DC Comics' famed Caped Crusader will turn his focus from clowns like the Joker to face off against chillingly real Al Qaeda thugs in an upcoming graphic novel called "Holy Terror, Batman!"
"It is, not to put too fine a point on it, a piece of propaganda," legendary Batman writer Frank Miller said of his latest project, "Batman kicks al Qaeda's a--."
Miller called the comic "an explosion from my gut reaction of what's happening now" and "a reminder to people who seem to have forgotten who we're up against."
In the comic, the Dark Knight's hometown of Gotham City is attacked by terrorists, and Batman sets out to settle the score.
"It just seems silly to chase around the Riddler when you've got Al Qaeda out there," he said, adding that there's plenty of historical precedent for comic-book icons taking on real-life villains.
"Superman punched out Hitler. So did Captain America. That's one of the things they're there for," Miller said during a panel discussion at a comic-book convention in San Francisco last weekend.
His comments were posted on the Internet by the entertainment site IGN.com.
A spokesman for DC Comics declined to comment. The unfinished project does not yet have a scheduled publication date, and it is unlikely to see print this year.
An industry source said it could be even longer before the graphic novel sees the light of day, because of Miller's hectic schedule. Miller said he has finished 120 pages of the 200-page book, but he's currently writing a monthly Batman comic, and three of his previous comic-book projects are currently heading to the silver screen, including the sequel to his hit comic and movie "Sin City."
Miller's take on an aged Batman coming out of retirement in the "Dark Knight Returns" is widely credited with reinvigorating the comic-book industry in the 1980s, and parts of his story "Batman: Year One" were incorporated into the smash "Batman Begins."