When did everyone start taking Grant Morrison’s comics so personally?


In which we start with a recently received e-mail:

Greetings O Great and Powerful Cosmic iFanboy Trio,

I am a longtime listener who has come to the end of his patience and has come to beg an answer from Conor’s Cosmic oracle.

Let me preface this by saying that I LIKE Grant Morrison. I even understand his stuff most of the time. Heck I followed the Invisibles for the most part. I also think the man is capable of writing utter dreck. (Anyone remember The Filth?) So i have nothing personal against him as I implore your Cosmic Wisdom.

So Conor please gaze into the cosmic bleed and riddle me this.

What the FRAK is up with Batman R.I.P. and Final Crisis? I mean Batman R.I.P. Was supposed to be about the “Death” of Batman then we were told that to find out what “REALLY” happened we had to read Final Crisis. Now as far as I know Final Crisis doesn’t happen in real continuity (except where it does). So Final Crisis is being told outside the regular titles and the regular DC continuity EXCEPT FOR FRAKING BATMAN. Evidently all of the Batman stuff is a direct tie in to Final Crisis which makes Batman RIP a Final Crisis tie-in book which kind of takes away from the impact of the story to me. Its like Morrison saying look all the great story I told in RIP is just a set up for my wild crazy disjointed badly told and poorly drawn Crisis book. Didn’t Bats deserve to “die” in his own book? The big red blue and yellow boy scout got to.

My point is that when DC has a huge cosmic crossover they always come out of it with a few key people remembering what happened and the rest of the world blissfully unaware of the bullet they just dogged. Final Crisis is a continuity blip on DC’s radar. Doesn’t Batman deserve better?

As for Final Crisis itself: Why can’t the hard core Final Crisis fans at least admit that putting Final Crisis #6 out before all the tie ins came out that resolved all the story threads really made it confusing? I mean Conor you said that it didn’t matter how Supes got there. Fine, then I dare you NEVER to read the next Superman 3D Final Crisis tie-in. It is obviously not important right? You were happy enough to dismiss Ron and Josh’s questions so I Dare you to never pick it up and read it since Final Crisis itself is obviously a tour de force all on its own…unless its not? See even when Secret invasion was sucking in the main book Bendis was telling us how it was all set up in the tie-ins. Morrison Seems to only want a special cult of insiders to get this book and I am not ashamed to say I am not one of the blessed. So I beg of you great and powerful oracle of all that is good and right in the DC universe: Conor, tell me how I am wrong. I am willing to admit my error and come back into the fold. Just explain it all to me. Make it make sense. That’s all we really want. Don’t tell us it doesn’t matter where Superman came from. Show us where he came from and tell us what the frak he is doing. Open up Grant Morrison’s head and let us drink from the majesty and madness that is his brain. I want to believe so bad I am considering changing my name to Fox Mulder!

So please Conor. Lay it all out there for us. Don’t wait for the 7th issue. Start now. There are so many of us wandering Lost in the Wilderness please share your light with us.

Now in all seriousness I also want to say that thanks to you guys and a few other podcasts I NEVER read Wizard anymore, I have picked up several comics i never would have read before, and you guys are a regular part of my Sunday/Monday every week. Please keep up the good work.

Thanks.

Jason D. Storey
AKA
DarqueKnight333

 



If you had asked me before Final Crisis… hell, before Batman… to identify the most controversial creator in super hero comic books I probably would have said Jeph Loeb. Or John Byrne. Or Warren Ellis. Or maybe even Rob Liefeld
. 

Grant Morrison wouldn’t have even entered into the conversation.

And yet Morrison is the one comic book creator who is currently responsible for generating the greatest amount of hysteria on iFanboy.com these days. If a Grant Morrison comic book ships you can bank on an intense… hmm, let’s say, “discussion” breaking out. Every single time. It happened last week. It happened this week. It will happen again next week.

And it’s the same argument every single time.

A segment of the people who seem to intensely dislike Grant Morrison’s work get mad at the people who do like it and call them elitist snobs.

A segment of the people who really like Grant Morrison’s work get mad at the people who don’t like it and speculate on their level of reading comprehension.

Then the first segment of people get mad at the second segment for implying that they are stupid.

Then the second segment takes umbrage at the first segment’s accusations.

And the moderate people in the middle get drowned out or they walk away. (Wait, am I writing about U.S. politics or Grant Morrison?)

Lather, rinse, repeat.

This is a fascinating and somewhat baffling phenomena that is occurring. These aren’t just disagreements about the relative talents or merits of a comic book creator, these are people taking things very, very personally. When did that happen? When exactly did someone having a differing opinion on Grant Morrison become a personal insult? I am truly at a loss to explain this or even to identify when it started happening. We did an entire week devoted to Grant Morrison last year and we didn’t see anything even close to this level of venom. In fact, I looked back through the comment sections on the videos and articles and there is hardly any arguing over Morrison at all! This is a very recent trend. And it’s a disturbing and perplexing one.

Whatever happened to “Eh, he’s not for me. If he’s for you that’s great. Enjoy”? Or “While I love Grant Morrison’s stuff I can see how it’s not for some people”? What is it about Grant Morrison stuff lately that makes people get so accusatory? And not just accusatory but it’s personally accusatory. It’s like the mere fact that someone likes something you don’t (or vice versa) is somehow a reflection on you.

According to what I see online there are many people who seem to HATE Jeph Loeb’s writing with a burning, fiery passion and yet they, for the most part, leave those who like him alone to enjoy his books. Not with Grant Morrison. No, an epic debate has to ensue every time his comic books come out.

I’ll tell you what, we get a lot of e-mails disagreeing with what we write here on iFanboy.com or with the opinions that we express on the Pick of the Week Podcast, but we rarely get an e-mail like the one quoted above filled with such passionately personal ire. Not even with Secret Invasion! Not even with Civil War! Nope, only with Morrison, and only lately. Clearly something is stirring up the passions. 

And this is not me taking a shot at Jason up there, he feels strongly about Final Crisis and “Batman R.I.P.,” and about the fact that we disagree over their merits, and that’s totally fine. I respect Jason’s opinion, just as I do Josh and Ron’s opinions on Final Crisis #6, even if I don’t agree with them. I’m okay with people not liking things that I do or even liking things the way that I do. Not every piece of art is for every person; nor will people all react the same way to a given piece of art. If we did it would cease to be art.

Grant Morrison is a tough and challenging comic book writer. These days he is as much interested in exploring and experimenting with the medium as he is with anything else. I think that much is very clear at this point so I’m constantly confused as to why this seems to surprise people with each new issue he puts out. Morrison is definitely not for every one — some people don’t want their superhero comics to be tough and challenging — and that’s totally fine. There’s nothing wrong with your tastes not matching up with a particular creators. There are plenty of creators whose work I avoid because my tastes don’t match theirs. 

Personally, I like a little bit of tough and challenging and envelope pushing in my superhero comics but I wouldn’t want them all to be like that, just like I wouldn’t want them all to be straight forward slugfests. I like to have a little variety in my reading experience.

It’s not like Grant Morrison’s influence has taken over the DC Universe. He only writes a couple of books! It’s very easy to avoid his style of storytelling if it’s not something you enjoy. Hell, while he has been writing Batman the other Batbooks have been of a totally different tone. Morrison’s influence doesn’t even extend among the family of books he is heading! The DCU is squarely under the stylistic influence of Geoff Johns at the moment, not Grant Morrison.

So, what is going on here? Why all the sudden battle lines being drawn over Grant Morrison? Why the hysteria?

Those are questions that we have been pondering recently at iFanboy HQ and to be honest, we’re at a loss to answer them.

 

Comments

  1. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Simply put, I think the reason it’s become so personal is that, in recent months, he’s brought his experimental storytelling style and big ideas to more mainstream books, and more importantly, mainstream characters.  I don’t think people take issue with his unique approach when he’s writing something like Animal Man because Animal Man isn’t as sacred a cow as Batman.  I’ve heard the same level of ire surrounding his work on New X-Men.  People can appreciate experimentation and the total transmogrification of a sacred cow into a very special and bizarre kind on burger, but only when it’s a cow they don’t know and light candles for.  Personally, I love some of his ideas and dislike others.  Because he takes bigger risks than just about any other writer in mainstream superhero comics.  So he’s bound to be hit or miss.  And that’s objectively and subjectively. 

    So, why is the ire up especially now, more than ever before?  He’s writing two of the biggest books out there.  RIP and Final Crisis are big idea books and they’re soley his (unlike, say, 52 which was a group effort).  And they’re really out there.  I admire a lot of it, but I scratch my head at some other things.  But when a writer takes such big risks and with such iconic characters, there are people who are going to get riled up.  

  2. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Of course, that is not my endorsement of taking things so personally.  While I think it’s important to read critically and to identify what you do or don’t like as a reader, that shouldn’t outweigh reading for enjoyment.  And to dwell on things you don’t enjoy and evangelise those impressions…well, that’s just cause for stomach aches for all parties involvewd. 

  3. Eh, he’s not for me.  If he’s for you that’s great.  Enjoy

  4. "It’s not like Grant Morrison’s influence has taken over the DC Universe"

    hasn’t it though? if you’re a fan of the dc universe, you can’t really skip a crisis, can you? sure, you can skip batman and be happy, but final crisis is unavoidable, that is if you plan on knowing what’s going on in the dcu after it’s over.

    that’s the problem for me, i think. i dislike feeling like i HAVE to buy something i dislike. and of course, yeah, i don’t HAVE to buy it. i can just read the spoilers online or whatever. but you guys know that’s not the same thing. half the fun of reading comics is engaging with the comics community (which is why i listen to your show) and skipping an event means skipping a TON of the community stuff. i would miss out on so many discussions, and arguments, and message board threads, and podcasts, and articles, and interviews, etc.

    so yeah, i think people feel like they HAVE to buy it, and that’s the problem. just an opinion.

  5. I’m a huge Grant Morrison fan.  I’ve enjoyed almost every Morrison project i’ve read, except for his run on X-men which i thought was too conservative.  I don’t begrudge folks their opinions, and i think Paul is partially right, but i also think that part of what’s going on is that the serial nature of the comic medium, combined with the fact that unlike, say LOST, fans have to buy each installment of a story, leads readers to develop a unique proprietary relationship to stories and characters, to feel entitled to own a story, a book, a character.  When that story challenges them in ways they do not want to be challenged, when it is purposefully esoteric or complex, people get pisse doff because they feel that they are being cheated.

    And that’s a shame, because Morrison’s "Kirby Apocalypse" is probably the smartest, most provocative "event comic" DC’s ever done.

  6. I think Paul hit the nail pretty squarely on the head.  For me, I never much cared for Morrison, I could take him or leave him.  No, that’s not really honest, I didn’t like his stuff.  But that’s okay, because he wasn’t playing in my sandbox.  Now he is, and I don’t like it.  I’ll live, though.

    Another part of it, and I’m not saying the iFanboys are the culprits, they’re decidedly not, is that I find that a lot of Grant Morrison fans have a backhanded habit of suggesting that people who don’t like Morrison are stupid.  Statements like "He doesn’t make it easy for the reader" or "He just doesn’t spoonfeed his readers", are pretty ubiquitous in a discussion between people who like and people who dislike Morrison’s writing.  And it’s pretty hard not to take a statement like that as "You’re too dumb to appreciate it", so from that point forward it just devolves into a more vitriolic argument.

  7. The reason I didn’t like Final Crisis is because I didn’t get what the hell was happening. Because you must read Jack Kirby’s whole Fourth World Saga to understand what’s happening. Same goes for R.I.P. The whole of Morrison’s run has to be read to understand what’s happening.  I have read neither, though after rereading the whole of Final Crisis issues, I’m interested in the Fourth World!

  8. Firstly, let me say that I only in the last 2 years have discovered the joy that is DC comics.  It has been a breath of fresh air compared to the repetitive storylines of the Xmen that I followed for years. (Gee…I wonder which Xmen will become an Apocalypse horseman this time?)  I have loved and held close to my heart all of Geoff Johns work that I have read and it is true that he is the "nail" of DC right now.  In my effort to clearly understand DCU continuity and stories, I willingly scoured the internet, wikipedia, and the DC encyclopedia and had a ball doing it.  Morrison has written interesting stories, but he always seems to clumsily pull it off.  He always seems to get muddled down in the third act and throws in ideas at the last minute which make the story even more confusing.  I wonder sometimes if his artists even clearly understand what is going on because that has been confusing as well.  I’m 31 now and I like my stories to read like a roller coaster.  They can go slowly, up and down, but never a quick detour to the teacups.  I don’t have time to scour Grant Morrison’s website and hear his explanation of things.  I actually work for a living.  I already paid 6 bucks to be disappointed by the Matrix Revolutions and not know what the hell happened.  With Johns, I always know exactly what happened and love every minute of it.  With Morrison, I’m 3/4 into the next issue before I understand what the hell he wrote.  I think DC needs to severely reign in Morrison if they are going to use him as a leg to stand on.  He has good ideas, but his execution is horrible.  That being said he IS better than Liefeld.  ANYONE is better that Liefeld.  I still have nightmares.  Oh, and the Batman escape, I can take somethings on faith, but couldn’t we have at least had a one page checkin with Batman in the last 3 issues just to see what his status was.  I had to review all the issues to see if I missed something.

