« Music of the Weak: Chinese Democracy, Bitches! | Main | The Cowardly and the Castrated: Part The Seventh, The Penultimate, The Staggered Walk Home »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Batman "dies" from punching a helicopter. Arguably, the biggest character in comics and movies "died" from punching a helicopter. I just think that's really, really funny. I just enjoy typing that.

I'm glad somebody else hates Kevin Huizenga. But...what do you have against the Question. I like those old Denny O'Neill Question comics, damn it.

I actually dig Huizenga--that second issue of Ganges is off the charts. But I still think Fight or Run is hanging out at the comic store, wanting to give everybody a big hug. My only problem with the Question is that, y'know, I've already got the fucking Question. I don't need the Question set in Africa. Hell, I think I've even got some Question where he already went to Africa.

And while i can't really add on that remark Abhay-you're absolutely right, Rock-em Sock-em with a whirlybird is the best way to kill an icon, but it would've been nice if the helicopter had the words "Dr. Hurt" on the side. That's how Thanos rolls. Hurt could do no worse.

Huizenga is a god. If we don't appreciate His comics, the fault is with us, not him. I haven't read Fight or Run yet, but I've read nearly everything else of his and he's earned the "trust everything he does as divine until I see otherwise with my own eyes" tag.

With Batman RIP - I'm always surprised when people are disappointed in Morrison. He's all big ideas and weak execution - the anti-Millar. Millar is all strong execution and poor ideas. Millar stole Morrison's idea of taking a comic icon, giving him one last bug hurrah and stuffing the story with every oddball bit of continuity he could find and did it better than Morrison. (Bite me, haters!) I enjoy the Morrison/ Millar analogy because it's one of the best ways I've ever come up with for explaining why I'll always enjoy good execution over big ideas.

I've only read the bits of Ganges in Kramer's Ergot, and I was thoroughly annoyed...but I'll accept that he's done something better somewhere.

I still pledge my love to Animal Man and Doom Patrol. And I even liked his X-Men run. I think his execution is usually fine; I think he's just run out of tricks. Or maybe I'm just old and pissy. Could be.


I love some Morrison stuff. I thought Marvel Boy was cool, Animal Man was wicked awesome, and his 2000AD Big Summer Invasion stuff was lots of fun, but um....see, this is where I have the problem. It's all in the past. Morrison isn't like Alan Moore - being consistently amazing - or Neal Gaiman - always trying to grow his craft - but he's revered that way, and Morrison can't live up to the reverential treatment.

Morrison reminds me of the Notorious B.I.G. while he was alive. His early stuff was awesome, but after that, he's out of tricks. While there's still the occasional flash of brilliance (B.I.G. - Mo Money, Mo Problems; Morrison - We3), for the most part the work can't compare to his early stuff.

Animal Man was awesome, but it was 20 years ago. It's time to find some new gods to put in the comics pantheon.

Ha, can't roll with you on that one either Kenny--Seven Soldiers! Hell, it could be one of my favorites just for that Manhattan Guardian panel where he jumps onto the back of the subway car and says "Super-hero cool." But with Frankenstein as back up, and the only decent Bianchi art worth keeping around in Shining Knight--that's a damn fine series there.

I've enjoyed some Huizenga, but I feel like there's something there that I'm either not quite getting, or that he's kind of missing the mark. Or something, I dunno. I have enjoyed some of his stuff, but other bits do seem kind of annoying. Curses, for one, had some cool bits, like the quest for finding a cure for Glenn's wife's failure to conceive, but others that were way too wordy, like the Jeepers Jacobs stuff. I dunno, I feel like he's on the cusp of being really good, but I'm not quite ready to say he's there yet. I probably need to read more of his stuff and see where exactly I stand.

Oh hell yeah on the Seven Soldiers. I'm waiting for something else on that level. And All Star Superman was about as good as superhero comics get, if you ask me.


