Grant Morrison

17Apr12

I can’t tell if he’s the best bad writer or the worst good writer in comics. Probably both at once, and that’s why he’s interesting.

In continuing my infatuation with the Damien character, I picked up a copy of “Batman and Son,” the 6-ish issue series written by Morrison that introduced the concept of Bruce Wayne’s son to the Batman mythos. Mostly, it’s good. It’s good for weird reasons, but it’s still good.

Except when it’s not. Then it’s confusing and not good.

Confused? Me, too. History time.

My first taste of Morrison came from “All-Star Superman,” a book that actually took me a while to digest and enjoy and decide it was awesome. From there I jumped onto “Batman & Robin,” and I enjoyed it very much. So that’s two hits in a row, which is probably two more than most other comic book writers. His name kept popping up everywhere, especially when big DC shake-ups were afoot. After the DCnU thing happened, I picked up his first issue of “Action Comics,” and found it confusingly staged. It’s like the ideas go faster than the art, and not in a leading way, but more in an unplanned manner.

The same thing happens in “Batman & Son.” Things just happen weird on the page. Perhaps it’s me. Maybe I’m just not accustomed to his style of comic book. I guess I always assume the text and art of each panel should sync. At some times, things feel out of sync in “Batman & Son.”

Then there’s the premise, which is ballsy because of how stupid it is. “Brazen” is more like it. Brazenly stupid. But it works because of the tone of the book. Morrison is a Silver Age guy, and this Batman is less brooding and more quippy than I expected. It’s not out of character necessarily, but it feels funny — ha ha funny — and I think that’s because the writer is laughing AT the content rather than with it.

Also, the story doesn’t end. I know it can’t really end, but it doesn’t even climax. If someone wants to explain to me how Batman survived a torpedo attack, I’d love to hear it. Grant(Morrison)-ed, he’s Batman, so he’s always going to survive. But I thought the point of comics was to show how that happened, not gloss over it. No, it just stops.

Same goes with the Issue #666 of “Batman,” a futuristic tale where Damien has grown up and become “Trenchcoat Batman,” on the wrong side of the law but still generally fighting the good fight. That one has an ending, but makes no sense. After beating up the bad guy, Damien-Batman is shot through the chest by Commissioner Barbara Gordon’s cops… and lives. He lives to say something like, “Armageddon is canceled until I initiate it.” And he’s standing there, facing us, with the cops behind him.

And I’m thinking, “Hey, cops… grab him.”

Is it supposed to be a tease for later revelations? Or did they just run out of pages. I’m tempted to say the pages thing.

All this being said, I’m now a little more curious to check out Morrison’s grand train wreck “Batman RIP” if only to continue my research on why this guy is considered great. I suppose it doesn’t take consistency. You just need to posses the proven capability to be great.

Advertisements


One Response to “Grant Morrison”

  1. I like what you said about Morrison’s ideas seemingly moving faster than the art – that’s how I feel. I still think he’s a great, and the best ideas guy in the business, but sometimes he just needs to slow down and not be so… disjointed?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s