This post has been in draft for over a week, but it’s still unfinished. There might be revisions and additions.
The new Grant Morrison book took me by surprise. It didn’t appear on my horizon. A friend has mocked me for not yet watching the Morrison documentary Talking With Gods, but getting so worked up about the book that i read it in a single night.
Some of the comic book analyses seemed to be rewritten versions of what i read in Douglas Wolk’s Reading Comics (which is better at it. Excellent book if one gives a damn about comics.)
The movie stuff annoyed me, as i don’t give a damn about comic book movies. they always fall short of expectations. Morrison professes to love comics, but i’m sensing some desire for him to complete that jump to screenwriting. The more that he went on about costuming in the Batman movie franchise, the more he went off-track.
It could have used more biography. Those memories were insightful in providing context to his creations. He seemed to rush through his time as a struggling creator moonlighting as a mod-psych pop star. Morrison spending more time explaining his adventuress in the East would have been interesting too. As for the cosmic stuff, those were the absolute favorites. He could have stayed rambling about 5D vision for the rest of the book easily. Messianic Morrison is with no doubt the best.
His comics i dig for the most part. I think he lost the thread after All-Star Superman and Seven Soldiers. Since i read Supergods i revisited some material from recent years to figure out where his head is at. His Batman run is good enough but Final Crisis was an unfinished mess. I re-read that in a single night to conclude that it probably needs to be twice as long, as characters appear obviously important, but contribute so little relative to the story that appears on page that it’s suspicious. He’s probably passing that off as a feature of the comic, that he’s inviting the reader to re-explore the comic to discover or imagine why these minor characters are so vital, but no…. i loved Seven Soldiers when it first came out, and i’m still finding Easter Eggs in there. Final Crisis feels frustrating instead.
An unattractive facet came out in that Morrison seems very much a company man. The faint praise that he gives Marvel now annoyed me, especially because his dear friend Millar has been fucking up for years. Civil War’s tentpole title was NOT worthy of praise. The better stories of that mess came out of Slott and Gage from what i recall.
His praise for Identity Crisis was the Big Problem. That was a steaming turd. i HATE that thing. It was exactly the problem of doing something nasty and unforgivable for the lone sake of pretending to be “mature.” The crimes were nonsensical. Meltzer is an awful writer. Because Morrison not only refused to omit it from his book, but PRAISED it soured me to Morrison himself.
His undertow of bitterness on how Marvel undid so much of his run on X-Men looks very silly in that i was reading Brubaker’s Gotham Central the other day, only to realize some good characters were completely screwed over in some of DC’s recent revisions, almost out of spite. Renee Montoya is now the Question. Crispus Allen was killed and made the Spectre. I suspect DC pulled that shit because Brubaker jumped ship to do Captain America and Iron Fist. yeah, i would have preferred X-Men to continue on the path Morrison put it on, but to pretend DC is any different is foolish.
oh, and his near complete abdication of acknowledging any indy (non-Image) comic other than Flaming Carrot (because a movie was made of it) was pretty telling.