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View Full Version : do you understand what is going on in grant morrison batman comics? i dont


dishpan
05-15-12, 09:36 AM
i love batman and read all his various titles. but i dont understand what is going on in the grant morrison issues. to the point of me feeling like i must be a moron or something because i will re-read pages and have no clue what the characters are talking about, while everyone online seems to think its the greatest stories ever.

these past few years i keep getting burned (or burning myself, really) buying them, not getting it, and then still buying the next one just so i can try it again because of all the love for it. i am especially confused by batman inc and rip and final crisis and leviathan (black glove, ra's, some robin stuff i can follow alright). this is frustrating and i dont believe i have the problem with any other creators.

does morrisons batman stuff just make sense to you on the first read-through, am i alone here? i feel like i have no trouble at all reading anyone elses batman work. we3, flash, and SOME of his superman stuff is fine. new xmen, other vertigo ive tried not so much though! so maybe its just certain morrison 'modes' which batman seems to fall into. do you comprehend all the scottish speak which is in gotham for some reason?

Maxflier
05-15-12, 10:21 AM
I remember buying Batman R.I.P. and not even bothering to finish it because it was so bad and I had no idea what the fuck was going on.

fujishig
05-15-12, 10:56 AM
I didn't get the whole Zur-En-Arrh thing, and haven't gone back to re-read it. I had to figure out, from interviews, what the heck was going on when Batman showed up with Darkseid after that helicopter crash. That being said, I do think his Batman and Robin run, pre Flashpoint, was pretty straightforward.

Morrison likes to throw out concepts and huge words without connecting all the dots, at least at first, making the reader try to do it for him. I liked Seven Soldiers, Final Crisis, and even Final Crisis: Superman Beyond, but all of those took a few readings and I still don't understand everything. Even stuff like his JLA run has some high concepts that are never really explained fully. In some ways, that's why All Star Superman is so great; he doesn't have to explain thing and he can just pull in whatever concepts he wants.

madcougar
05-15-12, 11:04 AM
Dishtowel, I'm so glad that you started this thread. While I won't say I don't understand ANY of it, I surely don't understand the majority of it and certainly not his run on Batman. RIP was a mess to me. I got the general story idea but eventually had to go read the plot on Wiki to figure out WTF.

Batman and Robin were easier reads, but even those are a little too high brow for my taste.

For the record, I'm not against "smart" comic book stories either. I loved Planetary, Sandman, and almost anything that Alan Moore has written. But this stuff confuses the hell out of me.

DonnachaOne
05-15-12, 11:18 AM
For as low as $525, you can ask him. (http://morrisoncon.com/tickets.html)

The Valeyard
05-15-12, 01:55 PM
I love love love Morrison!! To me, he is the top of the comic writing food chain. Absolutely brilliant. If I had the cash, I would drop that 500 bucks and worship at his feet.

That said, even he can't be brilliant every day. I found Final Crisis to be a huge mess. Some very interesting concepts but overall, a mess. The Batman RIP tie-ins didn't help either.

Batman and Robin & Batman, Inc. are both fun reads and more like the Morrison of old. We3 and All-Star Superman are fantastic and some of his best work. My personal favorites are - Animal Man and Doom Patrol.

dishpan
05-15-12, 02:30 PM
I love love love Morrison!! To me, he is the top of the comic writing food chain. Absolutely brilliant. If I had the cash, I would drop that 500 bucks and worship at his feet.

That said, even he can't be brilliant every day. I found Final Crisis to be a huge mess. Some very interesting concepts but overall, a mess. The Batman RIP tie-ins didn't help either.

Batman and Robin & Batman, Inc. are both fun reads and more like the Morrison of old. We3 and All-Star Superman are fantastic and some of his best work. My personal favorites are - Animal Man and Doom Patrol.

so when you read time and the batman for example, did it make sense to you right away or did you have to go read interviews with him and check wikipedia and stuff? just curious.

also are you reading his action comics new 52 reboot? i enjoyed the first two issues a lot and then i hated it after that. it was billed as like the definitive relaunch of the premiere superman comic and getting the character back to his champion of the oppressed 30s roots, but it very quickly turned into every issue being some crazy morrison diversion! i dont get it. i mean it has barely been half a year and there is already an issue totally devoted to an alternate universe where president obama is secretly superman! shouldnt we have some more stories of actual superman before we go off on these weird tangents? its like the editors also worship him and because of that they just let him do whatever the heck he wants with no reins. so now he is doing it to both dc flagship characters, but at least with batman there are some other titles with creative teams that are a better fit for my tastes, unlike with superman where there is only one alternative.