A lot of people seem to think that Morrison's all ideas and no execution, but... I just don't see it. On a bad day, maybe, but I'll let you in on a secret about Grant Morrison's best ideas: they normally belong to someone else. What he's good at is finding a new way to make some old Jack Kirby/J.L Borges/Michael Moorcock idea sing, and in that way he's actually way closer to Mark Millar than you're making out.

See, they make a pretty neat couple, Morrison and Millar, as Plok neatly pointed out in this recent post:


The main difference between them is that Morrison wants to show how much you can still do with these old ideas, where Millar takes a great deal of joy in rubbing his cock on them*. Both valid approaches, for sure, but... yeah, in both cases, execution's the thing.

Now, I've ran out of patience with Millar recently, so I can't comment on his Fantastic Four or Old Man Logan or whatever, but honestly? His execution is AT LEAST as on-off as Morrison's... probably even more so.

What's the difference between Batman: RIP and All Star Superman, or Morrison's whole Batman run and Seven Soldiers? It's probably about the same as the difference between Kick Ass and Wanted, no? The ideas involved are similar, but there's a huge difference in the quality of the execution.

(Of course your opinion on the relative quality of these series may differ from mine, but that's only to be expected.)

And this isn't a new phenomenon in Morrison's work, either: Arkham Asylum renders boring many of the same themes that seem super-exciting in his Doom Patrol run.

So... yeah. You're wrong about Morrison's strengths as a writer, is basically what I'm saying, though obviously if his work doesn't do it for you it just doesn't do it for you.

Oh, and Tucker/Noah/Jebus/mum/whoever: I've not read Fight or Run yet, but I'm already... how shall we say... hot as fuck for Huizenga. I want to give him the special, deep-reaching man-hugs, and... oh wait, I'm doing this in public again. Uhm... yeah. Sorry about that!

*There are exceptions though: Morrison's Dare would make much more sense if Monty Millar had written it, but so it goes...

Also: Big Beardy Alan Moore has a similar interest in other people's ideas, though unlike either of the two young rogues I'm waffling on about here, Moore's more interested in building a huge structure out of this junk in order to show how clever he is. Which is awesome!

-(Use chaos magic! oh that's right that shit is made up)-

Morrison doesn't subscribe to chaos magick these days, Tucker. For him, it's all about Pop Magick. You know, like Pop Rocks...only (waves hands ala Doug Henning) MAGICK!

"Take a bow, squandered talent. Make sure that you and your friend, lofty ambition, sign some autographs on the way out the door. There's a fucking line."

Can I cut out and keep that line? As you point out, the early vibe of Morrison's run on Batman was allegedly about bringing back the humour without reverting to the camp, but by the end of this run, even the Joker didn't seem to be having any fun. Clearly Morrison works best when he's doing a spring (We3, ASS, probably Animal Man) than a marathon.

I wouldn't mind that the whole Love God approach got dumped--but it should've been dumped for a good reason. Instead, it's just another dumb event. While a part of me hates to chime in with the whole "DC's a bunch of retards" crowd, how many people out there really prefer Batman-event stories as opposed to self-contained stuff? Who out there prefers War Games, Knightsquest, RIP, The Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul, etc. over Alan Grant & Jim Aparo doing all kinds of random two-fers about siamese twin mob hoods? Norm Breyfogle drawing the Corrosive Man? Peter Milligan, the Riddler, and Batman cutting open a babies throat in the sewer?

Don't forget Moench and Kelly Jones - all the 90s excesses but with pretty good writing to back it up. And Black Mask.

Even the old Moench was great--some of his pre-Year One stuff was really strong, scary stuff. I have a fondness for all those workmanlike Bat-authors, those guys who put in these runs of two/three parters mixed with done-in-ones that stuck to just exploring little parts of Bats relationship with stuff--like delivering a death row prisoner to the cops on execution night, handing Killer Croc over to Swamp Thing after his devolution--quiet, simple stories told well. They rarely make a transition to "great" comics, but there's a nice back and forth in the language, and a stack of them is so far preferable to just about any of the major event stuff. Hell, the Grant 666 issue was like that--a great, fucked up comic to have around.

