Night Thrasher

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My Love/Hate Relationship with Grant Morrison's work

My Love/Hate Relationship with Grant Morrison’s work

I’ve been reading through some of my past posts and I really come off as a Morrison hater. So, to remedy that I’m creating this blog post to make my feeling about his work crystal clear. I don’t hate his work, but I do think he is overrated. Now here’s the thing, you can be a fan of someone and not think they’re the greatest ever at their craft. I consider myself a fan of Morrison, but I definitely wouldn’t say he’s the best ever or even in my top 10. I much rather read something by Hickman, Johns or Brubaker. But I’m going to go through my likes and dislikes of his work.

Likes

1. He thinks outside of the box on everything. With a Morrison story there is no such thing as cut and paste. He takes everything you thought and turns it on its head. His run on Batman is a prime example of this. The way he blended in the Silver Age stories and made them seem as if that’s what the original writers intended is a marvel in and of itself. Bat mite finally made sense to me.

2. High concepts seem to be his comfort zone. When some writers try to do expansive stories for characters that don’t seem to fit with expansive themes then they more often than not fall flat on their ears reaching for stars. Morrison introduces concepts that sound silly with the spoken word and puts them on paper as naturally as you and I would breathe. Case in point; Lobo and the talking Space Dolphin in 52. If you read the trade then in the annotations they (Waid, Rucka, Johns and Giffen) pretty much admit that the far out stuff was almost all Morrison.

3. Bravery! This is almost a continuation of the second point but not really. Morrison isn’t afraid to take what you thought you knew and completely give that a finger between the index and the ring finger and make it better. Read Marvel Boy and you’ll understand what I’m saying. Noh-Varr is a Kree, we know what that is right? Blue or Pink, imperialistic race with a hard on for killing Skrulls. Wrong! Somehow Morrison mixed in an origin that involved cockroach DNA and made it super awesome. But it was still Kree. It is an awesome series that I advise everyone to read.

Dislikes

1. Morrison is a little too fan boyish for characters he likes. I wouldn’t mind this as much, but you can honestly tell which characters Morrison has an actual love for and which he’s just collecting a check for. His All Star Superman read like a glorified fan fic IMO. All it was is a 12 issue feat fest for Superman. I mean honestly he had a pet Suneater. I like not love Superman as much as the next guy but that’s a little too much for me. It already seems to me that all Superman fans want him to do is outdo what he did in the last issue with an even more outlandish feat and not really care about character development. And ASS was just that. The whole story read like fan fic to me. Sorry!

2. Morrison doesn’t care for continuity. I know that I said in my likes that he did continuity during his Batman run well, but that was for a character that he loves. You can see the love for Batman spill off the page during his run. But for characters he doesn’t (i.e. X-Men), continuity just gets in the way of the story he wants to tell. Never mind that Scott and Jean were actually doing well as a couple and were shown as a loving couple before he came along. Morrison doesn’t like Jean, Jean gotta die! I honestly thought he didn’t read too much of what came along before him with the X-Men and I still don’t think he’s picked up too many X-books in his lifetime. He gave Emma Frost extra powers because he couldn’t use Colossus and explained it as a “secondary mutation” and did the same for Beast. Never mind that the whole secondary mutation concept has been explained already previously in X-books with characters like Nightcrawler. Or, the fact that Beast feral appearance isn’t a mutation but the result of his own experimentation on himself. Those things just got in the way of the story that he wanted to tell.

3. My last gripe is not of him, but of those who worship him. Morrison gets all the credit in the world for being original and creative (even though I see tons of similarities between him and Alan Moore and Warren Ellis), but when someone else does something creative and original fans rip it before it bears fruit. Two examples that I will give is, Hickman’s Avengers run and Slott’s Superior run. First Hickman’s Avengers. Hickman is crafting something big. We know it’s big because he keeps reminding us it’s big. The concepts in both of his Avengers books are of an epic scope and that is taking some time to set up. Hickman’s style is like setting up an elaborate domino maze. It’s huge and intricate, but if you have the patience then the payoff is worth it. I feel if his name were Morrison then a lot of people would be willing to sit through 48 issues of buildup and even if the ending were anticlimactic then some would be willing to call it the greatest story ever. The same could be said of Slott’s Superior Spider-Man. Slott is doing something truly bold and original but fans are ready to take his head off because he’s not writing the Spider-Man they’ve been getting. If his name were Morrison would you be so impatient? Would you shut up and enjoy the ride? I for one, am entertained regardless of whose name is on the title page.

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