Posts tagged ‘Grant Morrison Sucks’
At his eponymous comicon in Las Vegas, Morrison offered some details and even previewed some art!
Hit the break.
Time for my semi-regular report on the comings and goings of comic book creations.
First, the item you NEED to see before I hit the break is the all-new Marvel webtoon, “All Winners Squad,” which features esoteric Marvel characters—particularly those created by the mad-genius and comic book intellectual Steve Gerber, who was sort of a Grant Morrison for the 1970s and ‘80s.
The team consists of Gerber’s Howard the Duck, along with Squirrel Girl, Hypno Hustler, Ruby Tuesday, Frog Man, the Walrus, the Unicorn, the Trapster and Mr. Fish. Don’t know who some/all of them are? Well, I didn’t either.
Now hit the break for more news about two (more) comic book legends leaving Marvel/DC (when will the big two do something to stop the bleeding?!?), lots of other departures/arrivals, and more!
I missed posting news two weeks ago, (I was sick!) and then SDCC came along…So, like I do each year, I’m trolling the ‘net and looking for the most interesting (to me) news to come out of Comicon (or elsewhere), and providing it in three installments, chockablock with stuff you may have missed or stuff you may have read before, but bears repeating.
Today: DC. Hit the break!
Not a ton of news this time, but what there is is pretty good: New Grant Morrison and Brian Wood projects; more details on TV’s The Walking Dead; and the new Stan Lee video game. But before you hit the break, peep this:
THE RETURN OF TEEN TITANS GO!—THE GREATEST SUPERTOON EVER.
As part of the Cartoon Network DC Block, beginning the first Saturday in March. You have to tape a Green Lantern CGI ‘toon, but you can always fastforward through it to get to the shorts and the new “Young Justice” episode. I know that’s what I’ll be doing. Press reports say that the original voice actors will return for this reunion of new shorts based on the groundbreaking anime/animation mix of Teen Titans Go!
I am by no means a person who says that Grant Morrison can do no wrong. I don’t even think his entire Animal Man run reaches the “brilliant” level. The first five issues, yes, were unlike anything that came before. And the eight issues I am reviewing today: Revolutionary. But in the middle act, it did lag a little bit.
But today I am here to praise Grant’s Animal Man, not bury it. And you kind of need to read all 26 issues to get the full impact of this last arc.
At the risk of “spoiling” this story, I’m going to write about a few details. But not enough to give the whole thing away. Still, if my word is enough to get you to go buy this then stop reading now.
Now that we’re alone….
The last large arc on Morrison’s work with Animal Man can really be bifurcated into two parts: The gruesome and powerful slaughter of Buddy Baker’s family, and his psychological and emotional reaction to it, and then his “super hero” reaction to it. In the first half of the story, we see how Buddy’s family’s murder leads him to become vengeful and angry, so much so that he eventually seeks revenge. But before that, we get to see his denial chipping away at him, through inner dialog in which he personifies his own memories and begins to reimagine/reinterpret his own origin. We get to see him, psychologically, retconning himself. And Morrison’s entire take on this B-list DC supercharacter was a retcon to begin with. So it’s a bit of a head trip. But it’s also genuinely impactful on a gut level.
Then, to add another level, Animal Man goes and gets himself a time machine and begins to literally retcon himself, with the help of a ton of DC characters who are know for being able to reshape time and psyches (Psycho Pirate, Rip Hunter, Phantom Stranger, etc.) and heroes from various alternate Earths as well, until eventually he shatters the fourth wall and realizes that he is in a comic book–a giant “monkey puzzle,” in which everything can be fit together in a head-spinning swirl. Everything that happened in the issues preceding these is rediscovered and revised–much like Morrison has done with JLA, Batman and other characters throughout his career.
I won’t give away the very end, but it’s fantastic–and you will not see it coming.
This is probably my favorite Grant Morrison super-hero story of all time.
