Superman Through the Ages! Forum

Superman Comic Books! => All-Star Superman! => Topic started by: JulianPerez on February 25, 2007, 08:31:19 PM



Title: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: JulianPerez on February 25, 2007, 08:31:19 PM
He is a writer that has problems with characterization and uses derivative plots, who makes comparisons to mythology/mysticism, full of universal, infuriating pretention, who alternates between doing superhero stories with mystical twists, and bizarre science fiction action comics, who was lionized/deified by comics fans that ought to know better.

Yep, Don MacGregor sure was full of it back in the day.

But I'm going to say a few words about Grant Morrison now.

Incidentally, don't interpret all this to mean that I dislike Grant in any way, but fandom needs a major reality check. He's good, but not THAT good. And he's certainly not playing in the same major leagues as current DC writers like Kurt Busiek, Gail Simone, Geoff Johns, and over at Marvel, Dan Slott and that guy that's currently writing CAPTAIN AMERICA. Grant's JLA was totally outdone by Busiek's AVENGERS, out at more or less the same time. And Geoff Johns's JSA shows how a team book should be written.

Grant Morrison can't do characterization, which reduces all the characters he writes to one-dimensional cartoons. Look at JLA #5 - the Tomorrow Woman story. The story fails to be sad or touching because we never understand WHY Tomorrow Woman sacrificed herself; it came out of left field. Instead of a heartfelt sacrifice or discovery of nobility, it came off as an insane whim.

There are so many examples of this I hardly know where to begin. Superman in ASS is a caricature, engaging in chaste kisses with Lois and APOLOGIZING when monsters attack her. His politeness is so extreme Superman ceases to be a real person.

I can't think of one single adjective that describes Azrael and Aztek's personality.

And even characters with personalities, when written by Morrison, have motivations that are murky and weird: I have no idea why Flash and Kyle Rayner don't like each other. The conflict emerges from nowhere, and from nowhere it returns, unresolved. When Busiek had Hawkeye and Cap chew each other out, there was a reason. Hawkeye just LED an Avengers team, he's not going to go back to being a follower. And when Cap and Hawkeye talked it over, the subplot was solved.

Did Big Barda in Morrison's run feel remotely like any other character by that name? What happened to the woman who tossed over a tower and said, "Pompous GNATS! HERE'S my identification!" Did Barda...EVER lose her temper at any point, or reveal a shy or surprisingly vulnerable side that made her a complicated character? Further, Barda was nothing more than a strongwoman; what about her Club's Nerve Beam, antigravity and phase circuits? Not used once. Not using a character's personality is tragic, but not remembering a character's powers is downright unforgivable. Also, why was Barda there, but Mister Miracle (a guy that HAS been a Justice Leaguer in the past) wasn't?

And despite his undeserved reputation as a wild and crazy guy, Grant Morrison's lack of true originality is positively Gerry Conwayesque. Consider "Rock of Ages," a story about an alternate world where a bad guy rules, who is opposed by guerrilla-fighting, surviving superheroes. Gee, how original. This was an episode of (just off the top of my head here) GI JOE, CAPTAIN PLANET...and...oh yeah, just about the most famous UNCANNY X-MEN story ever. Grant had nothing new to say (except for a very interesting look at the Teen Titan Argent).

Likewise, Grant assembled what may be the scariest Injustice Gang since the days of SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPERVILLAINS. And...nothing. No climactic battle. The team-up is the story equivalent of premature ejaculation.

And then you have Grant bringing Plastic Man in the JLA, and gave him his "Jim Carrey on Crack" characterization...for which Grant should be tried for war crimes. Not only was the exclusion of Ralph Dibny, a much better developed character with far greater history with the JLA, a big, fat screw-you to fans of the Satellite League (Ralph Dibny being a character that actually has a reason to be there), Plastic Man may have booted out Snapper Carr as the most annoying Leaguer in history.

I can barely think of one Morrison idea I really like. Even his so-called "cute" details break down when considered logically. Consider the Sun-Eater in Superman's Fortress. Superman...are you INSANE? This is something that can potentially destroy galaxies, and you're giving it a doggy dish? When Paul Levitz had the Legionnaires encounter a baby Sun-Eater at a Controller asteroid, it was a cliffhanger ending that inspired absolute chills. The Sun-Eater is a weapon even the happy-go-lucky Legionnaires refuse to joke about, which required the Legion to team up with their greatest enemies and even THEN, required a sacrifice.

This is my fundamental problem with ASS: it reduces things in Superman that are grand and magnificent and terrible to being tawdry and commonplace.

And then there was Prometheus. We already have one of you, and his name is the Wrath. By the way, Grant, when stealing names and concepts from mythology, it helps to know WHO PROMETHEUS IS.

That's the most interesting thing about Morrison: all the "deep" subtext his obnoxious fans congratulate themselves for "getting" are really subliterate. His comparison of the JLA to the Greek Gods, for instance. 1) This ignores the very real and significant differences between mythic gods and comic superheroes, and 2) fails because all it does is plug in numbers, e.g. Orion = Mars or Babs Gordon = Athena, instead of really THINKING about mythology and what makes myth tick, as Neil Gaiman and others have done. It's the comics equivalent of those lazy "Hero's Journey" essays college undergrads write by the ton.

GARGOYLES had mythic figures like Titania, Oberon, and the monsters of Greek myth, however, the reason that show worked whereas Morrison's ASS and JLA doesn't, is because they put in a new twist to them that made them fresh. The sight of MacBeth and King Arthur brawling over who gets to be the One True King of Britain was a spectacular way to use two timeless stories in a new manner.

As for ASS...comparisons to mythology don't WORK unless you succeed in telling a great story. Making a story like myth is not the formula for coca-cola; a story has to be great FIRST, and THEN comparisons to myth suggest themselves. Making a story intentionally like actual myths is putting the cart before the horse.

Grant Morrison is at his best when his lack of originality is a "strength" instead of a weakness as it was in JLA #1-4, a popcorn-munching extravaganza intentionally reminiscent of big-budget movies.

For the most part, all the comics I've mentioned are ones that are tolerable and readable instead of being obnoxious and destructive. The exception is Granty's X-MEN.  I say without hyperbole that Morrison's NEW X-MEN may be the worst run of the X-Men in that comic's history.

Grant just doesn't get (or doesn't have the professionalism) to write in a shared universe. The nonsense about Magneto attacking New York (home of a ton of superguys) and wrecking half of it and no other superhero shows up but the X-Men, for instance, is the greatest failure to understand the shared universe since Denny O'Neil's NO MAN'S LAND in the Bat-titles.

Professor X having an evil twin sister (!), Beast coming out of the closet and becoming a tiger-man, and Jean Grey being killed off (again)? This is the absolute height of hackery.

There's a reason the leather jackets worked in the movies but not in the comics; because in the comics they come off as lame trend-trolling.

Grant Morrison took the potential given by other writers to X-Men and squandered it. "Red Shirt" killing off a character with as much history in the MU as Darkstar, for instance. Destroying Genosha and creating no concept to replace it. And when Busiek did his Exemplars story in AVENGERS, it heralded a possibility of Juggernaut redeeming himself and becoming a hero. What an exciting idea Busiek made it seem! But when Morrison finally gave us that story...well, it STILL isn't clear to me why Juggernaut is a good guy.

Just because an idea is new does not necessarily make it a good idea. Just because an idea is new does not make it appropriate, either. The most interesting thing about the Marvel Universe is that the addition of every fantasy element is carefully considered. There's a difference between Atlantis under the sea, the Blue Area of the Moon...and what Grant Morrison did, which was entire neighborhoods of NYC filled with mutants. With "mutant porn" being available in most catalogs.

I for one, strongly oppose the idea that a hero has to be unique (I love Supergirl, Captain Marvel Jr. and the thousands of GLs) but this is different. This is creating a world that is no longer identifiable as our world, and worse, a world no longer identifiable as the Marvel Universe.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: Gangbuster on April 26, 2007, 03:05:00 PM
All-Star Superman is the best thing I've ever read by Grant Morrison, precisely because of the mythology and mysticism that you mentioned. It works really well in Superman stories and is refreshing, maybe because it hasn't been done very much, or very well, before. Plus, remember the Superman storylines before Grant Morrison? For Tomorrow, anyone?

