Category Archives: Grant Morrison

Top Ten Grant Morrison Works which don’t involve mainstream superheroes

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With Grant Morrison’s mind-blowingly epic seven year run on Batman recently coming to a close, I thought now may be a good time to talk about a few of his… other works – those that are even freakier, more surrealistic and more fetishistic than his regular mainstream superhero output.

Everyone is familiar with his run on JLA, or All-Star Superman, sure… but let’s focus on the Grant Morrison who is unfettered from the chains of rigorous continuity and pre-established, corporate-owned characters with very particular parameters that you have to stay within, one way or another, while writing them.

Let’s go all out and take a trip into Morrison’s dark and fantastic mind as we look at the top ten Grant Morrison works which don’t involve mainstream superheroes:

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The End… or, The Ouroboros Finally Swallows its’ Tail

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With today’s release of Batman Incorporated, Volume II, #13, Grant Morrison has officially ended his long, seven year(!) tenure on Batman. It has been an incredible ride and for my money, it still stands as the greatest, most intricate, thoughtful and subversive story the character has ever been proxy for.

The real question on everyone’s mind though – did this final ‘double-sized’ issue deliver the payoff that those seven years rightfully deserve? Well…

That’s impossible, right?

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CA Reviews: Batman Incorporated Vol.2 #12

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Jeez, that was a long wait. After last month’s wacky surprise pit-stop in the land of Burnham’s Japan, we finally return to the root story – and thank goodness, it was mostly worth the wait.

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CA Reviews: Batman Incorporated Vol.2 #11

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What the fuck did I just read?

Seriously, with this internet 3.0 shit again?

The only other issue of Morrison’s ginormous Batman run thus far that I’ve felt this way about was Vol.1 #8, which also felt the need to try and make “internet 3.0” a cool thing. Well, this story is better than the last… but how much and does it really matter if it is just a polished turd? Read on and find out in the full Batman Incorporated #11 review!

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CA Reviews: Batman Incorporated Vol.2 #10

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Well, as always we have a lot going on in this issue – so let’s get to it!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

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CA Reviews: Batman Incorporated Vol.2 #9

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Well, Batman Inc. is kind of getting short shrift from me this month due to other engagements, so this is a stream of consciousness review and not heavily edited – yet, come on, you know what I’m going to say… but hell, continue on reading anyway!

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CA Reviews: Batman Incorporated Vol.2 #8

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Rest in peace this time? Not Rot in purgatory? Let’s hope.

It’s been spoiled to high heaven already – but this is it, Morrison destroys his creation.

Click through to join in on the memorial –

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Grant Morrison on Fatman on Batman

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If you haven’t heard it yet, head over to Kevin Smith’s Smodcast site and listen to the fantastic interview he has up with Grant Morrison. Part one is there now, with part two coming later in the week.

I really enjoyed the discussion and I think a lot of Morrison detractors will find it difficult to continue dismissing him for the eccentricities that they like harping on him for, if they hear him lucidly explain the why and the how of the kookier legends out there concerning his ‘trips’ and whatnot. Sure it is still all a bit… odd, to say the least. But I’ll be damned if I’ve ever heard someone tell a story like that and still come off sounding reasonable and open-minded about the entire thing.

A few highlights:

(@1:06:00) On the story he was telling in ‘Arkham Asylum: A Serious House On Serious Earth‘:

“This is Bruce Wayne, when he goes to bed at 8 in the morning, this is what he dreams every night. That’s it. It wasn’t meant to be, ‘this actually happened’, this is Bruce Wayne’s dreams this is what happens all the time in that man’s head.”

Smith is a bit blown back by hearing this for the first time, surprising himself when he realizes that he never really knew if it was canon or not.  Morrison continues:

“But it’s a canon dream, it’s the ultimate dream of Batman so you need to know it because that’s what Bruce dreams like; and it’s horrible and he’s ineffectual in a lot of cases, and everything’s a reflection of himself.”

 

Then, at the very tail end of the podcast, in a preview for this week’s second part, while discussing Miller’s TDKR, Morrison explains his thoughts on the ‘psychopathic, dark Batman’ that took hold after Miller’s hugely successful novel – and in turn – how he himself sees and writes the character:

“I like things to make sense, and for me, growing up reading Denny O’Neil and all that stuff, Batman for me was a guy who had been all around the world and he’d had all these amazing fetish girls chasing him, he was super rich, he had the best toys in the world and what he’d done is dealt with his trauma in a very unusual way, but it was a way that totally worked for this guy. …He made it work, he didn’t just get drunk, destroy his life and blow the fortune; he made it useful – and I think, okay, we have to accept that if he’s a super martial arts master and master of meditation and he can slow down his breath and survived for an hour in a coffin… people say ‘well, you’re doing Batgod’, to me I’m being real about who this guy would be at this point in his life. I have to acknowledge, this is the fucking Batman, you know, and he can do all this stuff and honestly, you don’t go through courses in Buddhist meditation and come out an asshole at the end… if you do it right, you know.

So I thought Batman was the most sorted, together, humanist icon on the planet – and that’s where I found myself kind of falling out with people who thought he was tortured, or damned, or depressed, or unable to assuage that guilt. I thought … every night he went out, he dealt with that guilt and just ‘okay, I’m making things better’. So I saw him fundamentally positive and mentally positive and able to inspire people.”

That right there encapsulates the Batman that I grew up reading as well – and to me, explains why Morrison’s characterization rings most true for my tastes; I also see Batman as a healthy and positive character and I am in total agreement with Mr. Morrison that, for the character to truly work, he has to be.

