Comics and terrorism
June 30, 2010 1:34 PM   Subscribe

What recent, mainstream, non-political comic books have featured terrorism as part of the plot?

For a minor project I'm working on, it would be useful to have some examples of terrorism in recent (10-15 years), mainstream comic books that don't generally have a political message.

I'm thinking comics in the Superman/Batman/Spiderman/Fantastic Four vein, where a villain employs some element of terrorism, as opposed to Footnotes in Gaza, The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation, or In The Shadow of No Towers.

Basically, I'm looking for terrorism-related characters or plots in comics that don't generally have overtly political plots. I've e-mailed my nerdy comics friends, but I thought I'd pose it to the hive as well!
posted by brozek to Media & Arts (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
In Rising Stars, a bunch of people are blown up in what appears to be a terrorist act, though it's quickly revealed to be a military conspiracy. Which is also arguably a terrorist act.
posted by Adridne at 1:43 PM on June 30, 2010

DMZ. Though it is fairly political, it's more fantasy-political with real-life allusions and allegories.
posted by The Michael The at 1:45 PM on June 30, 2010

I was just rereading Mark Waid's Fantastic Four run, and there's a story arc (can't remember exact issue numbers, but I think it's somewhere just past 510) where the FF depose Dr. Doom and briefly set themselves up as the government of Latveria. A pro-Doom Latverian resistance forms, which includes at least one attempted suicide bomber.

The added bonus of checking this out is that Waid's FF stuff fucking rules.

Oh, another one: Grant Morrison's X-Men run, starting around #114 and released in the late summer of 2001, features a mutant-hating villain who (among other things) sends a giant, plane-resembling robot to crash into a skyscraper.
posted by COBRA! at 1:46 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

V for Vendetta has some interesting things to say about terroism. There is also Watchmen which arguably includes an act of terroism.
posted by Laura_J at 2:01 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

The later issues of Stormwatch and early issues of The Authority deal specifically with super-powers being used as terrorist weapons.
posted by flipper at 2:10 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Alissa Torres's American Widow.
posted by pickypicky at 2:32 PM on June 30, 2010

The Marvel Universe's Civil War was began with an event played off as an act of terrorism.
posted by griphus at 2:32 PM on June 30, 2010

DMZ comes immediately to mind here as well.

Quite a lot of terrorism in Judge Dredd, particularly in Democracy Movement related stories such as America and Total War.
posted by Artw at 2:46 PM on June 30, 2010

I seem to remember that terrorism was a strong theme in Grant Morrison's stint on New X-Men, from a number of different viewpoints and ideologies.
posted by lekvar at 2:52 PM on June 30, 2010

I'm not sure if Ex-Machina would fill your request. It's basically The Rocketeer Goes To Washington. It's interlaced between his past superhero days and his current political career.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:59 PM on June 30, 2010

20th Century Boys by Naoki Urasawa.

A cult is supposedly responsible for spreading a virus which causes people in major cities across the world to die violently in a spray of blood.

An everyman who is running a convenience store and taking care of his missing sister's daughter tries to stop said cult.
posted by ayc200 at 3:05 PM on June 30, 2010

The recent Captain America run (over the last few months) featured a tea-party-esque militia movement plotting terrorist attacks.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 3:25 PM on June 30, 2010

Global Frequency by Warren Ellis has a number of terrorism-related storylines.
posted by hackwolf at 3:36 PM on June 30, 2010

The Marvel Universe's Civil War was began with an event played off as an act of terrorism.

And the Siege of Asgard that followed it, too-- Thor's cheery but none too bright friend Volstagg was put into a position where he was too clueless to know what to do, really hurt some people, and was then used as Norman Osborn's excuse to sack Asgard.

Jonathan Hickman's The Nightly News is a bit political, but features a lot of good points about radicalization and the terrorist-cell structure. I second Global Frequency, too-- there's a lot of good "uh, some horrible thing is going down but who really knows what the underlying cause is" in there.

The most recent Atomic Robo, volume 4, issue 2, features a stereotypical mad-scientist/ giant-monster attack on Tokyo, and skewers the entire concept delightfully.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 4:45 PM on June 30, 2010

Oh, oh, shit, yes, "The Five Nightmares." Opening arc of Matt Fraction's Invincible Iron Man (issues 1-6). The son of one of Tony Stark's business rivals adapts and extends the repulsor technology behind the Iron Man armor for suicide bombings.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 4:49 PM on June 30, 2010

Response by poster: Wow - I ducked out to go to the gym and pick up some groceries, and came home to scads of fantastic suggestions!
posted by brozek at 5:17 PM on June 30, 2010

"Spook Country" by William Gibson.
posted by digitalprimate at 6:13 PM on June 30, 2010

The New Avengers arc of Amazing Spider-Man concerns a plot by HYDRA (one of several terrorist organizations in the Marvel universe) to seed the Ogallala Aquifer with several strains of weaponized viruses. It's one of my favorite Spider-Man stories, but it's not the most accessible because it forms part of a longer, multiple-book arc.

Really, any stories which involve HYDRA or A.I.M. (the other big Marvel terrorist group) would qualify.
posted by bettafish at 7:14 PM on June 30, 2010

Echoing the Warren Ellis suggestions (late Stormwatch/Authority and parts of Global Frequency), he's treated this topic a lot. His run on Iron Man, titled "Extremis" also talks about domestic terrorists.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 7:49 PM on June 30, 2010

There's a brief tangent in Tomer and Asaf Hanuka's Pizzeria Kamikaze, a story about what happens to suicides in the afterlife, in which an Israeli who had shot his brains out taunts an Arab who had been a suicide bomber. The Israeli asks if the Arab had really believed he'd get 70 virgins, and the terrorist responds by asking the Isreali what had been promised to him.
posted by Sara Anne at 11:14 PM on June 30, 2010

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