Like Maggin once said, you have to believe in Superman to be a good Superman writer. In recent history, it also helps if you believe in magic, apparently. (Grant Morrison and Alan Moore actually do.) Pre-Busiek, some of the best Superman stories of the last 30 years, like Miracle Monday and The Jungle Line, involved Mysticism.  And "bizarre science fiction action comics"...well, that's just Superman...or a hearkening back to the days of the Silver Age, really.

That said, the series is a little too...sappy. I agree that there are aspects of Superman's personality that I don't agree with, like the overpoliteness (the movie Superman does this too,) but in the case of the monsters attacking Lois, I think the apology was just supposed to be a joke for the audience, like George Reeves used to do.

In Grant Morrison's defense, his run on Animal Man was not great, even though it made him a demigod for comic fans. (A friend of mine keeps recommending "great" 80s comics, and I stupidly keep taking his advice.) But at the end of the story, Grant Morrison apologized to Animal Man for killing his family, and listed all of his shortcomings as a writer. When Grant Morrison gets to reveal "Hello Superman, my name is Grant" at the end of issue 12, what sort of things will he have to say to him?


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: JulianPerez on June 08, 2007, 06:48:37 AM
Quote from: Gangbuster
All-Star Superman is the best thing I've ever read by Grant Morrison, precisely because of the mythology and mysticism that you mentioned. It works really well in Superman stories and is refreshing, maybe because it hasn't been done very much, or very well, before.

Superman was always the comics equivalent of STAR WARS, but that's very different from what my pal Grant's doing: these groan-inducing absurdities like Dr. Quintum's line "Oh, if only mankind hadn't tried to steal fire from the sun, this wouldn't have happened!"

This is so sledgehammer-unsubtle that the only thing that could make it worse is a giant forty foot neon sign. "MYTHIC ALLUSION HERE!"

And the illiterates that fawn over this cackle like monkeys to themselves. "Hey, that's kind of like Greek Mythology!" The aura of self-congratulation in this kind of line by the writer is so obvious; it's like everybody's in a "secret club" of that payed attention during Ninth Grade English, and Grant just flashed them the Secret Handshake.

The truth is, all this pisses me off because I love mythology and heroic poems so much. From Turkey's THE BOOK OF DEDE KORKUT to the Icelandic Saga of the Oath-Bound Men, and this sort of reduction of myth to a by-the-numbers plug it in formula with Leo Quintum as Icarus, irks me for missing the whole point. And it's certainly not like Superman.

Quote from: Gangbuster
Plus, remember the Superman storylines before Grant Morrison? For Tomorrow, anyone?

I agree, Grant is certainly better than the people that came before him. Though considering how bad Chuck Austen and others were, that may be damning with faint praise.

Quote from: Gangbuster
In Grant Morrison's defense, his run on Animal Man was not great, even though it made him a demigod for comic fans.

I haven't read enough of Morrison's ANIMAL MAN to really be entitled to an opinion.

You'll notice I deliberately avoided mentioning Grant Morrison's DOOM PATROL because it's something of a guilty pleasure of mine.

There are some writers and film-makers as well, like Tim Burton, who can only really work with one specific kind of mood and idiom. Grant is like this too, and this becomes a problem for a work he's not suited for, e.g. Superman or X-Men.

But for a work like DOOM PATROL? All his disadvantages become advantages, because his annoying tendency to be weird for the sake of weird is exactly what DOOM PATROL is about!

The Doom Patrol's Rogues Gallery generally isn't famous (c'mon, anybody really remember the Volcano King or the Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man?) so he can get away with doing what he does best: substituting the concepts in a book with his own weird ideas, and for ONCE, it isn't inappropriate: remember that woman that only had superstrength when she sleepwalked, or the guy that had every power that you don't think of?

Truth be told, Grant Morrison is overwhelmingly not all that original, or inspired. The heroes visit Wonderworld, and it's just another superhero lair with a bottled city and cyborg brain? Angels exist, but the only thing that happens is the good guys catch a blimp and Superman punches a guy with eyes in his chest? I remember once he credited Michael Moorcock as "a true inspiration."

Moorcock's response? "That's like someone who steals your TV telling you that you have great taste in TVs."


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: carmelo on June 08, 2007, 11:11:45 AM
Superman in ASS is a caricature, engaging in chaste kisses with Lois and APOLOGIZING when monsters attack her. His politeness is so extreme Superman ceases to be a real person.

Julian,you have a whole DCU universe (and maybe many of news 52).Please,leave to we  poor Silver Age lovers/ Weisinger era nostalgics a little bi-monthly comic with our Superman.Thanks. :'(


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: JulianPerez on June 08, 2007, 04:34:09 PM
You see what I mean? This is precisely why I dislike Grant Morrison so much.

Who lied and told you that Grant Morrison is writing Silver Age Superman? Can you point to one plot point or proof in ASS itself that directly shows this is true?

( There's the Fortress Key thing, but that's weak at best. All that proves is that at one point ASS Superman had a fortress key.)

This Superman in ASS is an Elseworlds character detached from the DCU and Superman's back-continuity, Silver/Bronze or Modern Age. He's no more the "real Silver Age" Superman than the Kal-El that was raised by Darkseid or the Commie Superman.

On the other hand, you have people who truly ARE writing the Silver Age versions of characters, using actual details FROM the Silver Age, and they are ignored or called "Modern Age guys" while Morrison is praised for something he just didn't do.

Take the current Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns JLA/JSA Annual Team-Up.

Geoff and Brad literally are writing the Silver Age JLA. The Legionnaires are carrying the electric rods from the "Russian Roulette" attempt to restore Lightning Lad to life; Starman (the former Star Boy), and the writers have Thom's characterization be influenced by Thom's pivotal story, the one occasion that he killed in order to save Dream Girl's life back in the sixties, which meant his expulsion from the Legion. During a Dr. Destiny induced hallucination, Starman experiences the memory of the person he killed...and the stiff was still in his Curt Swan costume, fins and gloves and all!

And what's more, not only does Star Boy have the Silver-Bronze Age Legionnaires in their Cockrum costumes, they have said repeatedly that Superman as a youth was a member of the Legion.

Let me repeat that: Meltzer and Johns have brought back into the DCU the Silver/Bronze Age Legion. They have made Superman a member of the Legion as a youth again.

Yet...Morrison's the one that's the Silver Age writer.

It's unjust.

On the other hand, with Morrison's ASS, no individual, specific plot point from any Silver Age story is mentioned directly (except a vague reference to Batman and him changing places in #2 it's likely Grant just made up), and it certainly isn't used to influence his characterization in a significant and meaningful way as was done with Superman in JLA/JSA or Starman. Samson is clearly not the Biblical Strongman from the Silver Age; his costume doesn't even suggest anything of his previous incarnation. And what's more, there's Cat Grant (a modern age character), Jimmy Olsen as a teenager again instead of the tough young adult he became.

Who's the REAL Silver Age writer here?


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: Michel Weisnor on June 08, 2007, 07:17:51 PM
Grant Morrison never stated he was writing Silver Age Superman. As mentioned, readers just took All-Star Superman for SA Superman. Even Morrison, in an interview, enjoys all eras for different reasons. All-Star Superman is Morrison's attempt at incorporating a more than functional pastiche of Superman to the general public. Up to this point, he's performed an admirable job.

Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns are also writing an excellent story. "The Lightning Saga" really gets me pumped for the Legion (more than DnA and Waid's Legions ever did).  However, while using Silver Age elements, Meltzer and Johns are not Silver Age writers. Besides, I always figured they're more influenced by Bronze Age DC and Superfriends.

Getting back to Morrison, man his work lately has been amiss. Seven Soldiers left me scratching my head and Batman* has been to say the least turgid. Perhaps, he's spread his creative juices to thin. Morrison probably just needs to cut his workload down a little. Still, All-Star Superman has been an enjoyable experience and I look forward to hopefully an Absolute edition. 

