A Cultural Flag

Comment on Frank Miller’s most recent mad, racist graphic novel on wired.com.

The tragedy is that Miller is no hack. Throughout his 35-year career, he’s been one of comics’ few undisputed geniuses. Check the resume: from Daredevil to Ronin to Sin City, Miller excels at exploring the dark side of humanity without reducing his characters to simplistic killing machines. His Dark Knight Returns was one of the game-changing comics of the 1980s, the greatest Batman story ever told, a book that rivals Watchmen in its ability to prove that comics are literature. As an artist, Miller’s forte is in stark black-and-white color schemes, yet he creates worlds where the morality is a subtle gray.

He is also at the height of his cultural influence. The film adaptations of Sin City and 300 were so successful that Hollywood actually let him direct The Spirit. Christopher Nolan’s rebooted Batman trilogy would be unthinkable if Miller had never created The Dark Knight Returns. Word is that the upcoming Daredevil movie reboot will be based on Miller’s “Born Again” storyline.

That means it’s a mistake to write off Holy Terror as unimportant or a stumble in an otherwise great career. It’s a cultural flag, planted to serve as a “reminder that we’re in the midst of a long war,” Miller told Comic-Con International this year, against an enemy that’s “pernicious, deceptive and merciless and wants nothing less than total destruction.”

2 thoughts on “A Cultural Flag

  1. This attitude is not new or hard to believe in any way. It is rather surprising that there are not more and earlier statements like this. Cultural flag? An understatement. An anti-islamic, and therfore anti-semitic position is one of the pillars western society has been standing on from the beginning. Silence and a tie to a guilty conscience have only muffled this in some places at some times. The Christian world is literally defined by polemic demarcation towards the other.

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