Picking up on the last line of the article I just mentioned, Mimi made me think of Frank Miller's proposal to send Batman after Al-Qaeda:
Speaking at a comic book convention in San Francisco at the weekend, Miller, the author of The Dark Knight Returns and the Sin City series, said Batman could ill afford to chase fantasy villains when the real thing was on his doorstep.As I was saying, comics tend to follow the zeitgeist. Miller stirred a lot of interest last February when he announced this story, but I can't find anything more recent than that about it, except this Wikipedia entry, which asserts the story is slated for a 2007 release. Even the Guardian article from almost a year ago ended: "Miller has drawn 120 pages of the 200-page graphic novel. There is no completion date."
"Not to put too fine a point on it, it's a piece of propaganda," he said.
"Superman punched out Hitler. So did Captain America. That's one of the things they're there for.
"These are our folk heroes. I just think it's silly to have Batman out chasing the Riddler when you've got al-Qaida out there."
Comparing Batman to Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry character - a lone urban hero fighting a crime wave - Miller said: "Batman kicks al-Qaida's ass ... I wish the entertainers of our time had the spine and the focus of the ones who faced down Hitler."
In the book, Holy Terror, Batman is "a reminder to people who seem to have forgotten who we're up against", the author said.
I'm sure it will be published, sooner or later. And while I find Miller's take on his project more than a bit self-serving (even comic book authors are now part of the "Greatest Generation"! They also serve who only sit and draw costumed characters!), it underlines the interesting movement in Spider-Man, where a story line has been constructed and put into monthly release which takes on the threat we face today; except, of course, that threat is not external and imaginary (what has al-Qaeda done to us lately that we haven't done in spades to ourselves?).
Let me add that, on NPR this morning, even an avowed supporter of Rep. Jean Schmidt (who famously berated John Murtha for speaking against the war) told Steve Inskeep that she thought "our boys should come home" from Iraq. Could have knocked me over with a feather. Put the pieces together, it's clear support for this vanity war is non-existent now.
I think interest in Miller's latest concept may be quite a bit cooler now than it was just 1 year ago.