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WASHINGTON — Suddenly Bruce Wayne has bigger fiends to worry about than The Joker and Catwoman. Namely, Osama bin Laden.

Batman will square off against an al-Qaida cell bent on destroying Gotham City in a graphic novel titled “Holy Terror, Batman!” tentatively scheduled for release sometime in 2007.

DC Comics officials will not release details of the plot, but did confirm that artist Frank Miller has composed about 120 pages of the 200-page book. Miller revealed his motivations for the terrorism-themed issue at a comic book convention in San Francisco last weekend.

“It just seems silly to chase around the Riddler when you’ve got al-Qaida out there,” Miller said, according to IGN.com, an entertainment and videogame news Web site.

The artist also called the issue “a piece of propaganda (in which ) Batman kicks al-Qaida’s ass” and “a reminder to people who seem to have forgotten who we’re up against.”

DC comics spokesman David Hyde said Miller has been working on the project for several years, but has not been able to devote much time to it over the last 24 months.

The company plans a major roll-out once the book is completed.

At the convention Miller compared the idea to WWII issues.

“Superman punched out Hitler. So did Captain America,” Miller was reported as saying.

Last year, heroes from the Marvel Comics universe teamed with AAFES employees in two special edition war on terror-themed comics distributed to troops overseas.

Batman first appeared in comics in 1939 and has been the focus of several television series and Hollywood blockbusters, including last year’s “Batman Begins.”

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