  9. its a love/hate relationship for me. i like his comics but sometimes they just confuse the hell out of me. like batman RIP. i love Final Crisis though. and some of his other works just confuse me. other than that i love him.

  10. I don’t get why everyone says that RIP and Final Crisis are only for someone entrenched with knowledge of the backstories.  I got into comics last June.  I had no real knowledge of Marvel or DC aside from childhood cartoons.  I picked up RIP and Final Crisis and had no problems understanding either.  I thought they were very accessible.  I’m sure I would have gotten more out of them like Conor did if I had read all the stuff he had, but I followed and enjoyed both.

    Now, my only gripe with RIP.  I loved the story and read the tie-ins and loved most of those as well.  I thought it was a great story of what the world is like without Batman.  My gripe is only this (and who knows, it may even be resolved next week in FC7):  why did RIP have the ending it did when Final Crisis played out the way it did.  That is my only gripe.  And maybe it’s the Ron in me (I can hear Ron laughing in my head about that line), but I want to know what happens between those two.

    Other than that, I enjoyed both with little to no prior knowledge of the DCU.

  11. I also wonder how much of it is delays. Now delays happen and they happen to many books, but I’m wondering if the fact that they are happening in these bigger headier books is more frustrating. People want hints or answers, but months and months go before we get the next installment. Having bigger books be delayed is frustrating, having bigger head scartching books be delayed can be murder, for some I assume.

    I like Morrison’s stuff, don’t love it, but like it, and I’m not frustrated with F.C. or Batman possible because I have sooo much stuff to read.

  12. Very well done Conor. I too have been recently wondering this same thing.

  13. You know, we X-Men fans have been taking Grant Morrison comics personally since before it was cool.*  Never let it be said we aren’t ahead of the curve.

    *(Irony alert.  I am aware that there is nothing ‘cool’ about what you’re describing, and many of the people involved need to chill.)   

     

  14. Red Hulk and Amazing Spider-Man are two of the most popular books on comic stands.

    Take from that what you will about "comic book fans".

  15. @nickmaynard: I’m a DC fan and I’m not reading Crisis or anything tied into it, other than Batman and the Green Lantern one shot.  Superman: New Krypton is working fine without tying into Crisis, as is Green Lantern.  Both of which are being directed by Johns, not Morrison.  Also, if you go back to look at his JLA work, those were some of the best JLA stories ever written, and they were extremely accessible.  So, he can do both the obscure and the mainstream if he wants to. 

    I would also agree with the opinion that Morrison’s work is, for some, akin to a great but little known band or director- if your familiar with the material and get it, you achieve some sort of promotion to the "in crowd" of the sophisticated, but if you don’t get it you’re just some stupid pleb.  I’ve talked to my FLCS owner about Morrison’s X-Men work, and while he doesn’t hold the snooty prospective mentioned above, he’s certainly heard it from other comic fans that he’s talked to.  I’ve also seen it in literary analyses of his comics- one I read lightly skipped over his runs on JLA and X-Men, but "Seven Soldiers,"oh man what a metaphysical tour de force of symbolism and meaning and if you don’t see it go back to reading Archie.  That was the tone I got, and I really wish I could remember the name of the book it came from (I want to say Understanding Comics but that doesn’t sound right- it came out in the last year or two, I know that much).  But, in a nutshell, that’s the vibe I get about Morrison’s work: high art for the elite.

  16. Sorry, "perspective, not "prospective."  Dirk fing blasted lack of editing option… :).

  17. Let me be honest, right now I am no fan of Grant Morrison.  That said, I have nothing against those who enjoy and appreciate his work.  I’m just not one of them.  I hated Batman RIP.  The Bat deserved a better story – and, as has been pointed out before, to die in his own book.  No fake death, only to die in another book – and it wasn’t even a "good" death.  I loathe Final Crisis.  I’m a big Kirby fan and do not like what he is doing to the Fourth World and it wonderful characters.  It’s just a dreadful series.  No even close to the quality of the previous Crises books.  And I will confess that I don’t get most of Morrison’s storylines in either RIP or Final Crisis.  I’ve been reading comics for a long time and I just don’t believe that they should be that hard to understand.  Nor do I believe that I should be slammed for not getting Morrison.  Enough said!

  18. Hmm. My post above got all messed up and chopped off n cutting & pasting. What it was meant to say was:

    Red Hulk and Amazing Spider-Man are two of the most popular books on comic stands. For the most part mainstream fans of superhero comics enjoy linear stories and are especially protective of their favorite properties.

    Its why Morrison on New X-men pissed people off so much. X-men fans simply wanted the X-men to conitnue as always had with a new coat of paint on the same beaten down house. Beast showing up as a cat perspon with little in story concession to readers to explain why, such that we are supposed to think of the symbolic rather thango looking for the "origin" cat person Beast really pisses off people that want Dark Phoenix Saga I, II, II, IV…XI et cetera. 

    Comic book fans like their funny books to remain safe. Take from that what you will of mainstream comic book "fans".

  19. I like Grant Morrison.  I don’t like Final Crisis.  I don’t understand why.  Though, I don’t take it personally – it’s just not for me.

     I really, really, really like the premise of Final Crisis.  It surprised me, and it really should work.  We have the DC icons vs. the ultimate evil over the fate of a multiverse.  I like the premise of Final Crisis more than the premise of Secret Invasion, and I was on board for that (though I think it would have benefited more if it was just in the Avengers titles and wasn’t an event or mini on its own).

     So I pick up a few pieces of Final Crisis to see if I would like it.  I really liked issue 3.  I hated the bits I read of 1, 2, and 5.  I read 1 all the way through and it left me scratching my head.  I read 3 and I got what was going on, and I liked it.  I read 6 (I think the latest is 6) after reading all of RIP and really didn’t like it.  It just isn’t for me.

     It should, by all rights, be something I’d get on board for.  Perhaps if it was more straightforward.  Perhaps if the storytelling was a bit more economical (like if it was done, say, by Brian K. Vaughan).  It could still be far-reaching and metatextual, but the story would have a more logical a to b, c to d, etcetera.

    I will hold back judgment tiil I glance through the trade, I’m sure.

     That being said, I love Rucka’s Final Crisis: Revelations. 

  20. I think the problems started when some people (myself among them) posted their dissatisfaction of the conclusion of RIP, it was immediately met with accusations that the haters were the stereotypical comic book fan who liked dumb action and needed everything spoon fed to them. 

  21. @Labor  I’ve said this before so I won’t beat the dead horse, but I disliked Morrison’s X-Men primarily because I did not like the way he wrote the characters.  I didn’t think the characterization was good compared to other versions of the characters I’ve read, and I also didn’t think it was good compared to my own external standards for characterization and my own observations about the way people behave.  I know other fans who feel the same way, so to generalize and say "X-men fans felt this way because they hate change" does a disservice to people’s legitimate difference of opinion.   

  22. @ Caroline

    I was generalizing. Historically, comic fans are resitant to change. The fantical X-men fans perhaps most of all. While I doappreciate your critique of Morrison’s X-men, in the intervening years since that run and this post I am typing right has mostly been; "this is weird! why is Beast a cat!" in the general fan chatter.

    I think it is more than fair to generalize X-men fans being among the most protective of their franchise. 

  23. @Labor 

    Yes, that statement is fair, although I don’t see ‘protective of the franchise’ as a wholly bad thing. I also hope it’s fair to say that when a creator’s fans default to dismissive generalizations of ‘comics fans’ as something ‘other’ (‘comics fans’ are this way, but fans of the guy I like are better), that can contribute to the not-exactly- productive discourse that Conor is describing.

  24. I think Josh sums up Morrsion the best.  He swings for the fences and when he makes contact it is a sight to see but when he doesn’t it is a fall on your butt swing and a miss strikeout.  I thought his JLA run was excellent, his X-Men I loved when I was reading at the time but in looking back and reading again, didn’t hold up as well.  All Star Superman was good too.  I myself have never read a "Crisis" book in my life and have never felt like I didn’t get the DCU.  I don’t think you have to buy things but I do empathize with the feeling of not being part of the conversation if you didn’t. 

  25. I"m a lover and hater of books, not their creators.  I’m not a huge fan of Milligan, but occasionally I’ll read a story that I like, and his name will be on the cover.  So, I, too have been shocked when I’ve posted reviews saying "I really didn’t like this issue." and am called uneducated, a Grant Morrison hater, or, most recently, an Internet Troll.

    So, I’ll happily stay away from any conversation about Morrison, and only say this:  Like the person who wrote this letter, I’ve asked several people who’ve defended Morrison’s two recent epics, RIP and Final Crisis, not to defend Morrison’s writing, but to tell me what it is about Final Crisis and RIP that they like, without using the words "metaphor" or "surreal".  I know those words, I teach writing workshops.  Those words can be used as starter words for intensely deep conversations, or they can be used as buzzword excuses for utter, incomprehensible, tripe.  I think most of the people who use it to describe Morrison’s work are incapable of going more in-depth than saying "it’s a surreal metaphor that goes over your head," but I know there must be some of you out there who actually believe it’s a metaphor for a specific thing, and I’d like for just one of you to tell me what it is a metaphor for.  What does it mean, and why is it important for me to understand.

    Conor, the writer of this e-mail asked you that (albeit, in a fairly sarcastic tone), and you didn’t answer their question.  While I suspect that most of the G-Mo haters won’t be satisfied with any answers you give, I think many of us who don’t have any personal vitriol towards him, would love to hear you tell us what exactly is going on beneath the surface that so many of us aren’t getting.

     

  26. Thank you for articulating the same things I’ve been wondering, Conor. I just don’t understand how people get so worked up emotionally and personally about a work of FICTION.

  27. That usually means he’s doing something right, I think.

  28. the amount of times "frak" appeared in that email should’ve taken away the weight you gave it.

  29. Some people need a pie in the face.

  30. I love Morrison and his writings as of late cause his experimentations are stuff we’ve never seen before in a comic.

    He’s doing things I’ve never seen a writer do to a character, or a plot, or just a single moment in a comic. Great writers like Geoff Johns, Brian Michael Bendis (til 2008 at least), and even veterans like Stan Lee are great writers only because they stick to the same gameplan and try to make cool moments even cooler. What makes Morrison a fantastic writer is making us all think in every issue he writes. I’m not gonna sit here and type saying I understand everything he has written. Fuck, RIP took me all five issues to read and re-read them to understand his purpose for the book. But once I understood what he was doing, while enjoying reading a very thought provoking story, I loved the story even more.

    In a time where mindless writers like Jeph Loeb or Bendis 09′ is giving us the ‘Michael Bay’ stories in comics. Morrison is giving us a ‘Michel Gondry’ type of approach with his stories. Or in other words, giving us more refreshing and interesting stories to the reader.

  31. well said conor.

    I think all the recent arguments mean grant Morrison has achieved what he set to do which is buck trends and piss allot of people off. I bet he loves to see arguments over his work.

    It’s like when the Rite of spring first played there was a riot in the audience people where so split about its merits. And Stravinsky was reported to have said that it "just what I wanted".

  32. @sunhero   I think "Morrison wants us to argue about what he was doing" is absolutely true.  I imagine he also hoped that argument would rise above "You’re an idiot" "Well, you’re a snob".  Plenty of the conversation has *not* been like that, of course, but I just mean that ‘the author was trying to provoke disagreement’ isn’t an excuse for sinking to the lowest common denominator.

  33. @ThomasKaters-Pies in the face work wonders!

    I think we should all agree on the following:

    "I like/dislike Grant Morrison.  If you like/dislike him, thats cool.  He is/isn’t your cup of tea and I respect that." 

    Follow it up with an iFanhug.

  34. @Caroline

    I fundementally disagree. 

    Over protectiveness of a franchise and willingness to pander to that audience leads to stagnation. 

  35. Now, see, though… in your examination of the (truly baffling) phenomenon, you borrow trouble by dropping in, "some people don’t want their super hero comics to be tough and challenging." That’s the kind of thing that’s creating the phenomenon.

    I like tough and challenging superhero comics just fine. If that’s what Grant Morrison wrote, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. I "got" RIP just fine; I just found it desperate and sad. He is an emperor with no clothes, madly throwing twenty half-baked ideas into every issue rather than fleshing out any two, and that manic why-not-roll-the-book-up-and-smoke-it energy appeals to a lot of people who have tired of a steady diet of rote smashfests. I don’t begrudge them that; they are welcome to it.  DC can have Mr. Morrison for as loooooong as they like. Treat him right, Mr. Didio. Keep his drinks freshened. The Marvel zombies are in your debt.

    As for the personal nature of the debate, let me put it this way: the "elitist" charge is never the one that comes first.

  36. @jimski: But I dont see him ‘throwing twenty half-baked ideas into every issue’ in RIP or Final Crisis. RIP clearly has a plot going from point A to point B. He just writes in the perspective of a crazy Bruce Wayne and uses Bat-mite as a catalyist to remind him he is going crazy. By the time we get to the final part of RIP it becomes a standard issue for Batman….but that’s also not to say it was bad, it just read like a normal end to a Detective comic.

    RIP is an event book so we have to focus on more then one character. Would you say Crisis on Infinie Earths threw out 20 half baked ideas considering how enormous the cast was for that?

  37. See, I’ve been a fan of comic books since I was about nine or ten (I’m 25 now) – and my two biggets loves are X-Men and Batman.  For various reasons I drifted in and out during my teenage years, but started to get heavily back into the world when I was about 18. 

