Top 5: F’ed Up Grant Morrison Batman Ideas

Grant Morrison's been tinkering around in the genetic code of Batman for at least twenty years. Whether you love or loathe what he's been doing (count me among the former), you have to admit it's been a long, strange trip. Here's just a few of the batshit crazy things he's injected into the mythos.

Or did he extract them?

 

5. The chilling sex life of Dr. Victor Fries (Batman #700, 2010)

This is called a word picture. It's also called "Geeeeeez…" 

 

 

4. Bat on a Bender (Batman R.I.P., 2008)

You could maybe imagine it happening to Christian Bale or Adam West. You know for sure it happened to Joel Schumacher. But for Batman to end up dropping some china cat in a back alley, laying low, sewing a new costume out of rags? That shit be unright! We're not talking some jolly pop afternoon flea powder neither. This was a dime's worth, easy. 'Cept it wasn't, cuz Bat Mite was there and then it was air tight. 

 

 

3. Talia al Ghul: Demon Succubus (Batman & Son, 2006, 2007)

While Morrison didn't come up with Damian Wayne all alone, he did take a great concept from Mike W. Barr's Son of the Demon story and bring it into modern continuity. In doing so, he elevated Talia al Ghul from femme fatale status to honest-to-goodness succubus. Maybe she's not a supernatural imp, but she fits the profile. By seducing Bruce Wayne and snatching some of his secret formula, she was able to manufacture a son. While the science project falls short of rape, it's still pretty messed up. But let's keep rolling. Mom also issued Slade Wilson full control of her son's body by installing a remote transmitter in his spine during surgery. If my mom had given an assassin keys to my body, well…no Mothers' Day brunch at Perkins, that's for sure.   

 

 

2. Top of the Pops with Professor Pyg (Batman & Robin, 2009)

It's bad enough that he played musical chairs with some folks' faces. Then he had to go and dance. 

 

 

1. Arkham Asylum (1989)

Morrison has written about his Arkham Asylum graphic novel as being something of a gauntlet for the dark knight. The death of Jason Todd and the influence of Frank Miller had transformed Batman into a much darker character than ever before, and though that tone was nothing if not appropriate to the character's origin and motif, Morrison believed that something had been lost over the years. Though his own tenure with the character has been incredibly dark and sinister, he's also reinstated some of Batman's wackier history as well as the swashbuckling side to his persona. In order to do so, he decided to purge Bats of some of his demons. As such, Arkham Asylum is easily the darkest and most horrific Batman story in terms of theme, tone, and visual style (thanks to Dave McKean's truly unsettling artwork). In it, Morrison presents some truly terrifying interpretations of Batman's rogues, including a brilliant take on the Joker which not only makes sense of his many incarnations, but celebrates them as an intrinsic element to his character. As for a specific f'ed up moment? Who's that peering out the windows of the dollhouse? 

Comments

  1. Arkham Asylum is the best Batman story ever told, IMO, definitely up there with Year One, DKR, & Batman R.I.P. (at least for me). Although idk about the Professor Pyg one, I always thought that the Joker cutting his tongue in half to make it look like a lizard’s tongue would be up there. Although I really have not read Batman & Robin b/c of the criticisms with the art change, but is the story worth getting the hardcover anyways?

  2. His revamp of the Joker from R.I.P. would be no. 6 in my book.

  3. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @SpiderTitan – Despite the art change, the writing in that second arc is still quite good. It’s also worth reading that opening story line because those issues are absolutely phenomenal. 

  4. Great list! I agree even with all the art changes B &  R is still good.  However, one thing is for sure, seeing Quitely’s art in #700 made me miss him on B & R.

  5. Batman R.I.P. and Professor Pyg are certainly my favorite freaky Morrison Batman moments.  Pyg’s dance routine is one of my favorite sequences from Quietly/Morrison.

    It has been a few years since I read Arkham Asylum, but I recall liking the story and disliking the art. Too murky.  I feel the same way about Ben Templesmith’s work.  I know that’s not a popular opinion, but I don’t enjoy that style.

    @SpiderTitan – The first three issues of Batman & Robin alone are worth the price of the first trade.  The series has been up and down since then, but it has generally been enjoyable.

  6. I think Professor Pyg tops Arkham Asylum.  That dude was f’ed up!

  7. @SpiderTitan: Yes.

  8. Truly some great moments from Morrison’s Bat-stuff. When its all said and done, Grant Morrison will be the most praised comic writer of all time, and his Batman work will be the new standard for QUALITY creative superhero comics.

  9. I think writing Batman is one of Grant Morrison’s most f’ed up ideas.

  10. Professor Pyg scares the shit out of me.

  11. Yeah that Mr. Freeze thing made me wince when I read it. Very creepy.

  12. Pyg is wonderfully creepy. Surprised to see no mention of Dr. Hurt. He’s pretty f’ed up.

    I’ll never forget the dollhouse moment from Arkham Asylum. Defninitely left an impression on my younger self. Another f’ed up moment from AA was the beetles coming out of mommy Arkham’s mouth. Then there’s Joker’s April Fool’s joke. Or Harvey Dent soiling himself. Or Mad Hatter talking about little blonde bitches. Yeah good call making the whole book #1.