Hey Julian, could you clarify your opinions of Busiek's Avengers and Morrison's JLA? I just started reading both  simultaneous and was wondering how you view each. Thanks.   

*Of course, in my opinion, he never quite understood Batman.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: MatterEaterLad on June 08, 2007, 09:36:11 PM
Continuity doesn't HAVE to have anything to do with who Superman is...it just tracks the evolution of a character through many generations of different ideas.

Its like saying the Phantom Zone miniseries is a good story just because of some lame reference to a sun with rings around it from a comic in the 70s and ignoring the fact that otherwise its a story completely void of the original spirit and intent of the Phantom Zone.

Edit: So ultimately, I suppose what is "Silver Age" is just as subjective as any other opinion on comic content.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: carmine on June 10, 2007, 05:56:12 PM
meh, I think you are reading too much into grant morrison and then complaining that their is too much to read into grant morrison.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: Superman Forever on June 11, 2007, 12:18:38 AM
I think Morrisonīs Superman is the closest to the Silver Age in spirit as we can get, and everthing by Johns and Meltzer is Iron Age crap by definition. It dodnīt matter how much they "love" old characters if still write them like anything but true heroes and the stories show such disrespect where the supposed " love" should be. There really are writers who use Silver and Bronze Age concepts and worldviews but Geoff Johns and Brad Meltzer are the opposite of this.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: kirby911 on June 11, 2007, 03:55:50 PM
funny how you see and heard this stuff


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: jamespup on June 11, 2007, 08:56:04 PM
I was just reading a Jimmy Olsen 80 pager from 1968, and while I certainly considered all the stories reprinted as "Silver-age" I noticed a house ad where Wonder Woman was changing her look...so IMO the silver age was on the verge of ending then


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: JulianPerez on June 12, 2007, 02:31:55 AM
Quote from: Superman Forever
I think Morrisonīs Superman is the closest to the Silver Age in spirit as we can get, and everthing by Johns and Meltzer is Iron Age crap by definition. It dodnīt matter how much they "love" old characters if still write them like anything but true heroes and the stories show such disrespect where the supposed " love" should be.

This statement needs to be re-evaluated.

One thing I find gut-busting hilarious about modern politics is how politicians, liberal and conservative alike, spend money to create this image of themselves as "ordinary Joes," or "straight talkers," or "guys you can have a beer with" despite that most grew up wealthy and priveleged.

Grant Morrison being "Mr. Silver Age" is the image, not reality. Really, it is Geoff Johns that is the true Silver Age guy, and Morrison the true Iron Ager.

Let's compare:

Morrison used Kyle Rayner as a major member of his JLA, and in a WIZARD promotional piece, justified his choice saying something to the effect of "why use an older character when it is possible to tell different stories with the new guy?"

ACTUAL QUOTE FROM A MORRISON STORY IN JLA #22:

SANDMAN: This man, Jordan, the one who wore the magic ring before you...whydoes he overshadow all your thoughts and actions?
KYLE: What? What does this have to do with anything? I was just thinking about...what is this about Hal?
SANDMAN: You will surpass him .You already know what he could never learn.
KYLE: I already met him. The guy was a star. What could I know that he didn't?
SANDMAN: Fear. You will surpass him.

(I threw up a little bit on my mouth on reading that. To repeat: that was GRANT MORRISON writing this, in JLA #22.)

Then again, let's look at Johns. He not only brought Hal Jordan back to life, but did so in a way that absolved him of responsibility for Parallax....and not only, he brought back the entire Green Lantern Corps and the Guardians.

Morrison created an all new character to "replace" Hawkman, Azrael.

Johns brought back the original Hawkman, and did so in such a way it ensured all the Hawkmen that once existed DID exist.

I could go on and on like this. It's like Goofus and Gallant: DC Edition.

Quote from: Superman Forever
There really are writers who use Silver and Bronze Age concepts and worldviews but Geoff Johns and Brad Meltzer are the opposite of this.

When I said that Meltzer and Johns had made a Young Superman a Legionnaire for the first time in decades, brought back the original Silver/Bronze age Legionnaires in their Cockrum costumes no less...did you even listen?

I'd love to hear, though, exactly how a Legion with a Superboy, use of the lightning rods from the resurrection of Lightning Lad, and referencing the pivotal story of Star Boy's existence somehow makes Johns and Meltzer "Iron Age guys."

You can't, and I honestly don't expect a response to all this besides the blanket statements that don't refute any of my specific points that I've gotten thus far. Because the endorsement of Morrison as a Silver Ager is an emotional, not logical preference, based on his (self-created) image, instead of analyzing his writing or his creative decisions.

Quote from: JamesPup
I was just reading a Jimmy Olsen 80 pager from 1968, and while I certainly considered all the stories reprinted as "Silver-age" I noticed a house ad where Wonder Woman was changing her look...so IMO the silver age was on the verge of ending then

The late 1960s at DC is a very interesting transitional time, and I'm surprised few works on comics history write about it. This was the era of Mike Sekowsky's bike story, "Jason's Quest" or the Denny O'Neil JLA.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: Superman Forever on June 12, 2007, 08:29:04 AM
Morrison realy used Kyle Rayner in his JLA, what I think was due to editorial control, but the point is that his Kyle Rayner was not the same of Marz Green Lantern book. All of the characters in JLA were treated with a noble aproach that is closest to the Silver Age spirit than anything being publisehd at the time, except of course Mark WaidīFlash that was Morrison inspiration. Also the book eliminated the soap opera influence of Marvel comics and even killed Marvel characters in the first story arc. That JLA books were really close to the Silver Age spirit, and part of this is because of the Big Seven of DCU returning and Superman and Batman as the greatst heroes instead of stupid like they were  at the time, but the most important was the tone of the stories. The JLA Classified books by Warren Ellis or Howard Chaykin can use the same characters and not read like a Silver Age JLA. Thaīs because Johns and Meltzer using the pra-Crisis LSH donīt make them the real deal. On the other hand, Morrison using the 854 century Superman in DC One Million, was very close to Elliot S! Maggin in spirit, concept and execution.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: carmelo on June 12, 2007, 11:04:26 AM
I was just reading a Jimmy Olsen 80 pager from 1968, and while I certainly considered all the stories reprinted as "Silver-age" I noticed a house ad where Wonder Woman was changing her look...so IMO the silver age was on the verge of ending then
The change of Wonder Woman is the beginning of "Bronze Age" (1969-1985).


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: DBN on June 12, 2007, 12:38:20 PM
Quote
Morrison used Kyle Rayner as a major member of his JLA, and in a WIZARD promotional piece, justified his choice saying something to the effect of "why use an older character when it is possible to tell different stories with the new guy?"

ACTUAL QUOTE FROM A MORRISON STORY IN JLA #22:

SANDMAN: This man, Jordan, the one who wore the magic ring before you...whydoes he overshadow all your thoughts and actions?
KYLE: What? What does this have to do with anything? I was just thinking about...what is this about Hal?
SANDMAN: You will surpass him .You already know what he could never learn.
KYLE: I already met him. The guy was a star. What could I know that he didn't?
SANDMAN: Fear. You will surpass him.

How exactly could Morrison have used Hal when you had the character quite dead at the time and the editorial mandate that Kyle was Green Lantern?

...and in a story sense, Kyle has surpassed Hal.


Quote
Then again, let's look at Johns. He not only brought Hal Jordan back to life, but did so in a way that absolved him of responsibility for Parallax....and not only, he brought back the entire Green Lantern Corps and the Guardians.

Umm...Johns didn't bring the Guardians back, Judd Winick did in the Power of Ion which also had Kyle recharge the Power Battery leading the way for the Corps return.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: JulianPerez on June 12, 2007, 03:06:08 PM
Quote from: Superman Forever
the point is that his Kyle Rayner was not the same of Marz Green Lantern book.

I don't see that. Morrison wrote Kyle precisely as Marz did: a rookie, the "new guy," underconfident around experienced heroes, etc. An ordinary person awed by his association with the ring, a "hip" 20-something artist type.

Quote from: Superman Forever
Also the book eliminated the soap opera influence of Marvel comics and even killed Marvel characters in the first story arc. 

I don't think that's a productive way to see comics history - as an everlasting struggle between Marvel and DC ideas? Adding characterization to superheroes is a good idea no matter who thought of it first. Sometimes characterization-heavy stories work for DC (e.g. ALL-STAR SQUADRON, NEW TEEN TITANS, Steve Gerber's METAL MEN run, Drake's DOOM PATROL) and sometimes it doesn't (CREEPER).

Actually, I like parts of Morrison's JLA more than say, his X-MEN. His greatest weakness (his inability to do characterization) is minimized...because he isn't really required to do characterization stories. This only becomes distracting for instance, in the Tomorrow Woman issue...where it's not clear WHY she decided to kill herself, so the story falls apart.

Quote from: Superman Forever
Thaīs because Johns and Meltzer using the pra-Crisis LSH donīt make them the real deal.

I'm getting hoarse repeating this, but they reference stories in the Silver Age directly - Star Boy's expulsion from the Legion, the use of the lightning rods, Young Superman asa member, etc.

This shows them directly to be the Silver Age LSH.

And don't say anything about "tone." Yes, comics written today do feel different than comics written in the past, but every ten years the tone of comics shifts, so what does that prove? And like MatterEaterLad said, tone is subjective.  If it was a criminal case, tone would be "circumstantial evidence." But these details? They're concrete. If they were evidence, they'd "put you at the scene."

Quote from: DBN
How exactly could Morrison have used Hal when you had the character quite dead at the time and the editorial mandate that Kyle was Green Lantern?

Yes, it is true Grant and Johns are writing in totally different editorial periods and perhaps this should be taken into account. It's hard to imagine an editor circa 1998 greenlighting a return of Hal Jordan. This is why Johns was able to bring back so many ideas from DC's past: he had a sympathetic ear in Silver/Bronze ager Dan Didio.

My point here, though is that whether it's because of a friendly editorial, or a change in comics readership or whatever it is...list side by side what Johns and Morrison have done to restore to the DCU elements from the company's history, and the list is weighted far more in Johns's corner...which either way, makes calling Morrison the "Silver Age guy" a little weird. Which is what I was responding to.

Quote from: DBN
...and in a story sense, Kyle has surpassed Hal.

Even though I am obviously not a Kyle Rayner fan...I do admire the fact that REBIRTH wasn't about how Hal is the super-greatest guy in the universe, and Kyle's special role as a Lantern is recognized...which is very rare professionalism. Geoff Johns is the only guy that has ever been able to make me LIKE Kyle Rayner.

Quote from: DBN
Umm...Johns didn't bring the Guardians back, Judd Winick did in the Power of Ion which also had Kyle recharge the Power Battery leading the way for the Corps return.

True - I was referring more to the fact that Johns set up exactly how the Corps was going to "look" with the rings as much more computerlike and sentient, more like Star Trek tricorders, no weakness to yellow, tens of thousands of GLs, cameos by Mogo and the plant-head guy, etc.

This brings up an interesting point: I argue that of the two, Johns is the more truly Silver Age writer. But neither are Silver Age, because both of them, for good or ill, have unique "voices." Johns brought back Hal and the Corps, but he put his own spin on them as well...which keeps it from merely being Silver Age nostalgia or regurgitation as someone like Jeph Loeb often does.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: DBN on June 12, 2007, 05:02:41 PM
Quote
Yes, it is true Grant and Johns are writing in totally different editorial periods and perhaps this should be taken into account. It's hard to imagine an editor circa 1998 greenlighting a return of Hal Jordan. This is why Johns was able to bring back so many ideas from DC's past: he had a sympathetic ear in Silver/Bronze ager Dan Didio.

My point here, though is that whether it's because of a friendly editorial, or a change in comics readership or whatever it is...list side by side what Johns and Morrison have done to restore to the DCU elements from the company's history, and the list is weighted far more in Johns's corner...which either way, makes calling Morrison the "Silver Age guy" a little weird. Which is what I was responding to.

And that's my point, all of the recent revitilizations of Silver/Bronze Age ideas have come under Didio's tenure. In contrast, Morrision worked on JLA during Carlin's time as EIC IIRC.

Quote
True - I was referring more to the fact that Johns set up exactly how the Corps was going to "look" with the rings as much more computerlike and sentient, more like Star Trek tricorders, no weakness to yellow, tens of thousands of GLs, cameos by Mogo and the plant-head guy, etc.

This brings up an interesting point: I argue that of the two, Johns is the more truly Silver Age writer. But neither are Silver Age, because both of them, for good or ill, have unique "voices." Johns brought back Hal and the Corps, but he put his own spin on them as well...which keeps it from merely being Silver Age nostalgia or regurgitation as someone like Jeph Loeb often does.

Eh, Loeb has never been good at writing a boxed-in monthly title. He's at his best with prestige mini-series or an almost out of continuity book like Superman/Batman.




Title: It's the Tone thing
Post by: Great Rao on June 12, 2007, 05:26:04 PM
It's been a long time since I read Morrison's JLA, but there are a few things that I remember being really excited about at the time and which were a breath of fresh air and life:

Grant had Superman use his powers in new and exciting ways - like having the Electric Blue Superman (http://www.superman-through-the-ages.com/a/encyc/entries/index.php?entry=energy) move the moon from its orbit.  The post-Crisis Superman had never before moved a planet, not even a small one like the moon.  Pure Silver Age in its audacity.
Grant restored Superman and Batman's friendly relationship from the mutual dislike and mistrust that Byrne had introduced;  Gold, Silver, and Bronze.
Grant gave a new spin to the editorial decree that Luthor never get caught:  While every other writer had Superman be ineffectual and out-smarted by Lex, Grant changed the rules - he showed that the only reason Luthor was still free was because Superman chose to let him stay free, believing that Lex had some good in him and wanting to give him the opportunity to ultimately redeem himself.  This is right out of Maggin's playbook.

In one of the books Morrison wrote, he even managed to sneak in a retcon that Kal-El had been born on Krypton instead of from a "birthing matrix" on Earth.

The "Superman Dynasty" thing from DC One Million is clearly taken from Superman #400, more Bronze Age Maggin (and in this case, Steranko too)

http://www.superman-through-the-ages.com/a/ges/grant.php
http://www.superman-through-the-ages.com/a/ges/Today/glok.gif

My impression at the time was that in spite of the insane editorial restrictions in place, Grant Morrison managed to pull the wool over some eyes and write stories very true to both the Silver Age and the Bronze Age Superman.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: JulianPerez on June 12, 2007, 06:39:09 PM
Quote from: Great Rao
Grant restored Superman and Batman's friendly relationship from the mutual dislike and mistrust that Byrne had introduced;  Gold, Silver, and Bronze.

Morrison's treatment of the Batman/Superman relationship was so unique I hesitate to call it either Iron Age or Bronze Age.

This is another case where labels like "Silver Age guy" or "Iron Age guy" break down.

They confided in each other, certainly, but it was more like each was the conscience and critic of the other. And it sometimes got pointed and nasty when they had disagreements...remember the ending where Batman set a pair of eyeglasses down and said, "If we want to talk about keeping secrets...you first."

Morrison even had Batman coyly insult Superman at several points, as in "I don't have powers, and I don't wear a bright costume, and I don't trust poorly trained people that do....present company excluded, of course."

Quote from: Great Rao
Grant gave a new spin to the editorial decree that Luthor never get caught:  While every other writer had Superman be ineffectual and out-smarted by Lex, Grant changed the rules - he showed that the only reason Luthor was still free was because Superman chose to let him stay free, believing that Lex had some good in him and wanting to give him the opportunity to ultimately redeem himself.  This is right out of Maggin's playbook.

How can Morrison write a story where Superman is effective against Luthor, when at the end of Rock of Ages, Luthor pretty much DID get away with it? It wasn't because Supes took a dive, Maggin-style, but because Luthor outsmarted Superman and ensured there was no evidence (nobody in Star City technically "died")...in other words, precisely like 5 billion other nineties stories.

And nothing can be further from Maggin than how Morrison characterized Luthor. Maggin occasionally had Lex do the right thing: for instance, save Superman's life at the end of MIRACLE MONDAY. No such action is visible in Morrison's Luthor.