modfather
05-15-12, 02:36 PM
I'm so glad I'm not alone. No comic book writer alive can make you feel dumb like Morrison can. I didn't feel that way with his older stuff (X-Men, Doom Patrol, etc.), but I feel like every other page is missing in his comics, lately. Or every other panel, or something...

dishpan
05-15-12, 02:42 PM
I'm so glad I'm not alone. No comic book writer alive can make you feel dumb like Morrison can. I didn't feel that way with his older stuff (X-Men, Doom Patrol, etc.), but I feel like every other page is missing in his comics, lately. Or every other panel, or something...

hehe exactly! well said

and madcougal, i also loved planetary and sandman and alan moore stuff too

fujishig
05-15-12, 02:57 PM
Morrison's Batman and John's GL are pretty much the only two characters that didn't get the extensive reboot from Flashpoint, so they're going to give those two free reign to do whatever (and it's been like that for a while, since Morrison did Final Crisis and Johns did Blackest Night and Flashpoint).

While I'm on the tangent of Morrison and Final Crisis and DC, I read this article recently:

http://funnybookbabylon.com/2012/05/10/five-years-later-the-oral-history-of-countdown-to-final-crisis/

Now if anyone remembers, DC did a weekly year long series called Countdown to Final Crisis that was, I don't know, supposed to lead up to Final Crisis. Then they also let Starlin do a miniseries called Death of the New Gods that was also supposed to lead into Final Crisis. Countdown was terrible, and both Death and Countdown directly contradicted Final Crisis. Geez DC editorial just drove their company into the ground. And I like Paul Dini, I think he did a great job with the animated Batman. Here're some quotes from the article (taken from various interviews):

DIDIO: the best part about Mike, and I use this as a real plus now, is that he was unfamiliar with so much of the DC Universe. Being a Marvel guy for so long, which I’ve forgiven him for [laughs], he wasn’t as familiar with our characters and our stories. The best aspect of that is that in creating a weekly book, we’re hoping to attract new readers – so here’s the guy who’s running the project that actually has a fresh set of eyes, and is unfamiliar with some of the characters and the stories that took place prior to this.

BEDARD: I’m not setting the overall direction of the book, so in one sense I’m trying to make sense of the particular chapters that I get and make them sing, but on the other hand I’m also waiting to find out the ultimate pay off on a lot of these things. I don’t know if that sounds clueless, but I don’t want to know all the stuff. I like being a reader as well.

DIDIO: With Countdown, Paul is the head writer, and broke down the overall story, and is in communication with all of the other writers, so it runs a lot smoother. Realistically speaking, we have a weekly conference call between Paul and the writer who’s working on that week’s issue and that writer can change, based upon availability, so that way, it doesn’t slow down the process as you’re waiting for other people to turn in work.

DIDIO: I’m also suspecting that we’ll pick up more readers as we get closer to Final Crisis because people are going to want to see what the line is between Countdown and Final Crisis itself.

MORRISON: The Countdown writers were later asked to ‘seed’ material from Final Crisis and in some cases, probably due to the pressure of filling the pages of a weekly book, that seeding amounted to entire plotlines veering off in directions I had never envisaged, anticipated or planned for in Final Crisis.

BEDARD: But one of the things that I liked about Countdown and wanted to see reflected more out there was this whole drumbeat of the New Gods getting killed and how it kind of increases in tempo and you get a sense of something big going on. Because that is a huge storyline that’s going to really pay off big.

MORRISON: Back in 2006, I requested a moratorium on the New Gods so that I could build up some foreboding and create anticipation for their return in a new form … instead, the characters were passed around like hepatitis B to practically every writer at DC to toy with as they pleased, which, to be honest, makes it very difficult for me to reintroduce them with any sense of novelty, mystery or grandeur.

DIDIO: The New Gods are appearing everywhere lately, and that’s not by accident. It’s not a coincidence that we’re starting to see them in the various series.

PALMIOTTI: Like I said, I was not familiar with them at all and realized that I had to look [New Gods supporting cast members Deep Six] up on the internet and figure who the hell they were and why would a reader care.
Jim Starlin, writer of the Countdown tie-in Death of the New Gods: Since Kirby’s initial run on the characters others have presented them with mixed results. Looking back I’d say at least half of the past New Gods series have done more harm than good. So for me, Death of the New Gods is half honoring Jack Kirby, half mercy killing.
MORRISON: Dan DiDio knew I wanted to delve deeper into the mythology of Jack Kirby’s New Gods as I’d adapted it for my Seven Soldiers series, so we talked about doing a big project that would put the New Gods back on the map.

