When Frank Miller’s 2011 graphic novel Holy Terror was published in 2011, Wired’s Spencer Ackerman called it “a screed against Islam, completely uninterested in any nuance or empathy toward 1.2 billion people he conflates with a few murderous conspiracy theorists.” Now the book is back in the news, and publisher Legendary Comics told Smash Pages they will never reprint it.
A spokesperson for Legendary gave Smash Pages the following statement:
The graphic novel was published in 2011 by a prior Comics group. It has not been reprinted since the initial publication and will never be reprinted by Legendary Comics.
Smash Pages reached out to Legendary after Zainab Akhtar of Shortbox announced she would not attend the Thought Bubble Comics Festival in Leeds, UK, because Miller was scheduled to be a guest there.
On Tuesday, Akhtar Tweeted a statement saying that while she had been excited to attend Thought Bubble,
as a proud Muslim woman, I cannot in good conscience attend a festival that deems it appropriate to invite and platform Frank Miller, a person who is responsible for the propagation of abhorrent anti-Muslim hate, particularly via his work. Anti-Muslim bigotry is repugnant and condemnable yet has become so deeply rooted, so widely accepted in society that it is not even given a cursory consideration, as evidenced once again in this situation.
Thought Bubble subsequently Tweeted an apology and stated “Frank Miller will not be attending Thought Bubble.”
While Akhtar did not mention Holy Terror by name, it is a violent and explicitly anti-Muslim book that attracted considerable criticism when it first came out; Ackerman called it “one of the most appalling, offensive and vindictive comics of all time.” On his blog, Miller said that the book was propaganda, pointing out that Superman punched out Adolf Hitler, and added,
3000 of my neighbors were murdered. My country was, utterly unprovoked, savagely attacked. I wish all those responsible for the Atrocity of 9/11 to burn in hell.
I’m too old to serve my country in any other way. Otherwise, I’d gladly be pulling the trigger myself.
In 2018, Miller told The Guardian, “When I look at Holy Terror, which I really don’t do all that often, I can really feel the anger ripple out of the pages. There are places where it is bloodthirsty beyond belief.” He added, “I’m not capable of that book again.” Nonetheless, he has never repudiated the book or apologized for it.
Holy Terror was originally supposed to be a Batman book, but in 2008 Miller’s editor, Bob Schreck, left DC for Legendary and Miller’s book followed him, changing the lead character to one named The Fixer.
While hard copies are available via third-party sellers on Amazon, the book does not appear to be available digitally.