@Tucker - how do you define "great" comics? I'd argue that many of those "workmanlike" writers did create great comics, particularly if you remember that Morrison himself is drawing heavily on those plots and themes. As a random Bat-example, I didn't read much Batman when I was growing up, but I can still remember almost all of the "Strange Apparitions" arc. For genre fiction like superhero comics, a workman may not be flashy but they usually deliver (but there's a difference between a workman and a hack).


On Seven Soldiers - I loved the art in Shining Knight and I thought the Manhattan Guardian series was awesome. But Zantanna pissed me off because it was Morrison's usual doing weird, wacky stuff to try to look like a Ellis-like mad genius and Klarion was just shit on a stick. I never read Bulleteer, Frankenstein, Mr. Miracle, or the finale, so I can't speak to them. I thought the story for Shining Knight was way weak and even though I *loved* Manhattan Guardian, my love couldn't carry me through Zantanna and Klarion.

BTW - Everything Morrison did with the Guardian was done better by Kirby, which leads me into David's post....

I said elsewhere (Mindless Ones, in fact) that Morrison's problem is a lack of consistent and constructive editorial relationships. Seven Soldiers is a great example - everybody at DC was so clearly in love with the high concept that they failed to notice that only a couple of the series were actually self-contained, the crossovers between the series vague and often pointless, and the final issue was confusing even to people who had read the entire thing (or maybe that was just me).

I said elsewhere (Mindless Ones, in fact) that Morrison's problem is a lack of consistent and constructive editorial relationships. Seven Soldiers is a great example - everybody at DC was so clearly in love with the high concept that they failed to notice that only a couple of the series were actually self-contained, the crossovers between the series vague and often pointless, and the final issue was confusing even to people who had read the entire thing (or maybe that was just me).


Thank you for the respectful disagreement. I *really* appreciate it.

Anyway, I don't want to come off any crazier than I have with my anti-Morrison taste. I feel like I'm already the crazy guy on the corner yelling at everyone.

I'll just say Millar isn't without his faults, just like Morrison isn't without his strengths. BTW - Trouble, by Millar, might be the single worst comic series ever written.

As far as Morrison's ideas go...I read the link you posted and I don't agree. Morrison does pull a lot of Kirby's crazier ideas out and represents them well. But Morrison also comes up with awesome ideas on his own, like a corporation as a living entity in Marvel Boy. I mean, I guess we could argue no idea's original, but that's an abstract discussion I'm not interested in.

Millar rubs his cock all over super-hero comics; I like that because I think superhero comics need some of the piss taken out of them. I'm tired of the approach that comics are this super-serious thing that need to be revered. What happened to the stupid fun of stuff, like what Bob Haney was up to?

Also, I feel Millar's cock rubbing technique is really hard to pull off as well as he pulls it off. Look at Chosen - he wrote a story that was both very reverential of Christianity while totally pissing in its eye. That's difficult to do.

The last thing I want to do is piss people off more than I have, so I'm going to forever drop the Morrison hate on this blog. Sorry if I offended anyone.


No worries mate. There's not much point in getting riled up during a discussion about the quality of comic books, is there? Well, okay, if it's funny or it serves some form of genuine moral point then that's cool, but otherwise who gives a fuck?

On that note: I definitely don't have a problem with Millar's cock-rubbing tendancies. I'm not one of those "Shit, but why aren't people taking BATMAN more seriously?!!" guys, and my girlfriend has been given permission to shoot me if I ever start to resemble one.

"I feel Millar's cock rubbing technique is really hard to pull off as well as he pulls it off"

Shit! I'd like it to be known that if someone takes that comment and flies it like a flag then I would salute that motherfucker till sun-down.

(Actually, the sun just went down in Glasgow, but whatever.)

So... yeah, a difference of opinion is a difference of opinion. I think Klarion and Marvel Boy are both good examples of Morrison finding new life in old Kirby ideas, while you think one sucks donkey-jizz and that the other is grand. No big deal, really, though I'll conceed that I was being slightly harsh on Morrison's originality in the name of balance.