This is what I mean when I say Morrison can't do characterization: having Superman say "there's some good in you" but having no actions on Lex's part to support this statement is "tell not show." In other words: bad characterization.

Quote from: Great Rao
Grant had Superman use his powers in new and exciting ways - like having the Electric Blue Superman move the moon from its orbit.  The post-Crisis Superman had never before moved a planet, not even a small one like the moon.  Pure Silver Age in its audacity.

True, fair enough. I've not argued Morrison is completely 100% lacking in influence from DC's past. And some of the stuff he had Superman do as an electric guy was pretty cool - for instance, faking an asteroid explosion with holograms.

In fact, I think this conversation has been derailed by a very unfortunate kind of thinking. Whether Morrison is more or less Silver Age is irrelevant. Let's say he DID play Luthor Maggin-style. Let's say he had Superman moving planets left and right. It would be Silver Age, certainly.

But would it be GOOD?

Even if something is Silver Age in "tone" (whatever that means) doesn't make it GOOD. For instance, "Rock of Ages" had many other problems: it wasn't clear WHY it is the Worlogog would result in Darkseid ruling Earth. And what's more, the story where a supervillain rules in a dystopian alternate future has been seen eleventy-billion times in everything from GI JOE to CAPTAIN PLANET. And there was no confrontation between the JLA and Injustice Gang; the gang could not have been there and the story would be the same.

I don't forgive the flaws in "Rock of Ages" because it had electric Superman move a moon here and there.

I've always argued that a story that violates continuity is by definition bad, but that does not mean that a story that sticks to continuity is by definition good.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: MatterEaterLad on June 12, 2007, 07:14:00 PM
One thing you are forgetting is that the true Silver Age was actually defined by a variation in characterization and the writers not taking it so seriously.

The Superman/Batman relationship in the Silver Age could be odd from story to story.  Batman positively is down-in-the-dumps and feeling inferior until Superman "cheers" him up by taking him to Kandor where no one has powers (World's Finest 1964: "The Feud Between Batman and Superman!").  On another occasion, Superman is so obsessed and brooding over a game that he ignores emergencies (World's Finest 1965: "The Game of Super Identities!").  Superman can cheerfully shrug off what he thinks is a subliminal suggestion and do the intergalactic boogie (Jimmy Olsen 1965: "The Swinging Superman!") or feel crushing loss at a duplicate Krypton populated by androids (Superman 1966: "Krypton's Second Doom!").

A big piece of the Silver Age was the story driving characters rather than the characters driving the story.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: Criadoman on June 13, 2007, 12:43:49 AM
Quote from: Great Rao
Grant restored Superman and Batman's friendly relationship from the mutual dislike and mistrust that Byrne had introduced;  Gold, Silver, and Bronze.

Morrison's treatment of the Batman/Superman relationship was so unique I hesitate to call it either Iron Age or Bronze Age.

They confided in each other, certainly, but it was more like each was the conscience and critic of the other. And it sometimes got pointed and nasty when they had disagreements...remember the ending where Batman set a pair of eyeglasses down and said, "If we want to talk about keeping secrets...you first."

Morrison even had Batman coyly insult Superman at several points, as in "I don't have powers, and I don't wear a bright costume, and I don't trust poorly trained people that do....present company excluded, of course."

I have to say this interpretation of that little interlude in the Morrison White Martian story for JLA is "unique "- but it is stretching it that this is an insult to Superman and the superpowered ilk.  I completely identified with that analogy - and in this instance, Bats was "confessing" to Superman his difficulties dealing with metahumans - and a quite realistic concern (considering this is a comic book) for a human to have among metas.  One careless use of a meta's power and people die.  Actually it was all these little interludes amongst the heroes that made me so interested in the Morrison JLA.

Further, Superman and Bats had genuine admiration for each other, for the first time I've seen since World's Finest pre-crisis.  The biggest kick I got was Superman realizing that Batman was still free and the whole "the most dangerous man alive" thing, as well as the confidence knowing that the Martian's time was up with Bats on the loose.  I loved it!

I would not go as far as stating Morrison was the new Silver Age poster child.  I would go as far as to say that Morrison's JLA had more realistic commaradere than any interpretation I've since since COIE - and on that note, it does harken back to the "club" aspects of Silver Age JLA - admittedly with a more modern and sofisticated slant.

Quote from: Great Rao
Grant gave a new spin to the editorial decree that Luthor never get caught:  While every other writer had Superman be ineffectual and out-smarted by Lex, Grant changed the rules - he showed that the only reason Luthor was still free was because Superman chose to let him stay free, believing that Lex had some good in him and wanting to give him the opportunity to ultimately redeem himself.  This is right out of Maggin's playbook.

How can Morrison write a story where Superman is effective against Luthor, when at the end of Rock of Ages, Luthor pretty much DID get away with it? It wasn't because Supes took a dive, Maggin-style, but because Luthor outsmarted Superman and ensured there was no evidence (nobody in Star City technically "died")...in other words, precisely like 5 billion other nineties stories.

And nothing can be further from Maggin than how Morrison characterized Luthor. Maggin occasionally had Lex do the right thing: for instance, save Superman's life at the end of MIRACLE MONDAY. No such action is visible in Morrison's Luthor.

This is what I mean when I say Morrison can't do characterization: having Superman say "there's some good in you" but having no actions on Lex's part to support this statement is "tell not show." In other words: bad characterization.

Julian, once again, this is a bit of a stretch here.  Lex's getting away with it in Rock of Ages isn't that he outsmarted anyone as much as a really intelligent way of making the whole fiasco disappear.  The Worlogog basically was infinite possibilities.  I should like to simply point out here that Lex's 1st action is to make the entirety of the situation vanish as if nothing happened.  Lex could have done anything and left the damage and got himself out of it.  I don't mean to say I can't see how you'd interpret that "Lex outsmarted Superman", but technically, nothing happened, which I thought was the beauty of it.  Lex did get busted, but he did ultimately do the right thing and made it all go away as if it never happened.  Actually, I thought this was very Silver Age type characterization and very Maggin-esque, without actually saying that.  So you don't get the "Lex - I knew there was some good in you" but I would think some of what Morrison has to deal with is the editorial decrees of who Supes and Luthor are now - in Lex's case, the ruthless business man/scientist stuff.  Unfortunately Morrison's probably got to deal with this as much as anyone used to.  But that's not so much Morrison as it is Byrne, Wolfman and maybe Miller.  I thought as far as post-COIE (not that that matters anymore) his Luthor was as enjoyable as Loeb's, and TAS.

Quote from: Great Rao
Grant had Superman use his powers in new and exciting ways - like having the Electric Blue Superman move the moon from its orbit.  The post-Crisis Superman had never before moved a planet, not even a small one like the moon.  Pure Silver Age in its audacity.

True, fair enough. I've not argued Morrison is completely 100% lacking in influence from DC's past. And some of the stuff he had Superman do as an electric guy was pretty cool - for instance, faking an asteroid explosion with holograms.

In fact, I think this conversation has been derailed by a very unfortunate kind of thinking. Whether Morrison is more or less Silver Age is irrelevant. Let's say he DID play Luthor Maggin-style. Let's say he had Superman moving planets left and right. It would be Silver Age, certainly.

But would it be GOOD?

Even if something is Silver Age in "tone" (whatever that means) doesn't make it GOOD. For instance, "Rock of Ages" had many other problems: it wasn't clear WHY it is the Worlogog would result in Darkseid ruling Earth. And what's more, the story where a supervillain rules in a dystopian alternate future has been seen eleventy-billion times in everything from GI JOE to CAPTAIN PLANET. And there was no confrontation between the JLA and Injustice Gang; the gang could not have been there and the story would be the same.

I don't forgive the flaws in "Rock of Ages" because it had electric Superman move a moon here and there.

I've always argued that a story that violates continuity is by definition bad, but that does not mean that a story that sticks to continuity is by definition good.