The whole interview was a joy  and is just some brilliantly fun stuff to listen to – give it a look and be sure to check back later this week on the Smodcast site for part two!

CA Reviews: Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 # 4

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My unbridled love for Grant Morrison’s Batman is very well documented by now, so if you don’t want to hear this giddy cheerleader shout out a long-winded rally for the team, then please, go read some other comic blog… all you’re going to get from here on out is an extended fangasm… because really, this issue deserves it.

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Monday Bat-page

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Every Monday I’ll post a random, but fantastic, page from a Batman comic – this will improve all of our weeks.

No context, no commentary, just:

(Batman Incorporated #0 – Writer: Grant Morrison/Chris Burnham – Artist: Frazier Irving)

Monday Bat-page

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Every Monday I’ll post a random, but fantastic, page from a Batman comic – this will improve all of our weeks.

No context, no commentary, just:

(Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #2 – Writer: Grant Morrison – Artist: Frazer Irving)

Monday Bat-page

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Every Monday I’ll post a random, but fantastic, page from a Batman comic – this will improve all of our weeks.

No context, no commentary, just:

(Batman #668 – Writer: Grant Morrison – Artist: J.H. Williams III)

CA Reviews: Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3

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Holy disappearing Bat-book! There are SPOILERS after the jump! Since most of you definitely haven’t read this issue yet, I’ll  say it again, just to make it perfectly clear:

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

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Some Quick Thoughts On Batman Inc. Vol. 2 #1

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This isn’t a proper review, rather just a quick sketch of what I thought of my most anticipated book of 2012.

I plan on doing full annotations on the whole run, so that will come soon, but for now this is all I have time for before I leave town for a week and wander around the wilderness without computers or cell phones.

Spoilers ahead!

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Monday Bat-Page

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Every Monday I’ll post a random, but fantastic, page from a Batman comic – this will improve all of our weeks.

No context, no commentary, just:

*Since I skipped last week I’ve put up a two page splash; it counts for two… so we’re caught up.*

(Batman #68 – Writer: Grant Morrison – Artist: Tony Daniel)

A Reader’s Guide To Grant Morrison’s Batman

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Well, not ALL of Grant Morrison’s Batman; his stand alone stories are not discussed here – only the currently in progress epic, which will continue on during 2012/2013’s relaunched Batman Inc.

If there is one question I’ve answered more than any other in the past few years in regards to Batman, it is “what is the reading order of Grant Morrison’s run”, or some variation thereof. So I have created this list as a permanent resource and answer to that question. I’ve also created this list for my own edification, to satiate my own disturbingly deep love for Morrison’s Bat tale.

This will hopefully be a straightforward, simple and easy to follow chronological list that will tell you the reading order and supply you with visual representations of all the comics that make up the run, to help the die hard, single issue collectors out there. (I’ve pictured all variant versions of issues below, but not all re-printings where the only thing that changed was a color tone shift and I’ve also put this list here as pure text, just in case you simply want to copypasta it onto your phone, etc. for use in comic shops.)

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CA Reviews: Batman Inc. Leviathan Strikes!

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MANY SPOILERS AHEAD! TURN BACK NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THIS BOOK!

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Monday Bat-page

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Every Monday I’ll post a random, but fantastic, page from a Batman comic – this will improve all of our weeks.

No context, no commentary, just:

(Batman Arkham Asylum: A Serious House On Serious Earth – Writer: Grant Morrison – Artist: Dave McKean)

Top Ten Most Amazingly Badass Batman Moments

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* This List was originally published back in August 2011*

Since the DC Universe will be re-launched in just a few weeks (sob…), I thought now would be the perfect time to compile a list of the Top Ten Most Amazingly Badass Batman Moments. In order to really celebrate and perhaps even say goodbye to the “current” continuity we all know and love, I’ll only be utilizing the modern age of Batman which I grew up with to pull the moments on this list from.

What that means is that I’m using Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (1986) as a starting point and ending with Grant Morrison’s R.I.P./Return (2010) storyline – So this list encompasses a very small fraction of the overall Batman timeline. Yes, regrettably, all the great moments from the early 80’s and before will be left out – and whatever is currently happening in Batman Inc. or Detective Comics, etc. will also be absent from this list. Also – it has to be Bruce under the cowl for the moment to count. Sorry Dick, you were great, really you were – but you’re simply not The Goddamned Batman. Otherwise, anything is eligible for inclusion: one shots, out of canon stories and Elseworlds tales.

With the qualifying factors out of the way, let’s do a quick refresher; a run-down of sorts, and list some of Batman’s main attributes and skills. These will be important to keep in mind when considering all the numerous ways in which “Batman being a badass” could be defined. The entries on this top-ten list should be seen as reflecting my personal favorite moments which exemplify some or all of the qualities mentioned below:

Reasons Batman is probably a total badass:

  • He is a polymath, concurrently possessing a genius-level intellect in a large variety of sciences and disciplines.
  • He is the world’s greatest detective (beyond the brilliant observational and inductive/deductive reasoning he possesses, he is also a world-class forensic scientist)
  • He is a master escape artist
  • He is one of the most accomplished martial artists in the world (his is also considered one of the greatest strategists and tacticians in the world)
  • He is a master of disguise
  • Through intense and constant training and self-discipline his strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, and coordination are at the peak of human potential.

With that out of the way, let’s not waste any more time, onward to the pretty pictures:

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