    Getting back into the X-Men then – Grant Morrison was about midway through his run and I started picking up the trades, absolutely adoring what I was reading.  Though some if it I didn’t totally agree with, I was just so impressed by how adult the X-Men seemed to be, certainly through my more adult eyes.  So I owe Morrison a lot for doing those issues and maiing me feel that stuff really was worth my time and money again.

    Same with Batman.  After years of drifting in and out and just picking up the odd trade or issue here and there, I started my collection up again when Morrison took over.  Re-reading his entire arc again, I’m still incredibly impressed with the level of detail and his methods of storytelling.  It’s different to a lot of stuff out there, and I love it for that.

  38. "RIP is an event book so we have to focus on more then one character. Would you say Crisis on Infinie Earths threw out 20 half baked ideas considering how enormous the cast was for that?"

    Considering his Marvel basis, I imagine Jimski would say this. 😛 

  39. @Labor: I’m sorry I ment Final Crisis not RIP for my second point. ^^;

  40. I have no problem with the inclusion of high level themes and concepts in a mainstream book.  What I have a problem with is when the message is delivered in a convulted and esoteric manner.  When story elements are sacrificed for the message there is a problem.  When the message and delivery prevent people from enjoying the story you have a problem.

  41. Paul made my point for me exactly – his experimentation on "Arkham Asylum" and "Animal Man" worked on those books because few people cared about them as they were released. Bringing this experimentation arguably the most popular character in comics, and again to what you are being told is a ‘reality-altering’ event, is bound to raise some readers’ ire.

    I give Morrison all the credit in the world for wanting to try something new, and sometimes it works for me, sometimes it doesn’t – same with just about any other form of media (hated The Fountain, loved The Wrestler; loved Doolittle, hated Bossanova). However, I never have and never will say someone’s an idiot for having their own opinion – people in this world have been killed for doing less.

  42. This is the Red Album vs. Blue Album argument of comics.

  43. My big problem with Grant Morrison is such, and I know I’m not the only one to make this complaint.  I like Batman.  He is one of my favorite superheroes.  I am not as familiar with the rest of the DCU as I am with Batman so I wasn’t really following Final Crisis.  I WAS following Batman RIP.  I thought the death of Batman would be interesting. And if it was left as it was in RIP it would have been.  But then it turns out that that wasn’t where he died.  So I have to read Final Crisis 6 to find out how he died.  But seeing as how I don’t understand what is going on in Final Crisis 6, I now have to read all of Final Crisis before that.  And maybe then all of Countdown.  Oh and what’s Superman doing there?  Oh I guess I have to read his seperate tie-in.  I liked Batman RIP but to force us to follow him to an event that had already started is bull. 

  44. @Jimski:

    "Now, see, though… in your examination of the (truly baffling) phenomenon, you borrow trouble by dropping in, ‘some people don’t want their super hero comics to be tough and challenging.’ That’s the kind of thing that’s creating the phenomenon."

     That’s a really good point.

  45. @Labor  When you add the word "over" to my "protective" then you are correct by definition.  "Overprotective" means "too protective," and some fans go to that extreme.  But if you’re dealing with franchise characters in a pre-existing universe, they have to have *some* connection to the characters as they have previously existed, or else what’s the point of calling your characters Cyclops and Jean and Beast instead of Batman and Oracle and Gorilla Grodd?  People are going to differ in the degree of change and experimentation that they want — that’s called ‘taste’ and ‘difference of opinion’ — but to say that there’s no value in preserving some throughlines in the franchise is to defeat the purpose of having a franchise. 

  46. I don’t think final crisis is poorly drawn. I would like to see you draw better mr. Jason D. Storey aka DarqueKnight333

  47. @Caroline

    I have not claimed anything as extreme as wholly disconnecting established throughlines. But in any case, the continuation of the "same old, same old" is creative death in any artform.

    Nothing is so sacred or valuable that it can not be torn down and built anew. And different. And if the altenative is Beast as an allegorical cat person in pop art, then I will take that over Dark X-Messaih Age of X-Inferno Legacy.

    I do not necessarily believe it defeats the purpose of the franchise either. The concept of the X-men is what is eternal- rather Cyclops is a space pirate or vampire hunter matters not if the concept is persevered. Its all dressing and finery. This is the essence of Morrison’s New X-men run. 

  48. I have not claimed anything as extreme as wholly disconnecting established throughlines. But in any case, the continuation of the "same old, same old" is creative death in any artform.

    So there’s a good middle ground somewhere, and we all disagree about where it is.  You think Morrison’s X-Men represents that; a lot of people don’t.  Which is fine, and which we can say to each other without calling each other Luddites or elitists or morons.  What a wonderful world it could be.

  49. @yosoyju:

    What you’re describing is not possible! I got into comics just before you, it is inaccessible as hell.

  50. It is possible. I don’t know shit about the DCU and I am understanding and loving final crisis.

  51. I’m gonna disagree with one of Conor’s assertions: the Morrison debate is NOT divided solely between two camps. That’s something we tend to overlook. Jared’s letter above is an example — he liked The Invisibles (OK, so he said he "followed" it), but he doesn’t like Final Crisis.

    I consider myself an old school Morrison fan. I know there are others like that on this board. Arkham Asylum, Animal Man, Doom Patrol. Hell, I’ve even got some old UK indie books like St. Swithin’s Day that he did. Morrison is probably STILL in my Top Ten list of all-time favorite creators.

    And while I generally agree with Paul’s assertion that Morrison’s more in the spotlight now because he’s working on Batman and not Animal Man, I have to tell you: he’s not the same Morrison that worked on Animal Man. He’s not using the same storytelling techniques on Batman that he used with Buddy Baker. He’s not using the same techniques he used on invisibles or The Filth or We3 or Kill Your Boyfriend or JLA. Morrison, to his credit, constantly reinvents himself. He’s constantly experimenting with the medium. 

    But me? i don’t like his current incarnation.

    Doom Patrol was full of weirdness, but I still connected. I’m not really connecting to his storytelling now. He’s changed the way he cuts scenes, the way he paces himself, and now he’s changing the way his narratives move through books.

    I applaud the experimentation.

    I don’t love the current final product.

    Right now, Morrison frustrates me. glimpses of awesomeness, surrounded by a lot of wasted potential.

    Luckily, he’ll reinvent himself again. So… maybe I just need to wait for the next Morrison self-revamp?

  52. Oops, sorry, letter was from Jason, not Jared… Maybe I had Subway on my mind?

  53. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    So, a loss of refinement or maybe a deteriorated sense of…risk assessment?  I could see that.  There’s more focus in the older Morrison books I’ve read. 

  54. @Caroline

    There is no name calling on my part. Morrison simply has a very differnt style than what is popular in comics. One that is contra to many of practices and expectations of fans, readers, pubs and creators. Which is fine if one digs on the cosmic rays Morrison channels (such as they are) or if one would rather read the Hulk punching something. Its a question of style. Not one of taste. 

    Though clearly the majority of comic fans prefer Red Hulk to Batman RIP. I leave it up others to take from that what they will.  

  55. It’s been realllly hard for me to put my finger on it, Paul. I don’t know that it’s a loss of refinement… but he’s given up on some elements of traditional narrative, perhaps. He doesn’t seem to slow down to make sure the reader is emotionally connected. It’s like a series of… encapsulated cinematic/philosophical moments slapped together and whipped through a projection reel. It feels big and smart but empty at the same time.

    And re: RIP and Final Crisis… man, that feels like there’s something really off. I have to wonder if there’s something else at play behind the scenes. I know lots of folks don’t mind it, but… the whole handling of the death of Batman seems like a huge misstep. It’s like they tried to make it happen in both titles, but it, for me, made RIP end on a completely dull note, while FC had the great spectacle with really little to no build up.

  56. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @Labor – It’s not an either/or kind of thing though.  Personally, neither RIP or Rulk hit the mark for me.  

  57. I like Morrison and his writing style just fine. I also agree there seems to be a focused thought process in his older stuff, that I think I like more. My biggest problem I think I’m having with R.I.P. and moreso with Final Crisis, as my Batman knowledge is better, is the rich DCU history and tidbits that he’s culling these stories from make it difficult to follow. It would be difficult to follow if you had a DC wiki right next to you while read because of the smallest amount of detail he’s using from that history. That’s what drives me batty, but somehow I do find way little ways to engage myself, especially in R.I.P or Superman Beyond.

  58. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @Dave – So, he’s maybe building a really great car with an insane sound system and a solar battery and awesome bat fins….but where’s the seat?  

    (I’m chronically obliged to grasp for a metaphor in everything.  I can’t help it.) 

  59. @BC1  — Oh, you’re talking about Douglas Wolk’s "Reading Comics", aren’t you?  Interesting book, though I don’t think he’s completely at ease with what audience he’s addressing (an understandable problem if you’re trying to write about comics for a book-buying audience that may or may not read them).  I’m only in the middle, though, and I haven’t gotten to the Morrison chapter. 

    @Labor  — Style and taste are two sides of the same coin, but I really think we’ve exhausted this tangent.

  60. @ Caroline

    I meant style in reference to Morrison’s writing approach. Not a critique of rather one enjoys it or not (taste). We can talk about the former, the latter is a waste of time.

  61. At the end of the day (or arguement), just what do people want exactely who is against Morrison and his storytelling techniques? Do they want him to tell the millionth story with Batman fighting Joker? Do they want a ho-hum Crisis event that’ll feel like COIE and IC? I mean what your asking Morrison to do is be basically Jeph Loeb or any other writer who cant comprehend a story more then just ‘Character A fights Character B’.

    To me, this is basically a writer doing whatever he wants to do with mainstream characters. This is sorta like a creator doing his own creative comics but using established characters. What if Morrison did RIP or FC in an indie book and used new characters? I bet more people would love those stories used on characters that havent been around for (some) 70+ years. Even his indie work (like Seaguy) is nothing else on what’s out there right now. If your asking him to be more simplistic then your just taking away all of his talent and making him a generic writer.

  62. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    It’s possible to do big, out there things and fall on your face.  It’s also possible to do big, out there things and succeed objectively.  It’s not about wanting more normalcy.  It’s about being crazy while still maintaining a narrative.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.  

  63. I don’t think anyone’s asking him to be more simplistic or generic, TNC. I’m certainly not looking for the umpteenth Batman/Joker rematch. It’s not the either/or proposition you’re making it out to be. 

    We’re talking about storytelling. Right now, IMHO, Morrison has dropped an element of storytelling that is fairly critical to my enjoyment. He’s experimenting with other tools, but some of his current work feels flat to me, despite its big ideas. It’s like Paul mentioned above: He’s building a big fancy car with lots of cools bells and whistles, but open the hood and there’s a really crappy engine inside (I’d make a more specific metaphor for Paul, but I’m so NOT a car guy). 

    I personally want Morrison to slow it down and actually think about the characters as PEOPLE again and not as pop icons spouting idea-talk at a million miles an hour. I want him to give his characters time to connect with the audience AS he delivers the crazy ideas, so that we can feel them and the impact they have.

  64. @daccampo: I see where your going, and maybe this next point sounds like a lame point but it could be valid in today’s age of comics.

    Should DC have giving him more issues for FC? I mean Secret Invasion got an extra issue and by no means did it have the story so complex that Morrison is doing right now. Maybe if he had more time or more issues to work with he could tell a more ‘sensible’ story in some people’s eyes. I mean it also doesnt help DC has screwed him a couple of times for RIP and FC. Countdown certainly was suppose to be a ‘countdown’ to Final Crisis. Later Morrison admited he was not going to use any story points from Countdown even though DC changed the title of Countdown to ‘Countdown to Final Crisis’ to say it’s important to the story. Plus with RIP they advertised it as ‘The death of Batman’, when that clearly A) wasnt going to happen in RIP and B) wasnt Morrison’s intent for RIP.

    So although I am fine with a 7 part Final Crisis; maybe a 10, or go COIE route and do 12 part storyline would’ve made it more ‘clearer’.

  65. Anyone notice the second volume of Seaguy is on the April schedule? I’m not saying, I’m just saying…

  66. I really wish I could remember where I read this, but I believe I read Morrison saying one time that we was preferring a style that jumped in right in the middle of a conversation or scene. I think he’s taken this idea and run with it full force.

    (Final Crisis spoiler ahead)

    So you end up with moments like Batman’s emergence into Darkseid’s lair from seemingly nowhere. It leaves a lot unsaid, and puts a bit of extrapolation in the hands of the reader. Some people find this frustrating, some find it compelling. I know I’ve had debates/arguments with my friends before over whether he’s a "good" writer or not.

  67. That is to say, *he* was preferring that style, not *we*

  68. I don’t know if the number of issues matters at this point. I really think this is Morrison doing what he WANTS to do, for the most part. I don’t have any evidence of that other than: a) he’s telling his stories in this manner in most of his recent super-hero books (except maybe All-Star Supes) and b) he’s a big enough name that he would probably walk away from DC if he was hitting too much editorial interference.

    So, if DC gave Morrison 12 issues, I suspect he’d keep up the same pace but throw in more, crazier ideas. 😉 I really think it’s just what he wants to do with the form now. And that’s gonna alienate me a bit.

