I am not particularly predisposed to like Frank Miller’s upcoming terrorism-fightin’ comic Holy Terror, but I read through the first couple of pages Newsarama has up. And apparently, Watchmen’s Rorshach is back and narrating, because man does this start with lengthy rooftop rants about how terrible Empire City is, apparently because it’s wet, and other things. I’m not really sure what the purpose of this framing is. If you want to make an argument that terrorists are wrong to see our society as decadent and corrupt, it might make sense to present a more compelling and coherent version of that case and then debunk it. If we’re supposed to take these complaints seriously, and think about the idea that Empire City is complacent and thinks too highly of itself, and maybe had an attack coming, that perhaps might need to be clearer.
Similarly, there’s a really interesting (if uncomfortable and not for everybody) story to be told about the September 11 hijackers and their lives before their terrible, historical crime. What did it mean to them to spend their final days drinking at bars and failing to tip strippers? What did an extended stay in America make them feel about the country they were trying to destroy? Did anyone waver? And if so, how they keep the group together? We’ll never have definitive answers to those questions, but I think they’re reasonable ones for speculative fiction to explore. I don’t really expect the rest of Holy Terror to do this, or do it in a nuanced way, but there are hints of those questions, so I’ll probably read the whole thing. I just can’t help myself sometimes.