  13. Literally just this second finished Batman 700 and the Mr. Freeze thing made me do a double-take. Chilling…

  14. Why isn’t Geoff Johns writing Batman?  Morisson is okay, but i’m a little tired of his "nobody knows but me" style……You’re no Moore, Grant.

  15. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Morrison isn’t always successful, but I don’t think that means he shouldn’t try telling a complex story. If that’s what you mean by "You’re no Moore." 

    I didn’t love or even like RIP when I first read it, but I kind of appreciate the concept behind Batman’s trip. As for everything else on the list, I love them both in theory and execution.  

  16. Arkham Asylum was great. My first graphic novel. Its sad that my first printing has literally fallen apart. Its funny how dated it looks now, but back then looked incredibly fresh and new. 

    Batman R.I.P. made me actually roll my eyes. That costume, the whole Zur En Arhh deal. It was one of those situations where i was scanning through the pages as fast as possible because i wanted it to be over. 

    I can’t wait till Morrison is no longer in control of my favorite character. 

  17. I hoe Morrison writes Batman for as long as he wants. This has been a fantastic run. I love these crazy/creepy concepts.

  18. I love how even drugged and against his will Batman is still amazing in bed.  Morrison really is bring the 70s sex-god Batman back.

  19. I think that Morrison’s run on Batman (although R.I.P. was the best of his run so far, IMO) is definitely a highlight of this past decade. I mean would any other writer (besides possibly Alan Moore, or even Warren Ellis) come up with half of the ideas & status quo flips that Morrison crafted. I just really believe that his run is not as appreciated as it should be. I also think that Tony Daniel’s work on R.I.P. is definitely underrated b/c he kept the tone & flow of the sotry in tact as it progressed, he also made on of the most scariest Jokers I have ever seen in any medium that could even rival The Dark Knight’s Joker IMO.

    @Conor thank you for the link I forgot that you wrote a review on the hardcover. I might just pick it up afterall. Why is it that everytime I go on iFanboy I buy something within a few days? lol

  20. I totally understand why Arkham Asylum is #1. But seeing that image again of Pyg dancing/singing….God damn that is too fucked up for words. Probably the most hilarious yet disturbing thing I read in comics last year.

    I’m glad you also pointed out the Mr. Freeze bit from #700 last week. That was an image I didn’t really wanted to think about.

  21. But Geoff is writing Batman, hes the guy on Batman: Earth One.

    Also, apparently professor pyg is in the solicit for B&R#16, so I look forward to more completely fucked up scenes with that adorable bastard

  22. After reading these comments on Arkham Asylum i’m added to my list of books to read. 

  23. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Arkham Asylum is easily my favorite major Batman story. 

  24. @kaufman1972: If you want you can aso check out this review we did of ARKHAM ASYLUM.

  25. Arkham Asylum….. I wish Dave Mckean would do more superhero stuff

  26. Morrison is a kook, I want to like him but nah.

  27. @AMblastoff If you are having trouble liking Grant Morrison’s work I would strongly recommend trying out All-Star Superman, b/c that is his most easily accessible comic that he has ever done. And after that go read We3, it is so powerful, violent, & heartbreaking you’d almost forget that its a Morrison work. After that I would say if you still do not like Morrison then there is no hope for you, but if you start to come around I would say after picking up those 3 trades I recomended (or if you want to save up on the awesome Absolute Edition of All-Star Superman coming out later this year that would be a great investment), just picking & choosing some work that might get you interested. Some people might say New X-men, some might say Doom Patrol, or The Invisibles, or even his JLA run with the "Electric Superman," but really he is such a versatile writer that you can just see any of his work & either get a mid-bending, or heartbreaking exprerience, & if you’re lucky, you will have both at the same time.

  28. I will try out that All-Star Superman. Thanks for the suggestions, I mostly have read his "weird" stuff and couldn’t get into it.

  29. For me Morrison’s JLA run has some great Bat moments, it’s Bruce at the top of his game, leading into the death and rebirth run of the last few years, Arkham Asylum and his Gothic story from Legends of the Dark Knight were interesting but JLA is where i felt he nailed the character…if you haven’t read his run the current hardback collection’s come highly recommended!

  30. He’s polarizing, like Jack White. And just as amazing! Yep, not for everybody. If you don’t like him, Grant probably doesn’t care. He is busy having an actual fun and creative life!

  31. I’m still wondering what the freaky green thing controlling the pseudo-BatMite was.  I believe I read in a Morrison interview that the answer was still to come, I guess we’ll see if he ever gets to it.

  32. Batman on a Bender – I’m not gonna lie Batman Zurenar disturbed the shit out of me.
    Talia – that’s MESSED UP! I didn’t know it happened like that.
    Pyg – ewwww. no..just-no.
    Arkham Asylum – my favorite Morrison Batman story.

  33. Thanks for the link Conor. It sounds like a great read. I’ll be ordering it off amazon soon through the ifanboy link of course.

  34. I remember reading "Batman: RIP" after puling it off the shelves at one of the local libraries here- reading it was kind of a ‘WTF’ moment. Sice when did Bruce Wayne go and create a mental alternate version of Batman?? 0.o (Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the comic)

     Thanks, Grant Morrison, for all those weird Batman moments. :