  69. HATED Seaguy

    LOVED We3

    UNINTERESTED X-Men

    LOVED All-Star Superman

    LOVED JLA

    HATED The Filth

    CONFUSED Invisibles

    AMBIVALENT Doom Patrol

    LOVED Animal Man

    Every job is an adventure! 

  70. Yeah, Morrison is using this device where a lot happens between panels. In the early issues of his Batman run, actions within the story were happening in space between the reader flipping the page. And the resoultion of those actions was what was actually on the page. Using this device, readers fill in what happens in the B panel by showing the A panel and the C panel.

    There’s a bit in McCloud’s Understand Comics about this form of storytelling. This is an element of Morrison’s recent work where the reader is in partly writing the story with him.

    See also: The infinite book of Superman Beyond, Zatanna’s sigil in 7 Soldiers, the God Machine of Final Crisis, the Bleed Space of Authority, Bat-mite & the 4th dimension in Batman, the coyote in Animal Man, the simulacrums of The Filth, the Brotherhood of Dada in Doom Patrol, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

  71. @adickhead

    well you’re a dickhead…

     sorry, too easy!:D

     

    well rereading all issues one after the other,  FC is way more coherent. But do you know what an Omega Sanction is? And how do you know who Brainiac 5 is? or Mary Marvel? or Talky Tawny? Even if priro knowledge isn’t required, it really changes the experience.

     

    As for RIP, it would’ve been far more enjoyable, if morrison didn’t act like a pretentious prick. Of course, I’ve been told that the seeds of the storyline were there since Batman & Son. So I’m going back and reading all of Morisson’s current run.

  72. @dacammpo

    They did try to make it happen in two books (Batman dying).  There is an interview with DiDio where he says they needed to kill Batman in FC and RIP so that it would make sense to people picking up the trades of either title.  It sure could’ve been handled better, though.

  73. @TNC: I don’t think anyone (or at least everyone) wants Morrison to write generic superhero strories like what you’re suggesting.  It’s that he comes in with a very iconoclastic mentality to some extremely high profile projects, projects for which that mindset may not fit with the core audience.  X-Men is a good example, and notice how Marvel has pretty much removed all traces of his presence (Beast’s mutation being a sole leftover).  No more secondary mutations, no more "mutant culture," all gone by the wayside.  His tenure saw a flourishing society for mutants, but what does almost every X-Men fan say?  The best stories are when the collective back of mutantdom is against the wall, and Morrison wasn’t telling that kind of story or setting up that kind of world.  And we’ve been back to the "back against the wall story" almost ever since he left.  Because that’s what those fans mostly want.  And you can tell good, complex stories in that vein; that’s just not what Morrison wanted to do.

    There are places where his storytelling desires will work.  There are places where they won’t.  It’s not his fault, he should be able to tell whatever story he wants.  It’s more an issue of the audience and liking a certain kind of story, especially with characters who’ve been around for 70+ years.  I was hoping to see more of the Batman we got in JLA, or the Batman that was promoted at the beginning of the run (does anyone else Morrison describing his Batman as a "bare-chested love god from the 70’s"?)  I did like what he eventually wrote, but that wasn’t what was originally advertised. 

  74. It appears as if, almost prophetically, people are indeed, taking Grant Morrison’s work personally. Right here!  In this very thread!

  75. If only Grant Morrison could come in here and tell us his master plan!

    (waits)

    …..I SAID: ‘If only Grant Morrison could come on Ifanboy and tell us his master plan!’

    (waits some more)

    ….Ah forget it…

  76. Haha. Josh OTM.

  77. I completely agree that the reason Morrison has become such a lightning rod is that his brand of writing is now at the center of the DCU and this got heated before when his X-Men stuff influenced Marvel (at least the Mutant universe) so heavily that there’s a clear X demarcation line between pre and post Morrison.  He’s always been this way.  Every project he tackles, he does so with his own style and sometimes it works spectacularly (All-Star Superman) and sometimes it’s a horror show.  I agree with those who think RIP was a train wreck.  I’ve been reading Batman for over 20 years so I have a deep history to draw on with the character but I found the plot to be irrational and impenetrable.  Final Crisis I was more onboard with until the events in #6 which I found so ridiculous that it’s soured the entire event.  And that can happen a lot with Morrison and me.  I’ll be just blown away by his initial ideas and his set up and then he can’t pull it together into a cohesive narrative.  I almost want him to plot things and be paired with someone who can edit it into a strong full story.  I don’t think we’ll see Morrison’s DCU stamp last the way it has in the X universe.  If Batman’s death isn’t undone in FC 7, it certainly will be in a year or so and what else of his tenure will last?  Not much.  I’ll ride it out and hope that Morrison can find projects he can knock out of the park in the future.  He’s undoubtedly talented, but he’s apparently too big to be edited any more.

  78. It’s weird becuase FC is one fo the most straightforward works the Morrison has done in years.

    What I find sad is that arguments on BOTH sides rarely argue the actual merits of FC or RIP, but rather just lob insults and statements of fan entitlement

  79. I think people are taking Grant Morrison’s work personally because it is so challenging and he has dared to do it in major titles in what is considered the primary DCU continuity. Perhaps in an indie book, or a creator owned side project people are happy to be challenged, and expect less conventional story telling, but in mainstream superhero comics the stories are so often a to b to c. People seemed happy to accept All Star Superman, despite the fact that he killed big blue off, because it is outside of ‘continuity’ (whatever that is). 

     Many great artistic figures have caused massive uproar when they have challenged their audiences. (I site Bob Dylan’s 1966 english tour , the one where they called him Judas as an example). I hope in 10 years time people will look back on Morrisons Batman/FC and see it for the brilliant work it is.  

    Personally, as I read mostly in trades and try to pick and choose what I read (i.e I don’t follow any Character or continuity religiously) I really enjoy hearing and reading the ‘Fanboys (and Fangirls) opinions on various books, and it helps me choose what to read and what to avoid. (Saved me wasting £22 on the Secret invasion TP last week!)  I will be reading FC batman RIP when it comes out in trade.

  80. @MastaP: Agreed on your point that people are not arguing the pros and/or cons, just talking about the writer, not the title.

     

    It’s odd, I think my problems with FC and RIP are very different.  RIP was a confusing mess to me (which I’ll try and reread in trade form), while FC is very straight forward, but no story seems to have consequence for the characters.  It’s all event-event-event in rapid fire succession.  Cool things seem to be happening, but at such a pace that I don’t have time to breathe and care about them.  And I’m not sure how/why the two series do or don’t overlap, apart from Batman’s being involved in both.

     

    You seem like a very sensible person.  Can you tell me?

     

    Oh, and re: Josh’s list:

     

    HATED Seaguy

    THINK We3 is EXCEPTIONALLY GOOD

    LOVED most of New X-Men

    ENJOYED All-Star Superman

    DON’T CARE ABOUT JLA, no matter who writes it

    LIKED The Filth

    HAVE YET TO READ ALL OF Invisibles

    AMBIVALENT Doom Patrol

    LOVED Animal Man

  81. As someone who has really loved a lot of Morrison’s past books, I’ve got to admit that Final Crisis has unfortunately just not been my cup of tea. But as to why everyone is taking it personally, I think it’s been touched on in other people’s comments a lot: it’s supposed to be the big close to the whole DC Crisis mythology.

    I remember practically haunting convenience stores and bookstore spinning racks to find the newest issue of Crisis on Infinite Earths when that came out. I knew a lot about DC at the time, but I learned so much more about the history of it and about the characters it had acquired (particularly the Charleton heroes). Identity Crisis added a personal depth to the story. Infinite Crisis was a great acknowledgment of the original tale and what it had done.

    Final Crisis…it’s not doing it for me. I’m glad it is for other people. But the reason people are so up-in-arms about the whole thing is that it’s a DC Crisis book. To me, the whole book feels too scattered to ever heighten the stakes enough for me to actually care about anyone or anything going on, and that’s really, really disappointing to the kid in me who’s still waiting with bated breath to find out what happened at the end of each issue of the original Crisis and could barely wait to dive into the book when he saw Superman holding Supergirl’s body on the front cover.

    Like I said, I like Morrison, but for me, he’s not a good fit with this book. I feel that it lacks the cohesion, character, and clarity that a book marketed as changing the way the DC Universe works requires.

     Anyway, like I said, I’m glad it’s working for some people. I’m really sorry I’m not one of them. But as to why people are upset, I think it’s because they were promised a Crisis book and they got something that fits closer to Seven Soldiers (which I enjoyed, but which really wouldn’t have worked as a main DC event).

  82. @Josh-Oh, the irony of it all!!  My head might explode

  83. He’s just another writer to me, very much in the vein of Ellis. When he hits, I love it, like Final Crisis, New X-men or All Star Supes. When he misses, it falls very flat for me, almost his entire Batman run minus RIP. 

  84. >notice how Marvel has pretty much removed all traces of his presence (Beast’s mutation being a >sole leftover). 

    Jean Grey.  Still dead.  Just saying.

  85. I’m a Morrison whore. but, i can understand why some would not like his stuff.

  86. Having only read Morrison’s run on Batman and FC, my only problem seems to be being confused most of the time.  I’m enjoying the ideas and plot of RIP and FC, but most of the time I just don’t know who anyone is or their relationship to eachother, but I can’t really blame GM for using characters in the universe.  I would need a ton of asterisks or an appendix to be fine.  And as far as him "skipping" over plot points, I would have liked to have seen Batman escape, but he’s Batman.  We should assume he’s going to get out, we’ve seen it a thousand times.

  87. I feel bad adding to the irony by posting anything, but here goes nothing.

    The only time I’ve lashed out at a big Morrison fan on this site is when a user posted a review of an FC issue that was about a paragraph long saying that everyone who didn’t "get" it was either illiterate or too young to appreciate how great it was.  At the time of that post I was 17 and enjoying FC (I still am for the most part) I lashed back saying that it was people like him who keep teens from getting into comics, making it a we v. they thing.  I don’t see that as me taking his work personally but how people deal with any creator’s work.  I think anyone who’s spazzing about this should go read the Bulletproof Writer article (it was either Paul or Jimski, I can’t quite remember)

    I’m enjoying FC but the overly fractured narrative bothers me at some points. Other than that, it’s the way that Batman’s death was dealt with. Earlier TNC said that it was obvious that Batman would not die in RIP. I’d say it was anything but obvious. If people were expecting a death, then they would be expecting it from that title, not Final Crisis, which Batman had played almost no role in until the 6th issue (His only other appearance was him being captured.) If the "Last Rites" issues were supposed to be important to Final Crisis, which they were, they should have had the trade dress of a Final Crisis Tie-In, not just a small blurb (especially one against such a bright cover, making it difficult to read for your average rack browser on first glance.) That last part is obviously not Morrison’s fault, but a production/ business error. 

    I think a lot of the "taking things personal" comes from some people insisting that there is no in between between Morrison’s style and something like Loeb’s Hulk book.  There’s an entire spectrum of storytelling styles. Let’s not forget that people.  I’ve seen it a couple of times just on this thread saying that "If you don’t like Morrison, you can always just go read Hulk."  That not only applies a negative stigma to Hulk, something that some people are enjoying (not quite a book for me) and brings the elitist argument into the thread.  I think both sides need to be a bit more careful and just calm down.  It is two stories. He probably won’t be at DC much longer, anyway since he’s been having all those troubles with editors and whatnot.

  88. @ muddi900

    HA! 

    I guess I know more about the DCU than I thought because I know most of the things you listed, and there is allways wiki.

  89. You mentioned Morrison week back in the day.  I not being a Morrison fan went out of my way to post anything bad, but mostly stopped coming to the site for that week.  After the extensive "discussion" that Labor and I had on Morrison and Moore back in the day I didn’t feel like having it again.

    Come to think of it that discussion was much more tame then what this whole mess has turned into.

  90. My usual reaction to Morrison’s comics: "That was awesome!… but what the **** just happened?" 

  91. seems like as long as grant is on big-time, main-continuity DC books like batman and FC (and even previously in x-men), there will be a large number of fans who "have to" buy his books, even though they don’t like his style, and thus come with the big criticism. THAT’S why people take it personally – grant is messing up "their" books.

    when he’s playing in his own corners, such as with all-star superman or the invisibles or seven soldiers of victory, the anti-grant crowd can safely stay away.

    i personally love the guy – probably my favorite writer in comics – but the question has to be, what’s in his future at DC? what’s he doing after batman and FC? if it’s more big-time, mainline stuff, then this conflict isn’t going anywhere.

  92. I may be going out on a limb with this theory, but could it be that, subconciously, people get so personal about his work because if they don’t get it they feel idiotic, and then jealousy (again subconcious) gets the best of them on the boards?  Or is it a subconcious pride that flows through the veins of those that finally "get" a Morrison storyline and they feel the need to (again subconciously) toot their perverbial horn?

    I’m not sure what the answer is, but Morrison has always been hit or miss for me.  Unless I’m on peyote.

  93. " Morrison is definitely not for every one – some people don’t want their super hero comics to be tough and challenging – and that’s totally fine. "

    Thatline right there. That is the root of the problem.

  94. I can’t speak for others I’ll go ahead and share why I "take it personally". Which I don’t, but I do get worked and tirelessly debate the subject. Do you really think I’m getting angry for real? That I’m losing sleep? That my feelings are getting hurt? Come on!

    But anyway, here’s why I get all fired up and stuff. It’s not just the kind of comment above, the oblique insinuations. It’s the writing itself also.

