Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Batman VS. al-Aqida

The New York Post has announced a Frank Miller penned graphic novel featuring Batman vs. al-Qaida. Apparently Miller made the announcement at the San Francisco Wonder Con. The people at DC Comics had no comment regarding the project, and there is no release date on the work yet. Click here to read the entire article.

Now, I am not certain the project will be published. But, if it is published, then I am sure it will spark a few debates. Miller’s work might be edited, in order to fit DC’s guidelines, which he might not like. Even with edits a work like this is sure to be controversial. There are people for and against the President’s ongoing war with al-Qaida, and I am sure both sides will have an opinion.

According to the article, Miller says Captain America fought Hitler, so Batman should be able to fight our current enemy, al-Qaida. “Miller said the comic was ‘an explosion from my gut reaction of what’s happening now’ and ‘a reminder to people who seem to have forgotten who we’re up against’. The story apparently sees DC Comics’ famed superhero defending his hometown of Gotham City against a terrorist attack. ‘It just seems silly to chase around the Riddler when you’ve got al-Qaida out there,’ Miller said.”

Back in WW2 days, people did not seem to be as politically charged as they are today. Now those who are against the war tend to be very strongly against it, and those who support it do so quite vehemently. So, making a comic book like this today might prove to be too controversial for DC Comics. If they do publish it, I say “good for them.” It’s about time the big publishers took some controversial stands. Believe it or not, what they say is often true – any publicity is good publicity. One way or the other controversy will get people to check out the comic book. Of course there will be those that, once they find out what side Miller takes, decide that they won’t support DC Comics anymore. Unfortunately that’s the kind of politically charged, blind loyalty some people have. In our world of “political correctness” and the constant “fear” of accidentally offending someone, I say it’s about time someone had a main-stream comic book character take on a serious subject. Sure, Green Arrow dealt with a character having AIDS, but it was deal with very quietly and quickly.

I am sure some people will disagree with my opinion that the main stream characters should do something controversial once in a while. Not so long ago I was reading an article that discussed how comic books are supposed to be fun and entertaining, and that they should not deal with heavy issues. I would agree that it shouldn’t be the case constantly, and that comics shouldn’t deal with emotionally charged issues just for the sake of stirring people up. But, from time to time it only makes sense to have them live in the real world and deal with real issues. Of course these types of issues can be written very poorly, which makes the whole thing seem like a waste. Miller is a well-known writer, so hopefully this will be a well-written story that gets people interested in comic books, and leaves them wanting more.

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