And hey, Paul -- I'd agree that Morrison's work would sometimes benefit from the right sort of editing. Like, Morrison's super-strong on the big picture and on the little details, but sometimes the transition between the two can get a little fuzzy.

Sometimes this is done in an artful way, but sometimes it just seems a little sloppy, and I think a good editor could try to get rid of the sloppy moments.

That said, Seven Soldiers #1 is one of my favourite comics of all time, so maybe it's hard to say exactly what parts of Morrison's work are "good messy" and which parts are "bad messy".

So... lots of other comics reviewed here, huh?

I really need to get my hands on a copy of Fight or Run. I need its love, and I need it now!

I don't have much to add to this discussion, except I love love love Seven Soldiers, especially the ones Kenny hates. Well, Shining Knight isn't my favorite, but I thought it had some good bits, especially the ending. Klarion was excellent, but maybe because I dig Frazier Irving's art. And Zatanna might be my favorite of the bunch. As for the others, Guardian is also really good, Bulleteer has some nice moments, Mr. Miracle is confusing and the weak link of the project, and Frankenstein is another winner, completely awesome and full of great stuff. And the finale is about as perfect as you're going to get to finish everything off. Man, that was some good comics. If you want to read more about them, I would definitely recommend Jog's reviews, or Greg Burgas' "31 Days of Seven Soldiers" series on Comics Should Be Good.

But enough about that; what is the running gag in Ultimate Spider-Man? I've read the last few issues, and I think I missed whatever you're talking about there.

Oh, one more comment on this quote: "Clearly Morrison works best when he's doing a spring (We3, ASS, probably Animal Man) than a marathon."

I would say that Doom Patrol and JLA invalidate that statement, but maybe those are exceptions. And maybe Invisibles? I haven't read that whole series, so I'm not sure. But he is definitely really good when he puts together a short, focused story. I would include Vimanarama, Seaguy, Fantastic Four: 1234, and maybe The Filth in the above list, and I'm sure we could come up with several others.

Matt Brady: The eddie on the park bench thing. I thought that was pretty cute. It's the same cadence, over and over, and Immonen draws it like a Tex Avery tribute by the Liefeld/McFarlane squad. The reversal was pretty clever, although I wouldn't have minded if they'd just ended a page early. Bendis keeps inserting these last page sentences that cheapen the conclusions.

Paul: I like the "what makes it great" question, but that's something I'm having to mull over putting into words. I definitely fall too heavily on the "innovation" side of things though.

Oh, and Kenny--i don't think you need to censor yourself. You don't dig on Morrison as much as you do Millar--so what? It's not like that invalidates your taste or what you have to say. And I'll agree with David Allison, and go a bit further--if somebody is getting "pissed off" or "upset" or "mad" about differing opinions on comic books, or movies, or flavors of fucking jam, then seriously: those people should go fuck themselves. I'd much rather read passionate people arguing about the shit they love or hate then read yet another dumb motherfucker bullshit about how things would be so much better if everybody would respect each others feelings and thoughts and delicate flowers.

In other words: if somebody is getting emotional because you don't like All Star Superman as much as they like All Star Superman, that's completely on them. You've got nothing to apologize for. They do. Because they're fucking pussies.

@David: I think that it's quite easy to distinguish "good vs bad" messy, but we're going to violently disagree about Seven Soldiers #1, which I thought just failed. I still enjoyed reading it - I'd rather read something that aims high and falls short any day of the week.

@Matthew: What an embarrasing typo "spring" was, when clearly I meant to type "sprint". I think that his run on Doom Patrol was the best he's ever been on a long run - brilliant comics right there. JLA was good, but not that good, and I thought Invisibles was too patchy, to the extent that I have no interest in reading it ever again.

You know, there might be an issue here. Some prose writers are great at novels and crap at short stories, and vice versa. Perhaps some comics writers are the same, but we don't notice because of the form? Hmmm.

@Tucker: As you probably guessed, my definition of great is entirely subjective at this point. I look forward to reading your definition once it is arrived at ;)

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo