank Miller fan (I’m one of the few people who likes DK2) but I’ve been leery of it due to the subject matter.

    I’m a little disappointed with Legendary as I have high hopes for the publisher (when flipping through the book, I noticed the same problems in paper quality you did). Maybe the Matt Wagner/Simon Bisely project will be better.

  2. Charlie
    October 7, 2011

    Wow, unusually harsh coming from Scott but deserving none the less:

    • Miller is capable of great art. I don’t like his Sin City art and this is worse. You can try and pass it off as style but to me, this is nothing more than a series of unplanned doodles. Some panels don’t even make sense… you see a blob of ink, then a foot sticking out of it.

    • The logo type is a rip-off of 300. Why would you repeat yourself?

    • The characters are still Batman and Cat Woman. I understand it started there, but why is it still there? This is basically DK3 with the same “a cat has 9 lives” dialogue. There’s even a chief of police…

    • The book fails to enlighten, entertain, inform or provide perspective.

    • The book contains racist remarks. Believe me, being PC is boring but without a story or message, or some sort of rationale, racist remarks are just demeaning. Ed, here’s your next topic… “Lets talk about racism”.

    • 10 years in the making. Okay, not every day for the last decade I’m sure but it’s been many years since this idea was conceived. Was there no moment in all that time to reflect on what you’re actually producing?

    The real disappoint for me is to see such a great talent wither away. Like many Hollywood stereotypes, success is the biggest contributor to failure. Some times it’s better to remain hungry.

    Thanks Scott.

  3. October 9, 2011

    See for me, I love his art style on the early Sin Citys and then I think it started getting away from him a bit. DK2 and Sin City: To Hell And Back were kind of the first signs that he was really headed in this direction but I think the proof of how ridiculous the style has gotten is in the Judge Dredd pin up he did.

    http://viciousimagery.blogspot.com/2010/09/that-frank-miller-judge-dredd-cover.html

    That’s not to say that I think Miller’s lost his talent in terms of art, it’s just gone in a place I don’t like.

  4. Laura
    October 12, 2011

    I took a flip through it. Cheap, thin paper, terrible art, stupid story, and very little dialogue. I dig stories with different ways of story telling, but this was blank pages and no words for half the book. Terrible waste.

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