    When I read G-Mo, I get the impression that each layer is equally opaque. He makes me work for EVERYTHING. And gives nothing away easily. I find that to be a lack of respect and generosity towards the reader. I’m the reader. The story can not exist without me. That story exists within a world of the author’s creation. GIVE, me the story and I will dive into your world with great enthusiasm. Dangle tauntingly the story in front of me, just out of reach and I will flee from the world you so lovingly created.

    Additionally, it’s fun to discuss comics! Why the hell else do we come here day after day?! We like to talk comics! We love comics! So we get a little worked up. So what? Is it really that big a deal? No! We’re not discriminating against race or religion We’re just shooting our mouths off. Killing time. Having fun. Staying out of trouble.

    I’m having a blast with this discussion and learning a lot about myself and about comics. Here’s to the great debate!

  95. My point about layers isn’t clear in my post above. What I mean is, I like layered stories but you got to make the top layer easily accessible so that I’ll care about exploring deeper layers.

  96. "That line right there. That is the root of the problem."

    Um, no. Its a statement of fact. Maybe not for every single person reading this site (for everyone that is bound to raise their hand here screaming "I’m unique"), but in general, people buy Red Hulk en masse for a reason. Ain’t for the metacommentary on gamma ray experimentation either.

     

  97. @ Jason Storey ; isteve   I couldn’t agree with you more!! Ron questioned how did Batman become free of Darkseid’s device and Connor said "that’s not important" or it’s something we don’t need to know. Really? Batman deserves better, no?

    Then, Josh said "that’s some inside baseball shit right there" as Connor explained the Omega Sanction that was put on Bats. C’mon people, shouldn’t a major EVENT deliver a little more? I admit Final Crisis contains just too many obscure references for ME and it’s over MY head as I find myself running to wikki alot of characters, etc. Gave it the old College try but Morrison didn’t strike a cord with me. 

    oh yeah @Connor how did you feal seeing Batman firing a GUN to kill Turpin(as the "host" of Darkseid)?

  98. @JumpingJupiter..Amen, if you have to work for everything to delve  through the layers it’s challenging yes but in the end is it fun? Maybe,maybe not.Personally, FC was alot of delving for me as I did not have any background with the fourth world, new gods etc, but I won’t blame Morrison, just not my cup o’tea

  99. I just I wish I knew who those tiger people in Final Crisis were :/

  100. With the Exception of Talky Tawny, all the others were explained, and infact shown to be created IN Final Crisis

  101. "I just I wish I knew who those tiger people in Final Crisis were :/"

    Kalibak and the few other cronies. They said so in issue #2 or #3, when they were creating man-beasts out of the Kamandi virus.  

  102. I think Grant Morrison comes up with some really great ideas but doesnt know how to write those ideas on paper in an interesting way. Just so you know, i DID understand all of his Batman stuff and Final Crisis but i think the way those stories unfolded was weak. I mean anyone could argue that a lot of his Batman run didnt make sense because it was all part of a big story, but there are many writers out there (Geoff Johns is probably the best at this) who write big epic runs which are all part of one big story and while reading any part of that run it all made sense. Not with Morrison, if you arent reading everything its all a bunch of nonsensical jibberish.

    You could probably tell im not a fan of Morrison and i never have been but unfortunately being a hardcore Batman fan im forced to read his work and am not happy that he is returning later this year. Also dont even get me started on his Joker, which was a Morrison character packed with serial killer cliches(and even sweeney todd) all rolled into one lame super sanity BS to justify Morrison not showing any respect for continuity

  103. Oh man, that was what was so awesome about Batman getting taken out in ish #6. Darkseid specifically says, "Lets’s see if you can out run the Omega Sanction!" and if you knew what that was– you prob. got goosebumps. The possibilities! The importance of Batman’s line as the beams hit him! The coming of the Blackest Night!

    So much awesome.

    (Not casual reader friendly, I fully admit. But ce la vie.) 

  104. @Labor. Jumping Jupiter is right.  That line is the problem.  That’s where the condescension starts that cuases the vicious circle that Connor described in his article.

  105. "Not casual reader friendly" only goes deeper with the Omega Sanction rather than the Omega Beam and the different implications it will have for Blackest Night. (Read as: none at all.)

  106. Grant Morrison’s work made me do terrible terrible things.

  107. @Labor. Jumping Jupiter is right.  That line is the problem.  That’s where the condescension starts that cuases the vicious circle that Connor described in his article.

    Alright then. If you dues believe Red Hulk is popular because its examination of the pulp myth or that Amazing Spider-Man’s popularity is inpart due to its critque of pop art in 60-70s as seen through the filter of Kirby comics…well, I suppose you can do just that. 

  108.  

    " Morrison is definitely not for every one – some people don’t want their super hero comics to be tough and challenging – and that’s totally fine. "

    That line right there. That is the root of the problem."

    I was going to post exactly the same thing, but JJ beat me to it. As someone who doesn’t like Final Crisis or RIP, tell me how this is not an insult to my intelligence & I wont take it as one.

    It’s the mainstream books where these stories are written which causes beef. If RIP & Final Crisis type stories were written in a Vertigo title or a lesser known super hero even, I wouldn’t care, or comment on them. But, I’m a huge Batman fan & had to read RIP & as a DC fan had to read Final Crisis (if you follow the DCU, you can’t not read a Crisis!) and these stories piss me off that they are experimental or vague or whatever word you wanna use — they only seem to make sense to a minority of readers.

    I’m not "mad" at people who like these books, rock on if you do, I’m pissed off at DC for publishing stories that are probably only comprehensible to 50% (or less) of people who read them, in books that A LOT of people want to read. If somoene insults me, though … yeah, I feel … insulted.

  109. @muddi900

    I don’t really get any info outside of the books I read or from iFanboy.  That being said, I started reading in late May/early June and by July had a pull list of over 35 titles.  I have read all the tie-ins, so that helps, but the book isn’t about Talky Tawny.  I just accept that he’s there and I that it was awesome that he tore the other Tiger guy’s guts out.  You don’t need to know who Barry Allen is to know it’s a big deal he’s back.  They make a big deal of him and briefly explain that there is a legacy with the Flash character.

    It’s like buying a novel at a garage sale and the first chapter has been ripped out.  Knowing what happens in the first chapter can fill out the enjoyment, but you can still enjoy the rest of the book.  Anything big is usually mentioned again anyway.

  110. @Wade: So as I mentioned earlier…..You just want the millionth Joker/Batman fight? Cause it seems to me you dont want anything new done to a superhero. I’m not judging you if you want that, I’m just saying that not everyone wants a generic (coughs)orJephLoebbook(cough) every time they pay a book for 2.99.

  111. " Morrison is definitely not for every one – some people don’t want their super hero comics to be tough and challenging – and that’s totally fine. "

    I think the reason that I don’t like that line is because it automatically assumes that if one doesn’t like Morrison’s work on Batman or Final Crisis it is because the books are tough and challenging.  Maybe I like tough and challenging books, even my super hero books, maybe I’m just not a big fan of this particular story.  It just seems like, even with that line, there is little room for middle ground.  It seems like if you don’t like this Morrison story then you don’t like new and challenging comics…  It just seems way too black and white for me.  Anyways, that’s my 2 cents worth.

  112. Nobody needs to by anything these days. If you really want to you can go onto the internet (maybe to iFanboy) and find out what’s happening in any books out there. The idea that you have to buy something is ridiculous. Nobody is holding a gun to your head.

    I thought that the "Wolverine Dies" arc of Wolverine was hideous and poorly written so I didn’t buy it but hung around the boards every now and then to pick up the story. When a new writer jumped on I picked it up again.

    This isn’t easy with Morrison’s run on Batman being so long and I get that and have some sympathy for people there though.

  113. @Champ — Huh? When did I say I wanted the millionth Batman/Joker fight or Jeph Loeb style books? Puttin’ words in my mouth there (or fingers on my keyboard?).

    I’m not argueing the style of writing, we have done that to death in the comics sections. 😛  I was commenting on why people take G-Mo debates personally & you just gave a perfect example of it — you’re saying if I don’t like "experimental" comics, then I must want brainless beat-em-up comics. That’s not exactly a compliment.

  114. I agree with DMaggot. See, I take a bit of umbrage with the notion that if you don’t like Grant Morrison then you don’t like your superhero comics challenging. I am fascinated by superheroes, they represent sociological archetypes and represent a psychological function that we need & is enlightening. Comics can be fun AND challenging, but it is an issue of whether or not they are written well. Final Crisis is written in this off the cuff schizophrenic method where its like flipping through a series of channels showing every single episode of 24 really quickly. Its people whispering or talking some kind of jargon and then followed up by someone screaming "DON’T YOU GET WHAT I’M SAYING!!?" or "THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS!" It is writing as channel surfing, and then implying that if you don’t understand what those shows or movies are about after seeing 2 seconds of them you don’t "get" or "appreciate" said tv or movie show or it’s creators is shortsighted. With rose colored glasses on. 

  115. @Wade: What I’m trying to say, and what I have been confused about since this whole arguement started, is what do you want?

    What does Morrison need to do for you and anyone else to make you happy? You obviously dont want this experimental style he’s doing….So what do you want him to do?

  116. Serenity now…serenity now

  117. @TheNextChampion and Wade: Morrison should not have to do anything. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.

  118. @reg5000: But I’m just confused on what he needs to do in order to get everyone on board with him.

    Again should he not touch mainstream characters? Or more precisely, characters people know about? Cause if he does Animal Man, it’s a work of a genius. But if it’s Batman then it’s one of the most confusing peices of literature I’ve ever read.

    I’m sorry to be so snippy but damnit it’s annoying me. Morrison has always been like this, Josh and Akamuu states in their love or hate of Morrison books…..His titles are always this experimental or bizarre! What do you want him to do? Change his writing style from the last 15-20 years?

  119. @Champ – C’mon man, you have read enough of my posts to know what I don’t like about RIP & Final Crisis …

    What I want G-Mo to do is beside the point — the point is why people take it personal. If I don’t like these books & insult them, why do G-Mo fans take it personal? Why can’t they just say "OK cool, that’s your opinion"? Why do they feel the need to try to insult ME when only insulted something they like, not them personally? 

    Again — telling me to go read a Loeb book, or some brainless action book like "Rulk" if I don’t like Final Crisis is an insult. Strait up.

  120. @TheNextChamion:  Maybe it just has to do with these particular stories.  I’ve read some of Morrison’s other stuff and absolutely loved it! One of my favourite comics of all time is We3.  Batman just never drew me in, don’t know why, just never really interested me.  And a lot of what Morrison touches on in Final Crisis I find to be a bit boring.  Not all, just quite a bit of it.  I should also point out that Morrison does not always use the same writing style.  What he did in We3 is different from what he did in his X-Men run which is different from what he’s doing now.  With that kind of change not everything is going to stick for everybody. 

     But yeah, Wade is right, this isn’t really about what Morrison should or shouldn’t do, it’s about why people are taking criticisms so personally.

  121. @reg5000 — You are right. No one is forced to read anything. I’m just unlucky that Final Crisis & Batman RIP fell into the two titles I feel I "have" to read, as a collector & fan of DC comics. If these stories were in ANY other titles, I would have dropped them, like you said. And judging by the amount of people commenting & disliking these books — I’m not the only one. That was my point before — maybe it’s not a good idea to put such abstract stories into books that a lot of people read & collect. Let G-Mo go write Seaguy with this type of stuff.

  122. @Wade: ‘maybe it’s not a good idea to put such abstract stories into books that a lot of people read & collect. Let G-Mo go write Seaguy with this type of stuff.’

    But then your just forcing him not to do anything he wants to do. He wants to do this to the DCU, he wants to do abstract stories and experiment with established characters. I understand what your trying to say….but when you say a comment like that, basically telling him not to do what he wants to do in a comic….it’s tell me that you just want him to do one thing, but deny him the right to do something else.

  123. I agree with Jimski. Just keep Morrison at DC and where he belongs.

     

  124. Let’s put this in another way, with that line of thinking that Morrison should just stick with indie books with experimentation.

    Should Michel Gondry not use mainstream actors to do his experiemental comedies and dramas?

    Should Salvador Dali been stuck doing landscapes and impressionist art instead of experimenting with surrealism?

    Should Albert Einstein stick with his job at the patient office before letting his mind wonder and experiment to give us some of the greatest scientific theories of all time?

    That line you state Wade saying ‘go with Seaguy with this type of stuff’ just basically states: ‘You stay here working on indie titles that wont sell anything, and let the established writers continue to do generitic or slightly better comics for Marvel and DC. Here’s another example, should Geoff Johns just stick with doing a bland GL story instead of branching off the ideas of Alan Moore and experiment to do The Blackest Night? With your idea of ‘sticking with this type of stuff’ your saying ‘yes he should just do what DC tells him to do and not his own ideas’.

    I dont mean to put words, or type words into your mouths. But with an attitude of stating ‘stick with this type of stuff’ then your forcing Grant Morrison to not branch out and try and entertain us with his thoughts and ideas for Batman or Superman or with anyone else.

  125. @Champ – You are the master of going sideways with your arguements. 😛 I have no power to "force" or "deny" G-Mo the right to do anything. I’m just telling you my opinions.

    My point about Seaguy was that in Conor’s article he says that people have only recently started all this back & forth over G-Mo. It never happened last year when the iFanboys did the Morrison specials — it’s happened ever since he has forced this abstract style down the mainstream comics throat with RIP & Final Crisis.

