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Exclusive Fantagraphics preview: Terror Assaulter wages a one-man war on terror (NSFW)

Cartoonist Benjamin Marra has some issues with the way the United States has handled the War on Terror, and he channels his frustrations in Terror Assaulter (O.M.W.O.T.), a satirical graphic novel about America’s short-sighted foreign policy and the relationship between sex and violence in American male power fantasies. In this preview of the book, Marra stages a brutal action sequence on a plane that has been hijacked by terrorists, sending the book’s central hero, codenamed “One Man War On Terror,” into a frenzy that stops the hijackers but also claims the lives of innocent passengers.

O.M.W.O.T. acts without considering consequences, but those innocents are acceptable casualties in his anti-terrorism mission, even if his actions are unnecessarily reckless. When one of the passengers complains about the needless deaths, he’s punched in the face and told to master his emotions, one of the many ways Marra expresses his hero’s hyper-exaggerated masculinity. Much of that comes through in the combination of over-the-top fight choreography and quippy dialogue, casting the lead character a wise-cracking action hero. It’s a role that is highlighted by Marra’s art, which juggles grisly killings with sensational action beats and bursts of dark comedy and sexual relief.

After slaughtering his opponents, O.M.W.O.T. takes a break with a blowjob from one of the men he’s just rescued, tying together violent actions and sexual gratification. Fighting terror is an aphrodisiac, and the gender of the other person isn’t a factor in Marra’s hero getting his rocks off. This preview just scratches the surface of the insanity Marra brings to the pages of this graphic novel, and readers can check out more of this twisted satire when Terror Assaulter (O.M.W.O.T.) hits stands at the end of the month.

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