Gee whiz... I don't see what anyone needs to forgive to "Rock of Ages".  It was a great read.  For starters, who cares why it is that the Worlogog would result in Darkseid's ruling Earth?  Darkseid's been after Earth for a long time, and Darkseid is just plain Darkseid.  It's just an alternate future, and served as nothing more than really playing up the foreign aspects to our timelost heroes.  I thought it was nicely done there, and it never once occurred or mattered why or how Darkseid got Earth.  He just did.  So here, we have this little sub-plot happening which really served as nothing more than a backdrop to the whole Worlogog/Injustice thing.  Ultimately just color and not too much to take my attention off the storyline - but a really enjoyable alternate future thing.

The thing I really liked about what Morrison did was again, he really handled the team dynamics really, really well - better than anyone else I've seen, and the heroes and villians looked sooo well done.  Some of the best moments (Superman breaking free in White Martians, Batman stating how Lex is about to go up against the best in corporate takeovers, Bruce Wayne, Atom giving Darkseid a lobotomy, Lex's making it all go away, and on and on) I've had reading comics post-crisis were in his run of JLA.  The point is that again, the club aspects of the League very much harkens back to the Silver Age.  The mutual respect between the members again, harkens back to Silver Age.  (Remember Jurgens run, just before Doomsday?  Don't even get me started.)  The compentance of the team, unique uses of powers and strengths; all harken back to those days - again just with the more sophisticated and modern slant and darn, darn, darn clever.  Better than the writers of those individual heroes books got it in many cases.  (Electric Supes was soooo much better in JLA than in his own books.)  Otherwise, them heroes were really heroes - not morally challenged bullies or otherwise.

I personally thought the guys writing was phenomenal and frankly, thanks to him, my favorite heroes started getting the love they deserve and knocked those darn X-books off the top ten lists for some time.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: JulianPerez on June 17, 2007, 10:31:42 AM
In the interests of fairness, there were a few good "bits" in ROCK OF AGES.

Grant's display of Argent's full, frightening power, for instance. It's the only time Argent has ever been cool, and I'm amazed that other writers haven't "paid off" on the promise this story offers.

Aquaman telepathically commanding the weird, mutated sealife of a polluted earth. COOL.

Four Words: Jem, Son of Saturn. These sort of guest-appearances are what Geoff Johns would later perfect in JSA and his other writings.

But none of these cute little bits make up for the fact that the story makes no sense.

Why would Metron, under the control of Darkseid, send heroes from the present to the future where they would learn it and prevent it? Why does Metron do anything in this story? His motivations aren't clear.

Luthor has the Worlogog, but he did NOTHING WITH IT. The whole concept behind the Thanos War is that Thanos + Cosmic Cube = Oh Crap.

Speaking of things that do nothing, I hate to repeat myself here, but the Injustice Gang did nothing but sit around Luthor's satellite Castle Greyskull.

The seduction of Green Arrow was laughable. "Gee, Conner, I bet she's totally not evil or anything." Does anyone seriously believe that Green Arrow would be made to turn against his friends by some obviously evil chick? Also: does anyone know how WEIRD it would really be if Green Lantern and Green Arrow in full costume just went into a random diner and bought coffee?

Could someone explain to me what the point of the hard light hologram attack on Star City was meant to actually accomplish? Why were the hard light sprites not used again in the story?

Why is Wally West still alive? His identity was public knowledge, you really think he can disappear as some random human grunt? I'm not saying there isn't an explanation, but what I am saying is that Morrison didn't think this Darkseid world through. Compare that to say, the alternate world Busiek created in "Morgan Conquest," which hints at a history and geopolitics as complicated as ours.

Amazo was just thrown away. It's a pet peeve of mine, but it bothers me that a villain as powerful as Amazo has become a goofy paper tiger that can be taken down with one punch by Black Adam. Here the robot was disposed of five seconds after the battle began by computer viruses. Even the heroes were cavalierly dismissive of Amazo. "Oh, no, we can't take on Darseid! All we've got is a reprogrammed Amazo! Now, if only Elongated Man had survived we'd be somewhere..."

PLASTIC MAN. Oh, God, kill me NOW. Just when I thought Snapper Carr was the most annoying person in JLA history, Plastic Man comes in with spastic circa-1996 pop culture references to BABE. This is just the sort of thing austistic people find hilarious.

(And Waid found Plastic Man hilarious enough to be the only Morrison guy besides the Founders he kept. I hate to give these armchair diagnoses, but I sincerely believe Waid has Asperger's Syndrome. An inability to understand human emotions and motivations, anxiety bordering on terror when confronted with sex, jokes that aren't really jokes...)

Morrison's attempt to give his whole run something of a coherent plot is likewise lame. While Busiek was actually writing THUNDERBOLTS and AVENGERS long-term arcs with stories like the Scarlet Witch/Wonder Man/Vision love triangle and the conspiracy and media manipulation of the Triune Understanding, Morrison mentions Meggido and says, "hey, look, a big monster! When will the JLA fight it, gentle reader?"

Make no mistake, comparing Busiek to Morrison is like comparing LOST to professional wrestling. "When will Superman bodyslam Megiddo? Tune in next month, at Wrestlemania XXV!"

Oh yeah, and the whole octopus with the glowing red gem between the eyes look? I liked that idea best when it was called Pyaray, Lord of Chaos. This is not being catty or nitpicky. Seriously, that design is IDENTICAL to Pyaray from STORMBRINGER.

Quote from: Criadoman
It was a great read.  For starters, who cares why it is that the Worlogog would result in Darkseid's ruling Earth?  

The Worlogog/Darkseid connection is important because it unites the Injustice Gang story with the Days of Future Past Darkseid story. Otherwise, the Darkseid thing becomes a tangent.

It isn't necessary for two stories to coincide: Englehart had the Avengers encounter the Serpent Crown the same time as "Go West, Young Gods," for instance...but neither of those stories pretended to unity with the other.

What's worse, at no point is there any "payoff" for this thread with the Darkseid/Worlogog. The reason this is a problem, the reason why we should care, is because if we never see WHY it is so important, then destroying or not destroying the Worlogog becomes an entirely arbitrary course of action, like flipping a light switch connected to nothing.

Quote from: Criadoman
I personally thought the guys writing was phenomenal and frankly, thanks to him, my favorite heroes started getting the love they deserve and knocked those darn X-books off the top ten lists for some time.

The best job Morrison did in knocking off the X-Books...was when he was writing the X-Books.

Quote from: Criadoman
Further, Superman and Bats had genuine admiration for each other, for the first time I've seen since World's Finest pre-crisis.  The biggest kick I got was Superman realizing that Batman was still free and the whole "the most dangerous man alive" thing, as well as the confidence knowing that the Martian's time was up with Bats on the loose.  I loved it!

True, there was admiration, but there was also a mutual sort of suspicion and criticism which makes it not quite the usual friendship. Morrison laid the boundaries for Waid's "Tower of Babel" with Batman and Superman's disagreement about trust after the secret mission with Barda and Orion. I was responding to the point that Morrison is somehow "Mr. Silver Age" when his dynamic is complicated.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: Super Monkey on June 17, 2007, 11:54:16 AM
Very simple test, which one of these comics appear to be more in the spirit of the Silver Age and which looks to be more in the spirit of the Iron Age? Both deal with with the same subject, good old Bizarro:

Grant's take on Bizarro:
(http://dccomics.com/media/covers/7435_400x600.jpg)

John's take on Bizarro:
(http://www.newsarama.com/heroes_philly07/DC/sat/AC_Cv856.jpg)



Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: JulianPerez on June 17, 2007, 09:54:09 PM
Here's why that argument doesn't move me:

If a story is meant to channel the spirit of the Bronze and Silver Age, and the intention is to be sincere and appreciative and take the concept seriously, instead of being motivated by nostalgia or ironic appreciation...such a story would not, at first glance, look like a Silver/Bronze Age story at all!

The Paul Levitz LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES is the best example I can think of for this phenomenon.