    Let’s keep it on point here — I’m a huge fan of both Kevin Smith & JMS, who both cop a lot of shit on this site & I wouldn’t try to defend thier work, because opinions are like assholes — everyone has one. So, what makes G-Mo so special that his fans defend him & take things personally & feel the need to insult you if you don’t like his work?

  126. TNC – Seems to me that we’ve answered your question many times. You keep aiming for a polemic that doesn’t exist. There is not an either/or. It’s not Morrison or Loeb. And it’s NOT about the mainstream vs. obscure/indie. I stated in my post that Morrison has changed the way he tells stories with Batman and Final Crisis and some of his most recent super-hero work. His current work does NOT connect with me like his older work and other folks’ current work. It does NOT mean that I want Loeb’s Rulk and it does NOT mean that I think Morrison is only good for Animal Man.

    Bottom line: He has changed the way he’s telling the stories. *I* think he’s made a misstep. Now, maybe I’m hyper-aware of this because I’ve been following Morrison since the late 80’s. I dunno. But that’s what’s dampening my enthusiasm for RIP and FC.

  127. I’m sorry, I didnt mean to sound like a politican with that last rant (hmmm that could be a good career choice) it’s just that I am so passionate about what Morrison is doing here. Sure it could all blow up in his face, but what he is trying to do is very bold and artistic of him. This could be the start of writers actually trying and experiment more rather then follow a basic outline given to their publishers or bosses.

    (Little sidetrack) What made me pissed off about Secret Invasion is that here was a guy who experimented like crazy with his indie books and brought his own voice to established characters. What I got from that event was nothing but generic storytelling and maybe that’s why I am loving Morrison then ever. Here is a guy who, almost, has the same career path as Bendis and he is doing more with established characters then what any writer has done since…..well hell since the early days of Marvel or DC. I will say this with all honesty, that in a couple of years if/when the industry changes it will all be because of Grant Morrison and what he is doing right now with DC and any other indie books he does.

  128. Grant Morrison doesn’t write essays on Quantum Physics nor does he write Dr. Seuss, yet it’s easy to see why it would be hard finding common middle ground.

    First of all saying that "Morrison doesn’t write for people who don’t like challenging comics" or something along those lines, is a little extreme. Sure his writing can be challenging, but I doubt there was ever a point were someone thought that they had a better chance at deciphering ancient scriptures rather than figure out a Grant Morrison comic. I’m sure anybody could and can understand a Morrison comic if given the time.

    Honestly, I just got back into comics not too long ago and I read Batman from the beginning of Morrison’s run and by the end of R.I.P. I had a pretty good understanding of what had happened and what Morrison was doing.

    When I got into Final Crisis, it was a different story. I had prior but very limited knowledge of Jack Kirby’s New Gods and the world he had crafted so suddenly jumping into Final Crisis was not easy by any means. However, after reading the main issues and some of the side-issues things began to fall into place. I’m by no means an expert but now, I have atleast a general understanding of the events occuring in Final Crisis.

    I understand where alot of people are coming from, I don’t have the major extensive knowledge that a 10 or 20 year DC vet might have so of course it going to be hard to understand every single intricate detail and plot point that he’s inserting into the story. However, I also respect him pushing his ideas and doing what he wants in the story that he’s crafting.  

    I’m no Grant Morrison elitist but I’m also not a Grant Morrison hater, I like his work and sometimes I don’t. Whether you’re a fan or simply someone who doesn’t enjoy his work, it’s perfectly fine. I do think though, that it isn’t okay to be beligerent towards each other because someone might enjoy his work and others might not, or to attack the man himself.

    In the end, we’re all individuals who have different tastes and likings and there is no possible way of appeasing everyone.

  129. @balsalm: Very well put.

  130. Ok waitaminute here. Why the hell do I get the impression that voicing our opinions passionately and intensely is a bad thing? Sports fans get worked up and nothing bad comes of it (except in soccer *gulp*). We get into these debates because we love comics and it’s fun!

    Raise your hand, who got their feelings hurt over this. I mean, really hurt. Not pissed off, annoyed, frustrated or whatever. Who here was hurt for real. I mean, tears, difficulty functioning and stuff like that. Did any of us have their lives truly disrupted about this? 10$ says not a damn hand comes up.

    I hope that gets my point across.

    Another thing. No offense to the iFanhosts, I love the bulk of their output, but the FC #6 discussion on the last podcast was kind of boring. "I liked FC#6" "Why?" "I just did" *snore*.

    It’s fun and entertaining to back up your opinions and get a chance to express your intense like or dislike of something and see others do the same. Come on! We have a website here called iFanboy, which is all about comics critique and commentary and prominently features user reviews and other ways for users to express their opinions and you’re surprised this kafuffle occured? Jeez Louise! What did you expect!?

    Now here’s another damn thing. Some (not all of course) of you talk about how you love to be challenged, and you like G-Mo for that. But then, a reviewer or fellow comics hobbyist challenges (get that?) your point of view and then you get all "shadup-a-yo-face" on his/her ass. Uhm, can you say "major incongruity"?

    Now to another damn thing still. If you expect this sort of thing to blow over, forget it. Especially after this article ripping the issue wide the hell open. Get used to it. People get their panties in a twitch, people love stuff, people hate stuff, they get intense, they calm down, they talk, they laugh, they steam, they rejoice etc. There is not one damn thing anyone can do about it. And there is not one damn thing anyone should do about it. What’s occuring right now is not on this website is not a bad thing. It’s just a bunch of male and female dudes with the same hobby.We’re playing! Relax, no one’s gonna lose an eye.

  131. I really like "Kill Your Boyfriend"

  132. @Ron: Oh yeah? Well you suck that’s why!

    😉

  133. @Ron: I like turtles

    I also like Grant Morrison (I’m sorry but i refuse to call him G-Mo). I thought RIP was really good but was marketed very poorly by DC. They billed it as an event where it was just a story arc.

    Final Crisis has been many things and I have, for the most part, enjoyed it but high on my list when describing it so far would be ‘confusing’. Brilliant and possessing fantastic character moments are also ways I would describe this series. I imagine that it will read very well in trade.

    @Wade: To say that Morrison should stick with more indie books isn’t cool. You might not like how he is writing but there are people out there who enjoy it. His Joker in RIP was awesome (especially in the last issue of the arc) and I for one am very glad to have been able to read that. I do feel for you that a writer you do not enjoy is on books that you feel you have to buy. Especially when he’s been on it for so long. It can’t be easy and I dread having to come across something like that myself (though Warren Ellis’s AXM is getting there for me).

    @JumpingJupiter: Well put. This surely is what the internet was built for (well this and porn). Arguments between people with the same hobby but vastly different tastes are, among other things, a brilliant way to avid actually doing anything while I’m at work. It also means that those of us, like myself, who don’t know many people who like comics can engage in lively (and occasionally hostile) debates about this thing we love.

    If someone calls you stupid for not liking Morrison (or any writer for that matter) then they’re just being a tool. If, on the other hand, someone with a different opinion wants to argue with you about Morrison you shouldn’t call them stupid either.

  134. Nerds

  135. @reg5000 & Champ – I never said Morrison should stick to indie books fully. I liked all of his run on Batman (up until about halfway through RIP) & I loved his JLA run. I meant he should save the "experimental/abstract" stuff for indie/lesser known titles. You’re argueing something I didn’t even say. o_O

  136. I’ve almost always enjoyed Morrison’s work, I think his style does better in trade format when the whole picture is laid out.  Specific examples would be New X-men, JLA, most of his Batman work, his co-work on 52 etc.

    I like what is going on with Final Crisis despite the flaws in the pacing but I do have concerns about how it’s going to finish out with issue #7.  I think one of the problems he has with taking so many risks is it may work and it may not work but I reserve final judgement till he finishes his run.  I gave Secret Invasion the same fair shake.

  137. Kill Your Boyfriend wasn’t that good really.

  138. I’m just having a great time with his recent stuff. I don’t understand why people on both sides discount and often insult other’s opinion or views on FC, or any comic for that matter

  139. @Neb: "I may be going out on a limb with this theory, but could it be that, subconciously, people get so personal about his work because if they don’t get it they feel idiotic, and then jealousy (again subconcious) gets the best of them on the boards?  Or is it a subconcious pride that flows through the veins of those that finally "get" a Morrison storyline and they feel the need to (again subconciously) toot their perverbial horn?"

    BTW, FC and RIP (particularly the latter) were the most fun I’ve had reading comics in a long time, and yet I hear people dismiss them with "Comics should be fun! Comics should be entertaining!" Well, some people’s idea of "fun" can sometimes include the mentally challenging. But there’s a problem on an even deeper level with the "Comics should be fun!" argument. Should all books be fun? Should all movies be fun? What’s wrong with just being "interesting" or "insightful" or even "educational"? In a way, RIP was "educational" about Batman–it forced readers to learn about Batman’s history through the ages. I already hear the usual complain coming: "Reading comics shouldn’t feel like doing homework!" That typical comment sort of bespeaks a mindset in which anything difficult and not superficially entertaining MUST be associated with (school)work.

    Note that I don’t say that all comics "SHOULD" be difficult, though. Enough of these weirdly dictatorial ruminations on how comics "should" or "shouldn’t" be.

  140. @Neb: I meant to say at first that I agree with you. Weird way that this system always organizes quotes and such, I tell ya…

  141. I’m convinced that Connor wrote this article specifically to get a debate going on.  For shame Conor…for shame

  142. I’ve turned a handful of non-comic readers on to comics this year by giving them Final Crisis & RIP (among other things) and their reaction to FC has been overwhelmingly positive. From people that have never read a comic book in their life before. Not a single one (of about 15) have mentioned the story being confusing or difficult to follow. That is much more a phenomena among comic book fans than casual readers. Who are content to sit back and enjoy the spectacle while digging on ‘Batman meets the bhagavad gita’.

  143. @Wade: I’m sorry but:

    ‘I meant he should save the "experimental/abstract" stuff for indie/lesser known titles’

    What am I suppose to take out of a quote like that? Yes your not saying what I’m thinking this means….but to me, once again, it sounds like you dont want a writer to try new things with more established characters. Again if he cant do experimental/abstract ‘stuff’ in Batman or Final Crisis; your just telling him to be a generic writer.

    Oh and btw to all of you….THIS CONVERSATON WILL NEVER DIE! Not as long as Final Crisis #7 comes out….and then ifanboy does a video show for Final Crisis…..and then Morrison will come back to DC in mid-summer to write Batman again. So yes, this will never end. (laughs evilly)

  144. I keep reading comments that say if you don’t like Morrison, then you should just stick to Red Hulk.  Comments like that are what I think offends some people.  I’ve noticed lately that if someone posts a critique it’s met with accusations that they are comic book guys or worse, trolls.  During the RIP finale discussion, I was told if I didn’t like RIP that I wasn’t "intellectual" enough and basically insinuated that I should just stick to reading Ninja Turtle comics.  I think when comments like those show up is when the discussions turn south.

    On a different note, while I hated RIP, I’ve enjoyed Final Crisis and I just checked out (and loved)the first volume of G-Mo’s JLA run, so he’s 2 for 3 with me.

  145. Am I the only one that finds Morrison’s work somewhat rudimentary?  I’m certainly not going to say that there isn’t an audience out there for his type of story telling but his ideas seem very basic to me.  When I’m done with one of his collected works and I take a step back to examine it, it feels as if a child just told me a story.  Nothing is fleshed out and it’s just one wild idea after another.  I would honestly like to see what he would come up with if he had someone next to him, while he’s writing, telling him to "calm down" and "elaborate."  Either that, or put him on ritalin for a couple weeks and see what happens.

  146. "When I’m done with one of his collected works and I take a step back to examine it, it feels as if a child just told me a story."

    I got a similar impression with FC #6. "First Brainiac told Superman about a machine that can do anything. Cool huh? And the Supergirl fought Black Mary Marvel and she called her a slut. lol. And then Batman came and shot Darkseid and Superman was reaaaly mad. But it was too late. Boo!"

    It’s weird because I get that impression but at the same time I get the impression that the story is being held back and hidden inside some secret locked compartment.

    But anyway, this thread doesn’t know what it’s about anymore which is hilarious.

    @Drake: Actually my theory is that Conor might’ve thought he was gonna show us how silly we were all being and that outing the issue in this article would "fix" this "problem".

    Anyway, why isn’t DarqueKnight not posting in this thread?

  147. @JJ-I like to believe Conor is more sinister than that 🙂

    I too wonder why DarqueKnight isn’t posting, he seemed so strong about his opinions.  But in general, tons of members of iFanboy, yet only a select few post!  I want to see more opinions!  More beautiful chaos!

  148. @Wade: I have to side with Champ on this one. I applaud DC for giving Morrison this kind of freedom to write. How often do we lament the fact that things are too mainstream and obsessed with maintaining the status quo (that term is gonna get some people agitated I imagine)?

  149. I do have to give him credit, the last page made my jaw drop. 

  150. @Connor how did you feel seeing Batman firing a GUN to kill Turpin(as the "host" of Darkseid)?

  151. @Jesse1125: I was fine with it.

  152. ok, I remember Batman year Two getting slammed for Batman taking the easy way out and using a gun!

