Sunday, February 19, 2006

Comics I Love - Grant Morrison's JLA

JLA may very well be the dumbest comic book that Grant Morrison has ever written.

It is still awesome, though!

Mainly because Morrison avoids the trap that other writers have when they "turn their brains off" to write action-oriented stories.

Morrison, even with his brain "off" still manages to write creative, engaging action stories.

Probably the funnest part of the series was how we got to see Morrison himself fall in love with the characters AS he wrote them. Coming into the series, Morrison was not a big fan of some of the characters, but he quickly changed his tune about them, and it SHOWS.

It is hard to pick a particular issue, but if I had to pick one I guess I would pick JLA #3, where Batman discovers the White Martians.


Love this comic.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I own all of Morrison's JLA, in trades -- it was my first exposure to Morrison -- and I have to say, while it is good, something about it doesn't sit right with me. I know you worship at the Altar of the God of All Comics, so maybe you can tell me what I'm missing.

Morrison obviously does like the characters, I get that. He believes that they can have fun while saving the world (Wally and Kyle obviously do). I get that too. The thing that always bugged me was that I kept thinking that I'd accidentally skipped a page, or missed a line of dialog, or that something happened in an issue that wasn't collected.

Take "Rock of Ages," which I understand is supposed to be the pinnacle of the Morrison run. You've got a wacky Hourman from the future, Wally, Kyle, and Aquaman running around some other dimension with giant superheroes, and Superman and Batman confronting Luthor, who's gotten hold of Infinite Cosmic Power. Is it big? Certainly. Is it grandiose and comics-like? You bet. Does it make sense? Not to me. I never understood what Wally and Kyle were looking for, what the giant heroes wanted them to do, or especially how Kyle got lost inside his own ring for a month. I assume some events went on in their own titles, but I'm not sure.

If you take, for contrast, Waid's "Julian September" story, it's got some serious strangeness, but I can still get my head around it. There's a mystery there that I can follow along with, even if I can't solve it myself. I can connect the dots and see where the ending came from, whereas with Morrison it seems like the problems and the solutions come from a space beyond the reader's ability to comprehend.

To my mind, Waid's JLA stories are "high concept" whereas Morrison's are "way out there." If it's just a matter of matter of taste, I'm OK with that; my taste prefers Waid. But if I'm missing something that would take my appreciation of Morrison to a whole new level, then I would like to know what it is (and then maybe I could enjoy his X-Men run, too).

3/01/2006 3:26 PM  

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