As artist only, the writer/artist who created Frog Thor and Beta Ray Bill will be the new regular artist for the Brian Michael Bendis written Avengers book, beginning with issue #25. Of course, with Bendis promising to leave The Avengers this year, could it be Walt is prepping for a larger role? One can only hope, as Simonson’s imagination has led to some brilliant work in the past, such as:
· The afore-mentioned creation of Beta Ray Bill and Frog Thor, and a long run on Thor that split Don Blake and Thor for the first time, brought Ragnarok, and introduced Asgardian warriors to the wonders of automatic weapons.
· With his wife, an X-Factor run that introduced Cable and Mr. Sinister.
· The artwork on X-Men/Teen Titans, the greatest Marvel-DC crossover ever.
· A tremendous run on The Fantastic Four that replaced the foursome with Ghost Rider, Hulk, Spidey and Wolverine.
· Award winning issues of Detective Comics, during the 1974 event “The Manhunter Saga.”
For more on the world of comics, including the rundown on new and cancelled DC titles, hit the break….
DC copped 40% issues sold, Marvel got 38%. Of course, DC is down a lot. 22% to be exact. But that’s totally to be expected, with the media push and 52 #1s in one month. I’d expect a little more downturn in the coming months. They’re still up from their pre-New 52 market share, but my prediction is that in a few months they’ll be back where they were before the whole relaunch. Does that mean it wasn’t worth it? Of course not. Those few months of big sales were BIG sales for DC—and the amount of hype and publicity they got can only be good for those of us who love comics. It’s probably due solely to the New 52 that overall comic sales are up 7% for the year—the first rise in yearly figures in two years.
The top 10 titles were still mostly DC: Justice League #3 led the pack, followed by #3s of Batman, Action, and Green Lantern. Interestingly, Marvel’s “Point One” book came in at #5—it had a $6 price tag and generally got bad reviews. (All filler! No meat!) I’m sure that helped Marvel’s dollar sales figs significantly. Also interesting: #6 in November 2011’s top 10 was the new Avenging Spider-Man title. I’m hoping that book is a hit, as I was always a big fan of Marvel Team-Up.
Rounding out the bottom four of the top 10, beginning at #7, were Uncanny X-Men #1, Detective #3, Flash #3 and, finally, Wolverine and the X-Men #2.
A bigger shock to me was what the New 52 continues to do for DC’s OGN/Trade Paperback sales. I thought the reboot essentially killed off their back issue market, since the New 52 meant the old stories no longer mattered. But DC had half of the top 10 paperbacks sold last month—in a pre-Christmas month that found graphic novel sales up 30% from October. A good month for trades! I’m also very, very glad to see Joe the Barbarian in the top 10. I know I had something to do with that—I bought two copies.
Here’s your top 10 trades. Note the complete absence of anything Marvel—despite their release of the amazing John Byrne Fantastic Four Omnibus.
10. Joe the Barbarian (DC/Vertigo)
9. BPRD: Being Human (Dark Horse)
8. Sailor Moon Vol. 2
7. Green Lantern: War of the Green Lanterns (DC)
6. Scalped Vol. 8 (DC/Vertigo)
5. Batman and Robin Vol. 2 (DC)
4. The Walking Dead Vol. 1 (reissue) (Image)
3. The Boys Vol. 9 (Dynamite)
2. Hellboy: House of the Living Dead (Dark Horse)
1. Batman: Noel Deluxe Edition (DC)
IGN published a top 100 comic book heroes that made me crazy, both in its predictability (Hey! Superman and Bats are #s 1 and 2!), overinclusiveness (every single Robin except Damian Wayne (who is the most interesting one by far), as well as Superboy and Supergirl? Really?) and its attempts to be esoteric without providing sufficient justification (Groo makes the list, but they don’t really say what makes him so essential; James Gordon makes the list, but Aunt May and Uncle Ben don’t–nor does Jarvis; and Nova makes the list, but nobody really gives a shit about Nova). Maybe it was the list’s sketchy criteria for placement: “Picked by their cultural impact, character development, social relevance, general cool factor, and importance of storylines, these are the best of the best.
It made me so nuts, I made my own list. Yes, there’s a lot of overlap. But mine is better. Because I said so.
Note: If you’re just looking for a list without supporting arguments, you can jump to the last page of this post. But you can’t tell me I was wrong to put Thor at #33 unless you go and read why. So, read every page and then tell me why I’m full of $#!+.