    I expected more from Bats, though thanks

  153. I think when he’s come face to face with Evil Incarnate and no amount of non-lethal techiniques would be even remotely effective, I think Batman is allowed. 🙂

  154. Hi guys.  Connor was Kind enough to email me and tell me my email sparked an atricle and some debate so I surfed on over here and thought I would throw My two cents in. 

     First off to Connor:  I see how it could be taken that some people take Morrison to personally.  I don’t really.  I swear.  I also really happen to like Morrison’s work MOST of the time.  I just don’t GET FC and I REALLY DESPERATELY want to and what I and lots of us are really asking is if there is some secret code to deciphering it that we just don’t get or if it just a matter of "Put this under your tounge, wiat 30 minutes and enjoy the ride".  If it is the latter then fine no problem I can walk away and not feel bad knowing FC is just not for me.  As I said in my email neither was The Filth.  The problem I have is that so many people keep talking about it in these lofty tones and refering to its connected-ness to other works and how it ties up threads that Morrison has laid out in other books and how it really is a Magnum Opus of his Super Hero work and if THAT is true then I want to know what books to read and what threads to follow to GET FC, but all i hear from every one is how great it is and how I just don’t "get" it and how mabey its just not for me.  Well maybe it COULD be for me if someone could explain the dang thing to me instead of telling people like me to stop getting so agitated about it…(geesh)

     Secondly Connor never really touched on my questions about Batman’s death being a stunt in a crossover book and DC’s Crisis crossovers being Continuity Washes.  I would like to know How the iFanbase feels about that and would REALLY like to know how Ron Connor and Josh feel about it.  

    Third:  Connor I have NO problem with you taking my email or me to the mat.  You sir are the MAN.  As for being challened by books.  Dude why the heck do you think I am still reading FC? I like to push myself in case I am missing something great just because I don’t get it right away.  And I LOVE Morrison.  I hated the Filth but I bought the whole thing in issues becuase I LOVE Morrison.  Sometimes the Guy is like Derrida though; you need someone to help you understand what the heck he is saying.

     Thanks again.  

    Jason 

  155. cant we all just get along

  156. I think the reason for all the ire recently is that G-Mo, if not the sole architect of the current DCU, is certainly in charge of the highest profile stories in it right now.  Regardless of how oddly little FC is being reflected in other series, RIP and FC are the most hyped, and are two of the three stories that will most affect everything for the time being; the third is New Krypton.  Batman is DC’s most popular character.  FC is the pinnacle of event comics in terms of importance.  I think the frustration, at least on one side, comes from wanting to be in on all this important stuff going on, but not being able to because it’s too hard to figure out.  Some of the smaller, less important of his works you can take or leave at your own leisure and not feel like you’re missing something you might need to know later, you know?

     

  157. @sapcegrass: Pfft!

  158. @reg500 & Champ — I see your point, & maybe if I was one of the people who liked RIP & Final Crisis then I wouldn’t feel how I do about keeping abstract stories in abstract titles. Lucky for you guys & anyone who enjoys this stuff, I’m not an editor at DC — so my opinion is meaningless.

  159. $.02: Grant’ll always get a pass from me b/c he wrote one of the four or five greatesst comics of all time with WE3. And since I’ll never again buy anything from DC with "crisis" on the cover (you burned me bad back in ’85 with the incomprehensible COIE) whatever he’s doing with the DCU now doesn’t bother me. But I see how it could, if you’re a DC guy.

    For the record: Liked New X-Men, Flex Mentalo, and that JLA Earth 2 thing; Loved WE3 and Fantastic Four 1234 as well as most of All-Star Superman; on the fence about The Filth, Marvel Boy; couldn’t read – as in never been able to completely get through –  Invisibles and Doom Patrol; actively dislike his Hellblazer issues; and think Animal Man isn’t bad but is grossly overrated. Ooooh, breaking the fourth wall AND putting himself into the narrative. Groundbreaking, except Chuck Jones did it with Warner Bros. twenty-five years earlier.

     

     

  160. God, this whole thing is like every argument I’ve had about James Joyce rolled into one giantic ongoing thread. I don’t think we are ever going to stop having this debate as long as forms of artistic expression exisit.

    @WadeWilson – I really don’t think that R.I.P. or Final Crisis could be called abstract at all. Sure, there are elements of wierdness, but honestly it’s not that much stranger than a episode of Lost. I really don’t think that Morrison could really be described as abstract writer anyway. Even on his most out there books there’s still a plot and a narrative and it’s not formless rambling. It’s not like it’s automatic writing or like a Stan Brakhage film.  Sorry, if it seems like i’m picking on you for that, but that’s something that i kinda wanna clear up.

    I think that it’s perfectly legitimate to criticize or to not like how Morrison choosed tell the stories. i still think that R.I.P. is a fairly straight forward story except that Morrison wanted to the reader to feel the way that Bruce Wayne is feeling. i’m not going to use the term challenging, because i really don’t think that it is at all. it’s just that that is not your own personal taste i would imagine.

    Just like I know that one of JumpingJupiter’s criticisms of Final Crisis is that there is no character to follow and that is 100% true at this point. It has been just random flashes from the various corners of the DCU. The thing is that both of those are legitimate ways to tell a story and Morrison is hardly the first one to use ’em. To be honest, i tend to perfer stories that are told to me in a slightly askew way.

    whatever mang. *brohugs*

  161. So many comments, so, so many, and not ONE of you mentions Vimanarama?

    C’mon people, do you even READ comics?

    Also, Jeph Loeb’s Hulk?  Also experimental, also not for everyone, if you don’t like it you probably just don’t understand it.

    😉

  162. I read the first issue of Viminarama.  I loved the art, but I didn’t really like the rest of it.

  163. @akamuu, I like Grant Morrison’s writing because when I read it, I can count on seeing something that I’ve never seen before. And if it’s mostly confusing, by the end it usually makes sense. It’s like a 5 sq. foot jigsaw puzzle of a 2 inch balloon against a cloudless sky. I loved his X-Men, Doom Patrol, Animal Man, Arkham Asylum, All-Star Supes, RIP, and Final Crisis so far. I’m still struggling with the Invisibles, but I have faith that it’ll all work out in the end.

  164. Look, there is experimentation and there is bad writing.  You see in literature we have these things called character arcs.  THis means that, when a character is important to the story, at any point in time we have an idea of where that character has been and why that character is doing what he is doing.  They did this very well in the original Crisis even though they had an abundance of characters to keep track of.  Infinite Crisis was also very good of keeping track of even minor character and major character’s motivations.  Final Crisis has not done this.

    Batman should be a major character on FC right?  I mean his death is one of the major changes coming out of it.  So how come in issue 6, when Batman appeared, I was thinking "Where did he come from?  Where did he get that gun?  What did he go through to make him use that gun which is something he almost never does?" Hell even in Grant Morrison’s Batman they make a big point of saying that Batman does not use guns.  So all of a sudden he is breaking one of his own rules and Grant Morrison leaves out everything that came before it.

    If I’m wrong and Batman isn’t a major character on Final Crisis, maybe they should have left his death for after Final Crisis so that it was handled properly like it was on Batman RIP and not as an afterthought.

  165. I didn’t have any problems following that at all. And it makes sense to me that he would use a gun. After all, he had just been tortured by a GOD! I think I’d bend my prinicples a bit too at that point.

  166. my comparison:  Han solo escaped from his carbonite prison!

                             Wow, How did he do it?

                             Doesn’t matter, not important you just need to know he’s here to save the day!

  167. Except, Knowing makes it more fun(to me)

  168. @Labor.  You assume a lot about people.  I never said that Hulk was deep, nor did I say I enjoy it.  Quit acting like there’s no middle ground between things like Morrison’s work and Hulk.  It’s just kind of annoying.  This argument is, and probably will go on for ages.  I’m done here. I’m really glad something like this wasn’t the first thing I saw on iFanboy or I’d be gone.  No wonder new readers have such a hard time getting into comics. Luckily, I know that in a week, none of us will give a damn about anything said in this thread and we can all move on and talk about stuff we love with an actual passion for the work instead of a fervered defense or attack against it.

    Still love this place.  

  169. I dunno, I think some noobs would enjoy this sort of kafuffle.

  170. Conor was so short with Ron during the FC#6 discussion it made me uncomfortable. 

  171. @mulletpeep — If I used the wrong word to describe these sort of stories, it’s because I don’t know how to label them. If abstract is the wrong word, cool, I wont argue with you. I wouldn’t say RIP was strait forward, though — or else there wouldn’t be 700 different theories about who Dr Hurt really was (my main beef with the story).

    But, to keep things on topic (if this isn’t dead yet?), my point all along is that if I don’t enjoy these type of stories (or any other) why do the people who do enjoy it feel the need to defend the writer as if it’s THEM being insulted? And, why do the defenders always need to drop personal insults, like: "if this is too hard for you, go read Rulk." ? 

  172. @actualbutt:  I’m looking for specifics about FC & RIP, which it seems I’m not going to get.  I understand why people like his writing, in general.  *I* like his writing, in general.  It’s these two recent stories that I just don’t understand the appeal of.  And no one has offered any reasons, short of "because it’s good" or "because I liked it", which makes me think they don’t understand it, either, but want people to think they do.

  173. haha, actualbutt is a great name!

  174. Labor, I read and love both Amazing Spider-man and Final Crisis. They’re probably the two best Superhero books on the shelves

  175. If ya’s likes, ya likes, if ya’s don’t ya don’t.  May reason triumph over rage.

    Someone send in the Blue Lanterns!

  176. Wow, epic thread. I wish I had found this a little earlier to be honest, to open up a can of rhetorical whoop-ass on y’all, lol. I just wanna talk about some of the things that have come to mind while reading through this insane collection of warring voices. I may ramble a bit, but let’s see if we can get this page up to 200 posts, shall we? ;P

    Firstly, I’ll open up and tell you that I am quite the Morrison fan, so my arguements are coming from a ‘WTF? Why can’t you see the goodness??’ kinda standpoint. I’ll try and be nice though, ha!

    In answer to Conor, I think the reason that people are taking this so seriously is because the toys that he’s playing with are very important. I agree with someone upthread (Paul?) who mentioned Animal Man and how out-there that was, and I’ll throw in a bit of Doom Patrol as well. When he’s playing with the essential fabric of the DCU though, there are a lot more people to worry about how it will turn out and therefore you’ll get people reading the books that otherwise wouldn’t. The opinions on something liek All-Start Superman weren’t nearly as polarised because it wasn’t as important to the universal continuity. That c-word gets us fatbeards into an awful lather.

    Now, the main criticism I’m seeing here WRT Final Crisis and RIP is ‘I don’t get it’. I think the essential conflict here isthe people that understand the books on a first read (like myself) are thinking ‘What is there not to get?’. The nature of the internet means this comes out as a scathing aside questioning the confused reader’s intelligence or genetic history. It’s not necessarily meant seriously, it’s just the internet.

    But seriously, what is there not to get? The basic story of something like RIP or FC is very simple. Bad shit happens, the good-guys sort it out. It’s the same basic story as any superhero comic, only the window dressing is a lot more elaborate. Yes there are easter-eggs and layers of meaning for longtime DCU or Morrison readers but it’s all superfluous. For example, you don’t need to know that the time-bullet from FC #2(?) has a little chronovore in it (last seen is ASS and mentioned as an aside in DC100000, moz-spotters), it adds a little meaning, but the essential reading of ‘timebullet’ is the same. I think that so many people get hooked on trying to understand te minutae that they can’t step back and see the bigger picture. The reason it gets so heated is that many people can see the big picture and can’t understand what the confused are missing.

    For example, the people wondering WTF about Batman and Darkseid in last issue of FC – this was revealed in the last rites two-parter in Batman, which showed Batman escaping his mind-prison and set up the bullet in the belt. That’s some simple crossing-over there, in a series markedly low on required crossovers, and the issues of Batman were clearly marked as FC crossovers. Also, Batman hay have shot Darkseid but he hasn’t necessarily killed Turpin – notice the not-fatal to humans shoulder-shot and the fact that it’s a poisoned bullet. Thing like this last point are basic reading-comprehension issues, and I think that’s why the Kool-Aid Drinkers get annoyed with the Confused – it’s right there on the page, look at the pictures a sec after you’ve finished reading the words FFS!

    I do agree though that FC is chocked full of Morrison-isms and they can be alienating for a new reader. For me personally, the collaborative nature of reading comics on the internet is part of the fun of reading GMoz comics. Discussing the books is great fun, especially with other people that really get the material. They’ll pick up on the minutae you may have missed and you may have points that you’ve noticed that nobody else has, it’s very rewarding. The obtuse ‘I DON’T/CAN’T/WON’T UNDERSTAND THIS’ is a total block on this communication though – it’s a full stop on a conversation and is deeply unhelpful on forums. What do you not understand? Exactly? Ask the internet, it is your three-billion-eyed friend! Nobody is born fluent in this stuff, just get collaborating.

  177. @akamuu " I’m looking for specifics about FC & RIP, which it seems I’m not going to get.  I understand why people like his writing, in general.  *I* like his writing, in general.  It’s these two recent stories that I just don’t understand the appeal of.  And no one has offered any reasons, short of "because it’s good" or "because I liked it", which makes me think they don’t understand it, either, but want people to think they do."