Stop and think about it: at their core, Levitz's tales are based on duplicating the formula of the Shooter/Swan-style "big" Legion story (over the top stakes, omnipotent opponents, etc.) But Levitz was in love enough with classic Legion, and sincere enough, that he didn't bring in something like Elastic Lad or Insect Queen when they would compromise the Legion's dignity...and so for that reason it's hard to identify Levitz's tale as Silver Age Legion immediately. But look closer: hell, even Levitz's magnum opus, Earthwar, was based on, and built directly from, earlier Curt Swan Mordru and Dark Circle tales from the 1960s.

Here, at the core, is why I don't like ALL-STAR SUPERMAN:

It has a story where Lois gets powers for her birthday.

Some ideas from the Silver Age are a wonderful blessing and a great framework, and we should thank all those classic writers and artists for bestowing them on us: Qward, for example, a world dedicated to absolute evil. But the idea of a "world dedicated to evil" is silly and not workable, and so later writers made Qward no less evil, but a ruthless science fiction culture whose evil was practical in nature.

Lois getting powers, though and Superman fighting Atlas and Samson for her hand can't be played straight. The very fact it is being done at all implies insincerity, and worse...ironic appreciation.

That's the problem with a work like Mark Waid's THE SILVER AGE: it duplicated all of the terrible and unfun and annoying parts of the Silver Age that made no sense (the Teen Titans talking in goofy slang, for instance), and removed the things that made the Silver Age classic. In other words, it was insincere.

For instance, there was one part where the Flash in Mr. Element's body tried to make it look like the Flash solved a crime by sending up a magnesium flare that's supposed to be the Flash running, and he sent an oxygen tablet that caused objects to float upwards.

ONE: Oxygen just does not work that way;

TWO: As a boatman, I've seen many flares in my time. How many looked like a running red guy?

And fear is GOOD. Nobody could ever be afraid of Insect Queen or John Jones. In order to be afraid of something, you can't be able to laugh at it.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: MatterEaterLad on June 18, 2007, 12:18:54 AM
Errr...so in order to be follow the Silver Age, writers should "channel" those elements you like, modify them to fit how you think they should play out in the modern era - and this is an objective argument?


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: Permanus on June 18, 2007, 01:49:30 AM
And fear is GOOD. Nobody could ever be afraid of Insect Queen or John Jones. In order to be afraid of something, you can't be able to laugh at it.

Well, maybe it's just me, but if I ever encountered a giant locust with the torso of a woman, I'd probably spend the rest of my life crouching in a corner of my padded cell in abject horror.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: Superman Forever on June 18, 2007, 08:29:45 AM
I think that the thing about the Morrison JLA is a lot simpler than what is being discussed here. The League was the big heroes. The big heroes were the best in all aspects. There was sense of wonder and mad ideas. The good always triunphed over evil, and everyone was happy at the ending. Thatīs JLA for me. 


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: DBN on June 18, 2007, 03:25:24 PM
I think that the thing about the Morrison JLA is a lot simpler than what is being discussed here. The League was the big heroes. The big heroes were the best in all aspects. There was sense of wonder and mad ideas. The good always triunphed over evil, and everyone was happy at the ending. Thatīs JLA for me. 

Exactly, and in Morrison/Waid's JLA, the heroes actually DID something as opposed to looking at a bunch of photographs for 4 issues.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: Criadoman on June 20, 2007, 11:13:59 PM
Quote from: Criadoman
I personally thought the guys writing was phenomenal and frankly, thanks to him, my favorite heroes started getting the love they deserve and knocked those darn X-books off the top ten lists for some time.

The best job Morrison did in knocking off the X-Books...was when he was writing the X-Books.

Maybe true - I don't follow them.  Thing was that JLA was hot stuff amongst the fans boys, and I concurred.

Quote from: Criadoman
Further, Superman and Bats had genuine admiration for each other, for the first time I've seen since World's Finest pre-crisis.  The biggest kick I got was Superman realizing that Batman was still free and the whole "the most dangerous man alive" thing, as well as the confidence knowing that the Martian's time was up with Bats on the loose.  I loved it!

True, there was admiration, but there was also a mutual sort of suspicion and criticism which makes it not quite the usual friendship. Morrison laid the boundaries for Waid's "Tower of Babel" with Batman and Superman's disagreement about trust after the secret mission with Barda and Orion. I was responding to the point that Morrison is somehow "Mr. Silver Age" when his dynamic is complicated.

As stated earlier - the key thing that I see here is that we do have some interpersonal dynamics that does start taking down the "Superman and Batman shouldn't get along" edicts.

As far as writers go, I do think that Grant does move forward towards Silver Age sensibilities, but again, I'm not painting him Mr. Silver Age.  In honesty, and as much as I love All-Star (although the art is starting to leave me a bit dry), I can see where it made sense to lean very heavily in that direction with his series.  In truth, and we've made these points on this board before, Kurt's Astro City Superman and Moore's Liefield Superman (ha ha - there's a few names you just can't get used to saying together anytime) set so many newer bars (which were all set by Supes himself before they were forgotten) - and it was such a winning formula - what would happen if you just did it with the right character?  So, I simply see Grant applying the formula that worked so well for Supes so many years ago, and his successors so many years later.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: JulianPerez on July 06, 2007, 04:22:38 PM
Quote from: Superman Forever
I think that the thing about the Morrison JLA is a lot simpler than what is being discussed here. The League was the big heroes. The big heroes were the best in all aspects.

HAHAHAHAHAHA you mean like Aquaman and John Jones, Manhunter from Mars?

Quote from: Superman Forever
There was sense of wonder and mad ideas.

I didn't detect any wild ideas. They visit Wonderworld and it's just another superhero lair with a bottled city and a brain?

Think about what someone like Neil Gaiman would do with the idea that angels...are REAL. What a mindblowing idea. But what does Morrison do? Have Superman punch a guy with eyes on his chest while the rest catch a blimp. That's a failure of the imagination there. Lame, lame, lame!

And the overwhelming majority of his stories are either directly lifted or reminiscent of other stories. Superheroes vs. the Military? Yawn. Superheroes in a dystopian future where villains ruled? Double yawn. Alien invasion? The guy even NAMED his stories after B-Movies.

Quote from: DBN
Exactly, and in Morrison/Waid's JLA, the heroes actually DID something as opposed to looking at a bunch of photographs for 4 issues.

I think you missed the point. The JLA founders were talking about who was going to be in the JLA. It was tense, and it had a few twists in it: for instance, the idea Batman wasn't going to be included. Also, I doubt they devoted more than three or four pages to this story per comic. The rest is good stuff like Red Arrow vs. thousands of Red Tornadoes and Solomon Grundy with superintelligence.

It's really been embarassing how Morrison's been utterly outdone; first by Busiek with his astonishing JLA arc, and now by the tense Brad Meltzer.

Quote from: ME-Lad
Errr...so in order to be follow the Silver Age, writers should "channel" those elements you like, modify them to fit how you think they should play out in the modern era - and this is an objective argument?

Yeah, it is supposed to be an objective argument, at least to the extent that a supported opinion with clear criteria can be objective.

Here, let me put what I'm saying another way:

I absolutely think they did the right thing in updating MIAMI VICE to modern times in the recent movie. Because MIAMI VICE is not, and never was, about the pink and pastel uniforms, or about the loafers without socks.

MIAMI VICE was a tough, cool undercover cop show about a glamorous, violent and dangerous lifestyle, and that's exactly what Mike Mann did on screen. They were true to the "cool action" spirit of the show, even though it didn't superficially look like what we think of as MIAMI VICE.

But imagine what a horrible movie would have resulted if, instead of emphasizing the glamour and grit, they made the movie about eighties nostalgia and horrible fashoin disasters and Rico and Crockett showed up to the scene of the crime driving a D'Elorian while listing to Falco and Men Without Hats.

If it had been a comedy/parody, that would have been one thing...but what if Michael Mann played it "straight" and REALLY, sincerely thought that all that detritus was what made MIAMI VICE cool - the bad fashoin and eighties nostalgia?

THAT is why I am stone-cold unimpressed by Supermonkey's argument that "hey, ASS's in the Spirit of Silver Age Superman because look! Why...there are Flash Gordon ray guns and fins on things!"

No.

That doesn't mean anything.

