Monday, January 31, 2011

Today's Grant Morrison's birthday, so I will blog on his writing.

Now, if you've looked at any other post on this blog you can probably tell that I am a HUGE fan of Grant Morrison and multi-level narrative themes. I have a ridiculously short attention span, so the pacing and the denseness of his stories really appeals to me, as well as the fact that I can read them any number of times and see new things each time. I adore wall to wall weird and screwing with the timing in a story. I'll often let his books pile up issue by issue on my table until I get an entire storyline and can read it all in one burst, then reread it.

Favorites of mine? I read trades of the Invisibles and Doom Patrol like I was addicted. I will never ever get tired of Flex Mentallo or Kill Your Boyfriend. Right now his Batman stuff is the only DC I'm reading regularly. I got into DC as a teenager with his JLA and have been unable to look at the X-men franchise the same since he left the book. Seven Soldiers is just a treasure trove, and contains two of the three best superhero miniseries I have ever read.

He's actually responsible for getting me to enjoy Wonder Woman, Superman, and Jean Grey. Not because I think he was someone who finally found a new use for those characters, but because they really shined under his compressed style. At his pacing, he has to really dig into a character and find a way to get across their core and their overarcing lessons at that speed. There's a lot of room for error there, there are some characters I don't really like how he handles them and others I ONLY like when he writes them but sometimes he presents them at an angle that enriches other portrayals for me. With those three characters, they clicked for me under Morrison. After reading his JLA, I suddenly found myself interested in and just enjoying appearances by Superman and Wonder Woman, two characters I'd previously written off. And his Jean Grey in New X-men actually got me to look back at previous issues that had her in them with fresh eyes. She's one of my favorites now, and I'm super-pissed they left her dead at the end of his run. (Not that he killed her, though. The story was too enjoyable and I think the existence of Future Jean made it all the more temporary.)

The three favorite superhero miniseries I've ever read were written by this guy: Seven Soldiers: The Bulleteer (compelling themes about the youth/beauty standard for women and the sexualization of superheroines, plus the refrigerator fight), Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight (coming of age story with Mabinogion King Arthur and super-science setting), and Flex Mentallo (which remains the most quotable love letter to superhero stories I've ever seen.) If you've ever taken a recommendation from me on anything, take my recommendation of those three stories.


  1. I go back and forth on Morrison, but I read a bunch of his Batman the other day and really liked it. (Any comic parodying the "Goddamn Batman" is fine by me, especially if that parody takes the form of Zombie Batman. Although I remember having mixed feelings about that book when it first came out. Hrm.)

    I've given it some thought and I am now officially down to see Morrison take on Wonder Woman. I hope it happens.

  2. I like Grant Morrison. He actually made me not actually hate Batman. That that's saying something!

  3. That first Bulleteer issue is absolutely heartbreaking. I haven't always been able to get into Morrison- people love him so much that as a relatively new comics reader, I don't get all the references and a lot of his stuff comes off as good but not the amazing I expect. But Bulleteer really works.