    Awesome, may I? (i’ll try make this as coherent as possible)

    Batman RIP: I’ve been reading Batman comics (I have complete runs of every Batbook from 1990) for the best part of 20 years and what struck me when reading Moz’s Bat-run was just how mediocre and inconsequential many of these stories have been. Finally though, here was a story that had stakes, scope and a deep root in Batman continuity from a writer with skill and passion for the character (bear in mind that when I think of RIP I think of the entire Morrsion run, it’s all one story). I loved the metaphysical mind-fuckery of the Three Ghosts and how that naturally evolved into the Black Glove threat. We as readers spent so much energy trying to figure out how Dr Hurt was that we missed the point – Batman whas tying to find out who the Black Gove was and we knew that already, it was Dr Hurt and his crew (yes, and one more ‘surprise’ character for the ending). I think DC’s marketing hurt the reception of the story more than the story itself. What we were watching was Batman driving himself to the break trying to find a villian that was one step ahead of him – but we knew who that villain was all along! (and if you look at #666 again it is fairly explicit that Hurt was at least on some level an incarnation of the devil).

    What was so good about it then? Apophenia! Red and Black! Looking for patterns in everything, devouring each issue and not being able to wait for the next one – reading it made me feel like a kid again. Bane Batman! The Island of the Black Glove story! JH Williams art! the squire and Robin being kidnapped! Batman’s chuckle! Devil Batman’s torture chamber! Robin Dies at Dawn as psychological breakdown! Survivor guilt! Stephanie’s costume in the Batcave!!! ZURR EN ARR!! BatfuckingMite!! "My faithful servant"!!! THE JOKER PROSE ISSUE!!! Batman crawling out of a grave!! The look on his face when he twigs onto Jezebel at the start of the run! #666! BATMAN AND ROBIN WILL NEVER DIE!!!

    Phew.

    Final Crisis- The feeling of dread through the first three issues. A bullet shot backwards in time (with a little chronovore inside!). Green lanterns as intersteller CSI. Anthro. Kamandi. "I am not averse to the taste of human flesh sir!!" Making monitors cool again. The Orrery of 52 worlds! "Pray for a resurrection" Batmans syringe hat. Barry Allen!! Mister Miracle as played by Mos Def! ANTI-LIFE!! Tattoo-man. Ollie and Dinah kissing through the glass! Superman leaving lois between heartbeats! The insane portrayal of Overman(I lovelovelove this!). Limbo-town!! The ultima thule looks like the yellow submarine!! Kalibak in tiger-body! Turpin resists anti-life! Wonder-woman’s face (and back, ewww). "Hey You. Sorry I was late" (manly tears!). TO DIE ON THE JOB IS TO DIE FOR DARKSEID! Thumbs down… "You have thoughtlessly gunned down a global mega-star! How will you explain yourselves to this man’s fans?" Motherboxxx! Frankenstein on a METAL-MAN MOTORBIKE quoting MILTON!! Dasaad vs the Marvels!! Kalikak vs Tawky Tawny!!! Kalibak’s guts!!! ‘Strong is only" 17 – PING!!! I. AM. THE. NEW. GOD. Monitor v2!! "Hurry Superman! I calculate we have exactly 72.4 secondsbefore time breaks down and this sentence becomes meaningless." (!!!) Dinah’s zero-G tears for Ollie. Batman has God-sight?? Batman has no eyes???

    So yeah, it’s all on the page. I need a sleep now.

  178. How often must it be said that the problem doesn’t lie in the elements of the story, but, rather, the way in which they’re delivered? No one wants to read someone’s forum posts to make sense of a book they chose to read on their time.

  179. I love it. The guy basically writes 2 full articles himself on the tidbits (which IMO is exactly how those series read, like pieces) of RIP and FC he likes, then procedes to tell us that people that don’t get it have a problem with "reading comprehension". LOL

  180. @Face – yeah, that’s the point. I do though. It’s not even like I need it explaining to me, but discussing the intricacies of how the story works or the references is fun for me. But the story itself is there on the page when I read it, I don’t need it spelling out at all.

    @DocSamson – I was trying to get across the superdense thrill that I personally get from reading these stories. That’s why I love Morrison, it’s like a 200mph sugar-rush of high concepts, baffling information and pitch-perfect character moments that make his comics stand out (and, conversely, hard to read).

    A lot of the time, and especially in these big event stories he does, every panel is important and is chock full of meaning and information. It’s up to the reader to take that information, but it’s there. The action often continues off-panel but there are enough clues and references to follow the momentum of the story. It’s like having a tale with the complexities of something like LoTR or Star Wars but having it edited like a music video or a trailer and fit into 30 minutes. Every important beat is in there, but it’s spliced together at breakneck pace. I happen to like this, but I can see how you wouldn’t.

    But, the beauty of comics is that as a reader I can dwell on that perfect image or line for as long as I want to before moving on with the thrill-ride. The one page in FC with Barry saving Iris for instance – it could have been 4 or 5 pages, but there was one panel on that page that said more about the characters than an entire book could. You could have Batman sneaking about in FC6 but why bother? They mentioned in FC5 that he escaped anyway and that’s what Batman does, he emerges from the shadows, unseen until he wants to be. 

    And yes, to the people that DO get it, it does seem that the ones that don’t are simply not reading it properly. It’s there, I saw it, what’s not to get? ;P

  181. @jedeyesniv:  Thanks for answering my question.  I’m on the other side of the bardbed wire on RIP, I loved Morrison’s lead up to the story, but was dissapointed in its climax.

     

    I guess the whole thing boils down to an issue of pacing for me.  RIP was weirdly slow, and FC was panel after panel afer panel of things that, yes, could have each been their own issue.  I might have enjoyed them if they were each their own issues.  But crisis after crisis after crisis with the characters not having time to react to it all just made the whole read seem empty to me.  Add to that, the fact that it doesn’t actually seem to tie into any continuity EXCEPT RIP, and, ugh.

     

    But thank you for taking the time to say what you liked, instead of just saying "Ur dumm 4 not getten it." 

  182. "the ones that don’t are simply not reading it properly."

    Uhm, what? What the hell is "reading it properly"? You read it or you don’t.

  183. I’d like to categorise myself as a casual reader and have followed X-Men on and off for around 15 years, what I always liked about comics was how much history/continuity was involved for me to seek out and study. This is what Grant Morrison’s stories give me, I came back to comics at the start of Morrison’s New X-Men run and I was astounded at how he took the concept and took it to the next logical step, I saw it as Xavier’s dream almost been fulfilled and I was pretty gutted on how most of these forward thinking concepts have been scaled back (while Austin’s faux pas have been overlooked).

     

    My relationship with the DCU was born out of the Dini/Timm Bataman animated series and later JL/JLU where after every episode I would be checking out the background of all the characters I didn’t know even names that where said in passing. I decided that after such a good experience with Morrison’s New X-Men run I’d check out Final Crisis, I no prior knowledge of the DCU as a whole really other than Wiki’s and JLU and I have had so much fun!

    For example, checking out wikipedia on the Anti-life equation blew my mind as pretty much everyone who know it prior to FC were in the first issue Sonny Sumo, Empress, Mr. Miracle etc. It added another layer for me.

     

    I find Grant Morrison to be a bit like Radiohead’s Kid A/Amnesiac phase, the more you work at it the more you get out.

    This has been a really interesting conversation most boards I read especially video game ones would have devolved into insults by now, the iFanbase has quality people!

  184. We just don’t know any good swear words

  185. @chlop – what about frack and grife?? ha

    @JumpingJupiter – well, I did say that it SEEMS to the Enlightened Readers that the Confused are not reading properly, but you, uh, didn’t read it propery? lol. And hell yes you can read something wrong, you’re being a bit facetious there dude.

  186. For me, Grant Morrison comics (his recent DC work at least) are like Tim Burton movies.  There is a certain genius at work in both cases, I realize this, but there is just no emotional resonance for me at all.  When I watch Tim Burton movies, I see pretty things, but I don’t feel anything.  Same with Final Crisis. 

    I must say that while I’ve been completely unmoved by most of Burton’s stuff (yes, including Batman), Morrison has put out some stuff I’ve truly loved, like We3, Doom Patrol, and to a lesser extent, Batman RIP.

  187. My goodness Jedeye, you capitalize Enlightened and Confused? Wow. You really are a G-Mo fan aren’t you?

    😉

  188. With people saying stuff like: "If you don’t understand it, you can’t read" & labeling themselves as "Enlightened" — does this answer the question of the article?

  189. A BURNING FIERY PASSION!!!!, is exactly how you can describe my hatred for jeph loeb’s writing.  Thanks Conor for putting it into words.

    (Wow, thats a lot of comments…)

  190. It seems like a case of both sides making asumptions about the other side, and then lashing out at the other side’s assumption

  191. Just admit you hate Scottish people… you know you want to

  192. lol @ Wade’s sense of humour failure there…

    @JJ – yes, yes I am. His friends get to call him George you know.

    Listen guys, all I was trying to do was explain why I like it and why people not understanding it is weird to me. No offence meant, and yes the capitalisation of Enlightened and Confused was taking the piss a bit, ha.

    The point still stands though that I and many others can unserstand perfectly the information presented on the page. Other people don’t uderstand what is on the page (or don’t like it, but I’m not talking about those people here). There is a disconnect between these two positions. If it is not an issue of reading comprehension, then what do you brave soldiers still left in this thread think the disconnect is caused by?

  193. "If it is not an issue of reading comprehension, then what do you brave soldiers still left in this thread think the disconnect is caused by?"

    Capitalization.

  194. Wow.  I was going type a response to the reading comprehension slam, but I think it’s best to just let it go.  That was a little uncalled for.

  195. @Jedeye – quit assuming the story’s motions are completely missed by those not enjoying it. it’s that train of thought which brings about the disconnect you’ve queried.    

  196. Vindication has a lot to do with it.

  197. @FACE: Jedeye specifically said that in his comment is wasn’t talking about those who understood it and disliked it, only those who didn’t understand it and disliked it. Those people actually do exist and it isnt’ an insult to say so; they type things like "I didn’t understand any of this."…But gosh, I’d hope that people could at least comprehend what Jedeye means when he writes "I’m not talking about those people here" means… 🙁

    Insanely high FC 7 reviews: http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/123352041089998.htm

    Maybe that will "vindicate" people who loved it. I don’t need other people’s opinions to justify my own, though. 3.5/5.

  198. "Maybe that will "vindicate" people who loved it. I don’t need other people’s opinions to justify my own, though. 3.5/5."

    Is that a dig?

  199. Would it help at all if I called Final Crisis critics "stupid" without being polite?

    If people claiming the series "didn’t make sense," really do mean that, and aren’t just using a familiar phrase to flippantly refer to material they didn’t enjoy, then there’s no other answer.

    Why so much venom surrounding the subject?
    Final Crisis had every chance to represent a historically significant moment for DC comics and the way their fiction is defined. It had the potential to completely reinvent the foundation upon which everything else is built. It was a big two summer event, but not as we know it, which was always going to attract mass attention that would be divided.

    I think Final Crisis – intentfully, or by accident – brought to the surface a lot of old hang-ups that have been floating throughout the fanbase. Since 2000 the "interests" of readers have been divided by some very curious trends, including those more interested than names attached, than the actual content. Readers who perhaps aren’t really interested, or digesting, the materials they’re reading. The same people who’ve almost canonized popular misconceptions through the internet age that fall squarely on Morrison’s shoulders — ie; the bizarre belief that intimate knowledge of sixty years of history is required for any and all DC comic.

    Morrison wrote an exceptionally indulgent superhero epic. One that could redefine pop.
    As a consequence, it threatens to weed out certain perceptions and ideals, particularly those of a lesser value in the sprawling context of comics interacting with concepts of function vs fiction.
    Morrison’s magic made us all part of the story and we seem to be attacking the subject with that same energy like the rebels against the Anti-Life purifiers. I don’t know which side is which.

    At the risk of starting race riots, I really do wonder if the American condition, particularly for some of those less invested readers, isn’t caught off guard by a story that isn’t holding their hand and overstating the obvious. As much as the gritty details of the story have caused issue, the very style of bouncing from point to point seems to have jarred some. Mostly Americans, I find. Which might make sense. Morrison, to me at least, gives off a UK vibe even when wrapped up in the Superman cloak.

    To go back to the energy of the debate; iFanboy manages to appear to be surprisingly oblivious to a lot of prominent situations, information, and debates in and around the comics fanbase. I wonder if Conor noticing a shift in discussion on iFanboy, surrounding Morrison, might not simply be a symptom of growth on the site. I do not know. I’d be fascinated if FC really did increase division over Morrison’s work, because, whenever topical, it certainly seems to have that effect.

    I can’t claim to be intimately aware of every little cranny of Final Crisis, but obviously, I’m very much in the pro category. I can’t understand how any reader could honestly say they didn’t understand what was happening, or believe the story made sense. Not that there isn’t room for doubt and debate.

    I doubt I helped by jumping blindly into the discussion, but I’m pretty sure there are at least a few ideas here not already discussed. Food for thought in an interesting discussion about the meta of meta fiction. Or something to that effect.

  200. They weren’t kidding, this shit is still going on!

  201. Now people are making generalizations based on someone’s nationality.  Man, will this ever end.

  202. This is hilarious!

  203. There are no cultural differences in the world. This is true.

  204. Cultural differences aren’t: USA residents are lazy, the british are pansies, the italian are laid back etc.