Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why I Hate Grant Morrison (And You Should Too)


Morrison Comics for Sale!

I want to begin this post by stating that in any form of media in the world, be it literature, television, film, music, or comic books, personal opinion reigns supreme. So to that effect, I simply must post my opinion on the matter.

After reading Batman R.I.P I decided that I would never again spend money on a Morrison-written book, and I haven't. Remi asked me to read the first two issues of Batman Inc., and my wary suspicions about the idea were spot on: it is terrible. Is Batman Inc. really 'progress' or 'evolution'? No. It's just a sideshow, an avenue for Grant Morrison to display how ‘drastic’ and ‘complex’ he can make a situation. As a close friend of mine perfectly put it: “Grant Morrison is interested in showcasing how wildly creative he can make a story, not how he can use that creativity to make a GOOD story.”

Batman Inc. is essentially taking the idea of Batman's worldly involvement in the Justice League, i.e: world problems, things TOO grandiose for one superhero, but Morrison has reduced these to Bruce Wayne focusing solely on crime. Sure Bruce Wayne hates crime, it killed his parents and created Batman, but he's going to turn his back on 70 years (canonically) of fighting crime in Gotham City and attempt to train Japanese Batmen? Attempting to unravel Batman/Bruce Wayne from Gotham City is a supremely bad idea based on premise alone, and with Grant Morrison at the helm with complete control, this can only mean it will become more permanent and worse. Case in point? Bruce Wayne is now actually associated with the Batman; it is publicly known that Bruce Wayne helps fund this global Batman Inc. force. One of the absolute MAINSTAY themes of Batman comics throughout the decades (and numerous other superheroes, i.e: Spider-man) is the attempt to keep their alias’ separate. It’s what makes them vulnerable, what keeps them grounded. Again to quote my buddy with whom I’ve had this conversation countless times, “Morrison isn’t really that interested in telling a Batman story, but a Morrison story with Batman in it.” I believe that to be very true, and how Morrison gets away with it I have no idea. How is he given such leeway over these iconic characters? Why do the publishers allow it? A purple, red and yellow garbage-clad Batman, with a radio transmitter and a faery-sized friend. That was actually part of a Batman storyline! And it’s not just localized within Batman or the DC Universe.

Remember Xorn in his New X-Men run? Or how about how he essentially made Magneto akin to Hitler? Morrison doesn't delve into the character(s) and carve out a niche from their history or canon to explore and make new. He creates these outlandish exploits that can only, AT BEST, be vaguely associated with the character in question. What do I like about Batman? Fights crime. Now I will do whatever I want with that. What do I like about Magneto? Fears humanity. Okay great. Now he will wipe them out.

Essentially Morrison is once again setting the stage for a painstaking and frustrating retcon, as he did with X-Men. Ultimately it will be other writers who will take the blame for his mistakes, when they have to deal with this down the road. Is he really taking Batman in a new direction? Morrison tried that. R.I.P was his last chance. He failed.

16 comments:

  1. Great rebuttal, good points but isn't a writer supposed to make the character his own and in such cases where they write a character created by someone else..... and come'on dude, one the greatest things Marvel ever did was reveal Spider-Man's identity in Civil War #2(sorry if its the wrong issue), I just wished they would have the balls to stick with it not to ruin it with One More Day.... on the flip side, Brand New Day was great!!!!

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  2. Oh I totally agree that a writer is supposed to make the character his own, but as I noted in the second-last paragraph: Morrison doesn't do that. He creates an outlandish situation, seemingly only using the character in question as a side-note to his 'creative design', ultimately resolving in a mostly incoherent arc.

    As for Spider-Man, I agree and somewhat disagree. I think revealing Peter Parker to be Spider-Man was a monumental moment for Marvel, both amazing and extremely detrimental. While it spawned my favorite Spidey story ever (Back in Black), it also became pretty obvious that the core of Spider-man's crime-fighting existence relied on his anonymity. I do agree that Joe Q should've had the balls to kill Aunt May, or let Parker kill Fisk, but inevitably retconning is a part of comics, and we knew it would happen sooner or later. But it should be allowed to happen smoothly. Not like Joe Q's One More Day, or the numerous Morrison train-wrecks.

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  3. Great pic. I'm not A G-Mo fan but for entirely different reasons. I personally love the idea of an international corporate Batman. A more brand-oriented approach to crime fighting.

    Interesting discussion.

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  4. I have to sort of agree and disagree with everyone. I've liked some Morrison, and he's a great idea man, but I do agree with Gladney that he doesn't write stories for his characters, he writes stories, and used whatever characters are around.

    Now this is a pretty grand sweeping statement, and he doesn't do it all the time, but he tends to lose his way.

    Someone I know said it best (which I added to a bit), "Morrison is an idea man, he takes a bunch of ideas, and throws them against the wall to see what sticks. Too bad he doesn't stick around to clean up his mess"

    I have to say though, I LOVED One More Day. The "road" there (Brand New Day) was very much a Morrison-esque story (out of character, but a good story), but I really loved BND most of the way through.

    His Xorn mess is what I hate most about Morrison though... totally stupid story with a stupid reveal, and horrible representation of a great character (Magneto). His Final Crisis was a convoluted mess too.

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  5. i think a lot of comic writers suck at times (bendis is all build-up, no resolution. geoff johns is all build up, no resolution, etc...blah blah.) still, i'm not going to devote some pussy-assed blog post to it. if you think Morrison sucks sooooooooooo....ooooo.....oooo baaaaD (which he does at times), then put your money where your mouth is and WRITE your own comic to sustain your income.....dipshit....

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  6. WRITE YOUR OWN COMIC, mr critic.....

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    1. That is the perfect reply of the standard idiot fanboy. Just because one does not do something, does not mean that one cannot be critical of that thing. You should seriously consider going finding a brain.

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  7. Well, what was a harmless mostly hilarious "debate" over grant morrison has turned personal. I see that Nathaniel is going to be a very worthwhile and constructive poster on this blog.

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  9. Batman still fights crime in Gotham City. That's the whole purpose of Batman: The Dark Knight. Even though he is traveling the world making a Army to fight Crime, Gotham is still his home.

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  10. I agree. His stories are full of gaps which has led me to sumise that he just adds dialogue to his plot outlines. All Star superman was good and he even got good art out of quietly for that one.

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  11. Christ why are all these clowns so fag for Grant Morrison? 'Oh but he's so clever' 'Everything has purpose and hidden meaning in his stories'. How about this? 'I'm such a fan boy, that Grant Morrison could put a love scene between Bruce Wayne and a dressed up chimp, and I'd still convince myself I love it, because I'm terrified of admitting that I've been reading shit the last five years'. Does that work? why sure it does. Peace:p

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  12. People are really serious about his stuff, either one way or the other, cause this is still getting comments almost a year later :-P

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    1. I guess that just speaks to how bad a writer Morrison is. He warrants an angry rant, even a year after the fact. :D

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