Alright, getting this in ten minutes before the day’s up. This is Superdemon from Earth 17. Grant Morrison did a sketch of him in the Final Crisis Secret Files and described him as being “hurled to earth from the doomed planet Kamelot, by the astro-magics of Merlin, The Demon Etrigan took up residence in the body of a Midwestern preacher’s son, Jason Blood. Jason’s indomitable will tamed with the unruly demon and he learned how to use its great powers in defense of Earth 17, a spooky Halloween world where magic and science co-exist.” So that’s awesome. I hope this is one of the Multiversity books.
Also, it goes without saying this is an homage to All Star Superman because… why not?
Grant Morrison: why I’m resurrecting Wonder Woman
I chat to Grant Morrison for The Guardian about Wonder Woman, Seaguy and Zenith. Grant is appearing at Stripped, the comics and graphic novels programme at the Edinburgh Book Festival, on Friday.
We spoke for over an hour, on a variety of subjects including the intricacies and ending of Batman Incorporate and Action Comics, the upcoming Annihilator, having his opinions taken as anything more than the fleeting opinions of one dude, more on that return of the Golden Age style Diana in his Earth One book, and much more.
That will all come out later - this was for the mainstream audience and got edited accordingly. It seems to have been really popular so here’s hoping we get a) more comics in the mainstream media coverage, and b) more people picking up some comics collections to give them a try ^_^
Go read! - Grant Morrison: why I’m resurrecting Wonder Woman
“Once upon a time there was a comic strip named Zenith. The creators created, the publishers published, but not a contract was there to be found. 21 years later, Rebellion are going to the printers – but who owns what?
“This then is a collection of the facts – and nothing but the facts – born from my respect and admiration for Grant Morrison, my fondness for 2000 AD, my love of Zenith, and my anxiety around the tricky ethical minefield of creator rights disputes. My biases are, as ever, laid bare for all to see!
“Those involved in legal proceedings around Zenith are not at liberty to comment.”
Artist Yanick Paquette did a very revealing interview with the site Dork Shelf about the much anticipated Wonder Woman: Earth One book on which he is collaborating with Grant Morrison. DC Comics released a page of Paquette’s art last month (see below) but from the sounds of the interview, that’s all we might see of this project, which Paquette describes as “massive” for quite awhile.
Based on what Paquette is saying this will be a re-egineering of Wonder Woman or as perhaps retro-engineering which Paquette uses is a better phrase. Things as basic as her Themyscira and her costume will change. On Themyscira he states:
We suggest that Themyscira is this utopian, beautiful, almost sci-fi world that evolved separately, but with the foundation of the Greek culture and the culture of Aphrodite (the Amazon goddess).”
But what about the costume, which when it deviates from the traditional star spangled bathing suit tends to generate fan ire?
My first thought when Wonder Woman with Grant was mentioned was ‘I don’t want her to be dressed as an American flag.’ Not because an American flag is wrong but it made no sense. She’s coming from such a rich, wonderful culture with so much iconography (Greek culture), so why does she not use that, and why would she dress up as a flag? She’s not Captain America. But at the same time, I understood that this kind of iconic colour/texture is something that’s recognizable, so in that aspect it does have value. If I could reach the same design with a few differences, but make it so it’s not coming from the flag, it’s coming from a natural extension of her culture, I could live with this. The retro-engineering of her costume into something that makes sense is already embedded into the story.” He details some of the changes he has in mind. “The animal associated to Aphrodite is a dove so instead of an eagle on [Wonder Woman’s] breastplate, it will be more of a dove. It’s not the American eagle, it’s the Aphrodite dove. Stuff that creates [the letter] W is by accident, so it’s not like she already has a letter of the alphabet on her [costume]. In the end I’ve created a structure so it feels inevitable for Wonder Woman to look the way she does.”
But don’t expect the book will have her just in the “suit”. Paquette says that he and Morrison are coming up with designs for her after hours look as well.
Paquette also offers his thoughts on sex and Wonder Woman, a topic Morrison has discussed frequently since he made it known he was taking on the project. Paquette confirms that the book will bring back some of the sexual aspects of Wonder Woman in the 40s i.e. bondage. He notes when details leaked on the book the “one thing everybody seems to be on board with is the return to bondage.”
