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Frank Miller scraps his "Batman vs. al-Qaeda" story

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In an interview with the L.A. Times, Frank Miller says that his long-rumored graphic novel pitting Batman against al-Qaeda is no more. Miller has been talking about the idea since 2006 under the title Holy Terror, Batman! (or Holy War, Batman!) and vacillating between whether he would pursue the idea of a comic-book character embarking on a “blood quest” against Islamic terrorists as a Batman story or with some wholly new creation. Now Miller seems to have made up his mind, telling the LAT that the newly rechristened Holy Terror will instead feature a protagonist known as The Fixer, a Dirty Harry-like former special ops agent who finds a new purpose for his training when his city is attacked. And unlike Batman, The Fixer is “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.”

Although DC Comics had been wary of centering a Batman story on al-Qaeda, Miller also says that it was ultimately his decision to rewrite it. According to Miller, he had a meeting with former DC president Paul Levitz, at which he told him:

“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.”

Without the Caped Crusader in the lead role, Miller is now looking for a new publisher, saying he’s “talking to a number of people,” but remains certain it will come out next year. In the meantime, Miller is also finishing up his 300 sequel Xerxes, with Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad already at work on a screenplay for a film adaptation.