In fact, all that is sign of being UNTRUE to the spirit of Superman. It's like saying, "hey, screw all those Silver Age Legion of Super-Heroes stories where they fought overwhelming enemies and cosmic odds and people died. What LOSH is all about, what should be duplicated today, are those stories where Jimmy Olsen as Elastic Lad helped the Legion through his clumsiness!"

(I hope I never live to see Grant on LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES. I'd collapse of a gigantic hate-induced heart-attack. That's exactly what he'd do, you know. For the love of all that is holy, people, the guy brought back friggin' BAT-MITE!)

That's how I feel when I read a story where Lois temporarily gains powers as a birthday present from Superman. The very fact it is being done shows the writer enjoys Superman on the level of "ironic appreciation," because if you appreciate something ironically, that means you're not capable of distinguishing between strengths and weaknesses.

Then again, there are those that feel that Superman isn't supposed to be a great adventure and action character...but a guy whose stories ought to be gimmicky tales where Big Blue battles with Sampson and Atlas over the hand of Lois, and where Jimmy transforms into weird things regularly.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: MatterEaterLad on July 06, 2007, 04:51:00 PM
I love the mix of the goofy with the serious. That's the Silver Age to me, stripping either out would diminish it. I liked Lightning Lad losing an arm, and I liked the kids playing "Spaceopoloy" in the Legion clubhouse. Dream Girl was as important as Ferro Lad to the overall mixture for me.

It still seems like you are picking what you like and saying that later emphasis on that is what defines the spirit of the Silver Age.  To me, the age is what it was.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: DBN on July 06, 2007, 09:05:52 PM
Quote
I think you missed the point. The JLA founders were talking about who was going to be in the JLA. It was tense, and it had a few twists in it: for instance, the idea Batman wasn't going to be included. Also, I doubt they devoted more than three or four pages to this story per comic. The rest is good stuff like Red Arrow vs. thousands of Red Tornadoes and Solomon Grundy with superintelligence.

It's really been embarassing how Morrison's been utterly outdone; first by Busiek with his astonishing JLA arc, and now by the tense Brad Meltzer.

They talked and looked at Polaroids for 4 issues. This could have been accomplished in one issue. Bendis-level decompression. Sorry, but at $2.99 an issue, I expect my favorite heroes to actually DO something. Not stand around the Batcave and talk.

Johns managed to do the Polaroid-thing in one issue with his JSA relaunch.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: jamespup on July 06, 2007, 11:18:03 PM
Yes, they DID indeed stand around looking at Polaroids for all those issues, And I found it thoroughly captivating.

Son Of Frankenstein, the movie with Basil Rathbone, also has suprisingly little action, yet is intriguiing in the same way that Van Helsing was not


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: Criadoman on July 07, 2007, 10:59:16 PM
Actually, I've got to agree on the disliking Polaroid thing.  On the Morrison opening of JLA we shot straight into action, JLA level foes.  Riffed again in JL:TAS.  It was a great opening and instantly established the premier team here.  Shades of what made the JLA great in Silver and Bronze ages.

New JLA - shades of Infinite Crisis (repairing the wounds), distrust, etc. or in short, not the JLA I love.  I'm so with E2 Supes on what a bloody mess the heroes left.

No, I'm not liking the new JLA series.  I did like how Grant opened up the last one.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: JulianPerez on July 12, 2007, 11:06:38 PM
When I said that Megiddo's look was pretty much ripped off from Pyaray of Chaos, I didn't say it to be snippy, catty, or unfair, but because it is completely true. Have a look for yourselves:

http://www.multiverse.org/imagehive/v/gameart/DietiesDemigods/Pyaray.gif.html (http://www.multiverse.org/imagehive/v/gameart/DietiesDemigods/Pyaray.gif.html)

http://www.multiverse.org/imagehive/v/nnnnnnnnnnnn/ReaderArt/ReMeSubs/pyaray.jpg.html (http://www.multiverse.org/imagehive/v/nnnnnnnnnnnn/ReaderArt/ReMeSubs/pyaray.jpg.html)


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: TELLE on July 13, 2007, 06:28:47 AM
Wow, it really sounds as if both the Morrison and Meltzer/Johns schools have a lot of variety and points of similarity, not to mention connections to past comics continuity.  I would find it odd if any of them wanted to be identified as a sort of "Mr Silver Age" or "Pre-Crisis King" (with the exception maybe of Kurt Busiek?).  What they seem to be doing is taking the hands they have been dealt editorially, adding things they like from the older comics continuities, and writing stories in their own personal style and to their own tastes.  It just seems, on balance, that Morrison's DC superheroes are generally more fun and upbeat and less prone to include ugly art and scenes of dismemberment and rape than the other writers mentioned (Busiek again excepted).


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: JulianPerez on July 13, 2007, 09:41:53 AM
Quote from: Telle
and scenes of dismemberment and rape than the other writers mentioned (Busiek again excepted).

Did you see the scene in Busiek's JLA where Ultraman flash-fries dozens of people? Those suckers were crisped to the bone.

The cynical part of me is thinking "yeah, well, that was Busiek, not Johns, so he gets Infinite Free Passes for doing the exact same thing Johns does."

Quote from: TELLE
and less prone to include ugly art

This statement needs to be re-evaluated. Grant worked on JLA with Howard Porter, whose style is defined by skeletal bodies and whose faces are always clenched, Rob Liefeld-style.

Again, the double-standard: only Johns's work need be judged if he is paired up with a bad artist.

[quote"TELLE"]It just seems, on balance, that Morrison's DC superheroes are generally more fun and upbeat [/QUOTE]

Have you read the issues where Morrison writes Plastic Man?

His spastic, pixie-stix fueled definition of "fun" makes me want to gouge my eyes out with x-acto knives. Quite like ASS, come to think of it - when did "fun" become a synonym for "annoying?"

Grant's "Jim Carrey" Plas makes Snapper Carr look like a paragon of usefulness and dignity.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: Klar Ken T5477 on July 13, 2007, 11:36:11 AM
Speaking of which, the last two issues of All Star Superman were less than stellar and seemed padded.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: TELLE on July 13, 2007, 06:49:02 PM
Grant worked on JLA with Howard Porter, whose style is defined by skeletal bodies and whose faces are always clenched, Rob Liefeld-style.

I have to admit, I mostly just scanned those comics on the stand as I do with most new superhero comics because of the art.


Title: Re: Holy cow, am I ever tired of Grant Morrison
Post by: Jared4 on July 04, 2011, 02:28:24 PM
I also didn't like All-Star Superman as much as others have. I agree that the characterization seems minimal. Lois likes Superman because...well we know she does because that's how it's supposed to be.

Superman is really nice and polite here but he almost seems too fake. The "cute" stuff does seem a little to cute for it's own good. "Oh I'm just feeding a baby sun eater..." I understand the Silver Age was wacky,  and imaginative but here it seems as if there's no context for this stuff. We're just supposed to accept that Superman keeps crazy stuff in his fortress for fun. The minmalist text approach makes it worse. Even though I found it more enjoyable than John's run on Action Comics I don't rate it that high.

I've recently come across some Phantom Zone comics from back in the day and those stories are really good. Moore's approach to Supreme is very much like what Morrison did with A-SS but more complex. He used alot more gimmicks to to induce nostalgia like faux retro covers and strips.

That said, I think Morrison is leaps and bounds ahead of Johns, Meltzer and Simone. I don't know enough about Busiek though. His Astro City is great though and really strong on developing characters.

The thing with Geoff Johns though is that it seems like his only source of creativity is comic books whereas Morrison seems like he's a well read person. Geoff Johns only brought back Hal Jordan because the Kyle Rayner version had been around for a while and was not selling. Grant wanted to use Hawkman but was denied it because they just tried to revamp Hawkman and it failed so they wanted to take some time off from that concept.

Meltzer wote a pretty bad JLA in my opinion. I dentity Crisis was even worse.

Morrison has We3, Flex Mentallo and those two comics alone are better than most of Meltzer and Johns output. However those weren't traditional superheroes but stuff he created so maybe that's unfair. However, I can't see Meltzer or Johns coming uip with anything like that.

Gail did some great stuff with Secret Six but her WW run was average.