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If you’re one of the legion of Frank Miller fans still waiting patiently for the comic book writer/director to finally finish that blasted Batman vs. Al Qaeda comic he’s been promising us for years now (and I count myself in that group), then here are some good news and some bad news: the good news is that, according to Miller himself, he’s THIS close to finishing the 120-page comic. The bad news? It’s no longer a D.C. book, which means it’ll also no longer be a Batman story. Meaning, of course, no Batman vs. Al Qaeda. Sort of.
Instead of Batman being the central character, the fictional hero Miller will be pitting against the real-life terrorist organization will instead be a new character named The Fixer. Gotham City will now be Empire City. And the title? Instead of “Batman: Holy Terror!” (a great title, in my opinion, given the character’s campy TV history and the serious subject matter), the book will now simply be called “Holy Terror”, minus the exclamation point.
The character is called The Fixer and he’s very much an adventurer who’s been essentially searching for a mission. He’s been trained as special ops and when his city is attacked all of a sudden all the pieces fall into place and all this training comes into play. He’s been out there fighting crime without really having his heart in it — he does it to keep in shape. He’s very different than Batman in that he’s not a tortured soul. He’s a much more well-adjusted creature even though he happens to shoot 100 people in the course of the story.
About his decision to leave D.C. and dropping Batman altogether from the book:
I had a talk with [former DC president and publisher] Paul Levitz and I said, ‘Look, this isn’t your Batman.’ I pushed Batman as far as he can go and after a while he stops being Batman. My guy carries a couple of guns and is up against an existential threat. He’s not just up against a goofy villain. Ignoring an enemy that’s committed to our annihilation is kind of silly, It just seems that chasing the Riddler around seems silly compared to what’s going on out there. I’ve taken Batman as far as he can go.
Miller is nearly finished on the self-contained story, and expects to be done before he starts looking for a publisher, which given his track record, shouldn’t be too hard to find. Granted, Miller’s last comic book run (on D.C.’s “All Star Batman and Robin”) didn’t exactly go smoothly, but it did sell like hot cakes anyway. That is, when it actually came out.
Meanwhile, aside from the non-Batman Batman vs. Al Qaeda comic, Miller’s also putting the finishing touches on “Xerxes”, his prequel to “300” that Zack Snyder will turn into a movie. “Xerxes” will be a 12-issue story from Dark Horse Comics, and will explore the origins of “300’s” villain, the self-proclaimed Persian God-King Xerxes.