He also muses about the double standards that women have vs. men when it comes to sex:
“Coming from another culture (and I don’t want to judge) but sometimes I look at the reaction of Americans towards sexuality, and I’m a bit perplexed, confused,” he admits. “It seems women aren’t allowed their rightful sexual empowerment beyond the moral comfort of the asexual angel/Madonna/mother role. An openly professed sexual appetite would have you classified as, well, a slut or something. I think it’s unfair. Just imagine the reverse scenario with Iron Man. He’s going out with all these women — every night it’s a new babe, a top model. She’s waking up [thinking] ‘Oh what a crazy night!’ but he’s already gone, doing some superheroing. Everybody’s happy with this and no mother thinks twice before buying Iron Man toys for their kids. Guys wish they could be Iron Man. But what if Wonder Woman would have a new boy toy every night for her own enjoyment? She certainly could, I mean, she’s Wonder Woman! How do you think the public would perceive her then? Will mothers still buy Wonder Woman lunch boxes for their daughters? Feminism did a lot for equality of sex, but clearly in that example, the equation can’t be reversed without a scandal. Obviously male and female moral rights to their own sexuality are far from equal.”
There’s quite a bit more that’s worth reading including his thoughts on the challenges of writing Wonder Woman given her status as a feminist icon.
Suspension of disbelief.
Seriously. I don’t need to know the chemical mix Peter uses for webbing. Just tell me he made it and I’ll buy it as long as the story he uses it in is good.
i should note that grant morrison is the guy who decided to explain why there was a crazy space batman who lived on planet-x and called himself the batman of zurr-en-arrgh-or-whatever by saying that batman of zurr-en-arrgh-or-whatever is batman’s purposefully-created secondary personality in case his brain is compromised so that he has a backup failsafe personality that still fights crime as batman but just in different colors
I think Morrison did on Batman the exact same thing he did on Swamp Thing or X-Men: he didn’t try to explain anything, he just retold a classic era/run (silver age Bats, Moore Swampy, Claremont X-Men) in his own style, in an hypermodern way. That’s the way he approaches mainstream super-heroics (*), and why I much prefer his more offbeat work. No one but Morrison could have created Invisibles, tons of other writers can write X-Men, and most of them will try to create new storylines..
(*) I’m not familiar enough with Silver Age Justice League of America to know if the pattern holds, but I’d be surprised if it didn’t.
“The news that Rebellion is to reprint Zenith is, on the surface, fantastic news for not only Grant Morrison fans but also comic fans in general. Aside from Marvel/Miracleman, Zenith is one of the largest gaps on many a comics shelf after a rights dispute between Morrison and publisher put paid to the collected editions being republished and Phase IV being collected at all.
“As a fan then I’m delighted that Zenith is going to be made available again, and perhaps even attract new fans despite the hefty price tag. However, as someone who respects Grant a great deal – and let me be quite clear that I’m not speaking on his behalf here – I’m quite worried about the fact that the press release comes with no statement from Grant himself.
“The world of comics is, regrettably, full of disputes between creators and publishers over the attribution of creator rights. If a collected edition of Zenith is the result of long-awaited resolution between Morrison and Rebellion then it is cause for huge celebration. If that is not the case – and I believe silence from Morrison would be damning on this count – then it is a rather sad day, regardless of my feelings as a fan.
“Personally I will be singing the praises of the comic as I have always done, and be pleased that Zenith is getting attention once more. But I’m not sure it’s the happy day that Morrison fans have been waiting on.”
MTV Geek covered DC Entertainment’s evening with Grant Morrison, where they showcasing original artwork by Yanick Paquette from the upcoming graphic novel, Wonder Woman: Earth One an the Shazam issue of Multiversity entitled “Thunderworld” with art by Cameron Stewart (above in black & white (the color is from 52 #52)). Morrison described the issue of “Thunderworld” as:
It’s told, I guess, almost in a Pixar kind of way, as if this forty-page story was the first movie in a big franchise.
Multiversity will be a 40-page nine issue run, with the first and last issue, acting as bookends. Morrison will be using the meta-structure set up in The Flash #123 “Flash of Two Worlds” where Barry Allen could read about Jay Garrick’s adventures in comic books to set up what he calls “the most terrifying threat anyone’s ever created in a comic. I don’t do hyperbole.”
