Friday, June 23, 2006

Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely.

I was never a massive fan of Grant Morrison, I have read his two previous Batman stories (Arkham Asylum and the LOTDK 5 issue storyline I was talking about recently) and they were okay. I missed his Swamp thing run with Millar completely, The Invisibles never held my attention enough for me to warrant reading the second volume and his long running JLA stint left me less than enamoured contrary to most peoples opinion of the JLA holy grail. I don't know what it is about the guys work but it never clicked with me, none more so than his New X-men run, which did NOTHING for me.
At the time.

I actually look back on that period of X-men with quite a lot of affection, despite my qualms at the time. It was different to a lot of X-men stuff I have read and it did a few things which didn't agree with me, such as Magneto taking drugs to become more powerful (how much power does one guy need), the whole "kick" thing, secondary mutations and the emergence of millions of mutants, most of whom had outward mutations (he looks like a fish, he has crocodile skin etc...).
But despite the "flaws" in story, the series was a hell of a lot of fun, and nostalgia has done it a lot of favours in my mind as somethign I take with a pinch of salt almost outside of X continuity. I have always thought of Grant Morrison as an ideas machine, someone who is great at coming up with plot ideas and high concept, but someone who falls short on execution.
This is something that has changed over the last few years.

More and more "short" story ideas of his caught my eye. WE3 and Vinarama are good examples, similar to his earlier work in the long-and curiously-out of print "Kill your Boyfriend" GN, featuring self contained short stories, with no pre-estasblished characters. I hear Flex Mentallo fits this role too, but will I ever get to read it???
Not everything he does works for me. Seven Soldiers for example just didn't grab me. Maybe it was the length, the format or the use of characters I just didn't give two shits about, but something made me say "wait for trade", and something since then has made me think "the trade can wait too".

By and large I find his work with Frank Quitely to be his best. I find him to be an incredibly quirky artist, none too perfect either, but when it all clicks into place it all clicks into place. Don't believe me? His first Authority run with Millar, Bite Club covers,WE3 and the more recent All Star Superman are all proof.

To be fair, AS Supes is the reason I wrote this column, having just read issue #4. It's fantastic fun isn't it? I mean, really? There are just tons of ideas, and its all filled with a sense of wonder and freshness that hasn't been seen in comics since, well, the silver age when it was all new and fresh (and Planetary).

I don't really have much to say about the book, and I try not to gush if I don't have something interesting to say. But yeah, it's just sooo good. A Superman book that you wouldn't be embarassed to lend to your non-comic reading mates...they don't come around often so enjoy it.

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