One issue will have a story featuring Doctor Fate and Lady Blackhawk characters. Judging from the description below it sounds like it will be taking place on Earth 20, seen in Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1.
The second story will be a pulp adventure tale, using both old pulp characters and repurposed characters who could easily fit the mold, including an Indiana Jones by way of John Constantine “Doc” Fate. Also present will be Lady Blackhawk, the Atom and the Immortal Man in a story set in the year 2013 after a world war has decimated the human populace down to two billion people.
The details described below on the Freedom Fighters issue sound pretty crazy. I wonder how different this world will be from the on that appears above in one panel of 52 #52.
After that, readers will be due for a trip to Earth-10 (formerly Earth X in the pre-Crisis world) home of the Nazi superheroes that helped defeat the Allies in World War II. The issue, which Morrison gleefully revealed “opens with Hitler on the toilet reading Action Comics” and yelling about Superman. Morrison reveals that in this world, Superman’s rocket landed in 1938 in Nazi-occupied territory and Hitler raises the child. Everything in the story (which Morrison compares in scope to Shakespeare and HBO epics) will evolve from that point, with Superman realizing, in his twenty-fifth year of life, the precise nature of Hitler’s evil and realizing “who the baddie is”. Deciding instead to take down the Nazi regime and create a utopia, Superman won’t stray too far from how he’s been raised, with Morrison promising sweeping Wagnerian architecture and a melodramatic world. He promises the story will delve deep into Superman’s inner conflict; he’s created a Utopian society that looks perfect but “is built on the bones of the dead” and has to come crumbling down. At this point in the story, in 1956, Morrison will re-introduce the Quality characters known collectively as The Freedom Fighters, this time making them both literal and figurative enemies of Hitler. Uncle Sam, the last remaining vestige of America, will again form and lead the team. Quoting Emma Lazarus (“Give me…your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”), Morrison teases a team featuring a version of Dollman who’s a Jehovah’s Witness, a homosexual Ray, a gypsy Phantom Lady and an African version of Black Condor in what Morrison calls “the return of the oppressed.” Thematically, the story will deal with a society under siege by terrorists who are in the right, and the regime they’re striking against knows it.
The coverage of the evenings events are pretty detailed and they go into a lot more. It’s a good read. I just picked out the JSA related material. I’d suggest reading the full article.
“No one remembers Limbo once they’ve left it”
ANIMAL MAN OMNIBUS HC
Chas TrOUg ???
Why you should buy the new issue of SciFi Now magazine ;D (btw, ESPECIALLY if you are Damian fans. Ahem)
The current issue of SciFi Now (#75) features a four page spread for my latest interview with Grant Morrison, talking all about Batman and Action Comics, and explaining how the writer is not moving away from superheroes, or from DC, but simply spreading his wings a little.
Looking at his end issues with Bruce and Clark, Grant also talks about Happy and his upcoming projects. It’s a bit more of a conversational interview this, so non-Morrison fans can keep their hate to themselves! For fans, definitely check out this issue and enjoy - we even talk about Stephanie Brown, the Bat-Cow, and Opal Fruits :)
Source: SciFi Now: Interview with Grant Morrison @ comicbookgrrrl.com
Grant Morrison speaks out about Alan Moore, in my latest article over on The Beat:
Hope the following rather massive info-dump helps clarify a few things. I also hope this may explain why I’ve sometimes felt myself to be the victim of a genuine grudge that seems quite staggering in its sincerity and longevity. Reading the comments section following “The Strange Case of Alan Moore and Grant Morrison” I can’t help but note how heavily my detractors rely on a total lack of research, gross distortions of historical fact, and playground name-calling to support their alleged points.
Not that I expect this to make much difference but the opportunity to separate fact from fantasy is a welcome one. Pádraig quotes from Alan Moore discussing me during a webchat earlier this year without challenging even the most obvious and basic of the many historical inaccuracies and contradictions in Moore’s assertions. In fact, Moore’s recollections are completely unreliable and I wouldn’t mind having some facts put on record, once and for all.
Thanks to Pádraig for allowing me to respond directly to his piece and to Laura for bringing it to my attention and offering me space on The Beat to get some things off my medal-heavy chest.
- Grant Morrison
Read in full here: The Strange Case of Grant Morrison and Alan Moore, As Told By Grant Morrison