DINI: Basically we’re going in a different direction with the New Gods. You will see Scott Free and you will see some of the other characters showing up in Countdown, but the interpretation of some of those characters in Seven Soldiers is pretty much the Seven Soldiers version or “universe”.

dishpan
05-15-12, 03:04 PM
Morrison's Batman and John's GL are pretty much the only two characters that didn't get the extensive reboot from Flashpoint, so they're going to give those two free reign to do whatever (and it's been like that for a while, since Morrison did Final Crisis and Johns did Blackest Night and Flashpoint).

true, i guess the difference for me is that both of those characters corners of dc also have titles by other people that are good while fitting into it and still making sense. with superman i am kinda stuck =|.

i actually love geoff johns and the entire GL verse, pre and post flashpoint both. i wish he was doing the flash again instead of them tossing all that out the window. at least aquaman is good though.

regarding batman, if GM is responsible for damian wayne, then i give him full credit for one of my favorite comic plots in recent history. such a great character!

brayzie
05-15-12, 03:42 PM
Morrison's run on Batman is one giant story starting with this first issue.

Basically, if you're REALLY into Batman, you might pick up all these various references to other stories.

For example, in the 60s Batman comics had a lot of sci-fi stories in them, like Batman visiting other planets, fighting aliens etc. Obviously those were retconned by the time Denny O'Neil took over the title, and surely after COIE.
But Morrison is the type of comics writer who considers everything to be in continuity. So Batman did have those adventures, but it was in his mind, part of a psychological experiment he agreed to do with the government.

Zur-En-Arr was a planet Batman visited in the 60s stories, but here, it was a plan that would be mentally triggered if someone were ever to drive Batman/Bruce insane, or something like that.

It can be extremely confusing, so it seems like it's only really enjoyable to hardcore fans who are familiar with the Silver Age Batman, and other stories like the 90s "Dark Knight, Dark City."

There was a tpb called THE BLACK BOOK that featured silver age Batman stories that might help explain RIP.

I like Morrison but I feel that adding all those extra spin-offs like BATTLE FOR THE COWL, and changing the title from Batman, to Batman & Robin, to Batman Inc, to now Batman Leviathan hurts the character because it can be confusing enough just the story, but also keeping up with the reading order and what titles to buy and not buy.

dishpan
05-16-12, 02:58 PM
Morrison's run on Batman is one giant story starting with this first issue.

Basically, if you're REALLY into Batman, you might pick up all these various references to other stories.

For example, in the 60s Batman comics had a lot of sci-fi stories in them, like Batman visiting other planets, fighting aliens etc. Obviously those were retconned by the time Denny O'Neil took over the title, and surely after COIE.
But Morrison is the type of comics writer who considers everything to be in continuity. So Batman did have those adventures, but it was in his mind, part of a psychological experiment he agreed to do with the government.

Zur-En-Arr was a planet Batman visited in the 60s stories, but here, it was a plan that would be mentally triggered if someone were ever to drive Batman/Bruce insane, or something like that.

It can be extremely confusing, so it seems like it's only really enjoyable to hardcore fans who are familiar with the Silver Age Batman, and other stories like the 90s "Dark Knight, Dark City."

There was a tpb called THE BLACK BOOK that featured silver age Batman stories that might help explain RIP.

I like Morrison but I feel that adding all those extra spin-offs like BATTLE FOR THE COWL, and changing the title from Batman, to Batman & Robin, to Batman Inc, to now Batman Leviathan hurts the character because it can be confusing enough just the story, but also keeping up with the reading order and what titles to buy and not buy.



man, no wonder i was so lost!

youd think that he'd write it to make sense for people who dont know that stuff too though.

brayzie
05-16-12, 11:30 PM
I think because he figured the majority of current readers are hardcore comic fans who also have near-encyclopedic knowledge of their favorite characters.

Me personally, I think it was an awesome idea but not executed as well as it could have been. I picked up an issue of Batman RIP from the newstand and was totally lost.

ivelostr2
05-17-12, 12:04 PM
I really loved the Batman and Robin series; it was one of my favorite things I have read in the last few years and the All Star Superman might be my favorite superman story of all time…but here are two of my posts about Morrison in the last ~3years:

9/16/09

SO, i've been catching up on GL in the last few weeks, the trades finally came from DCBS... I thought the entire story was great up to, and including the RotRL, so then i picked up the final crisis trade, which also came with them...honestly, I enjoyed the beginning, but they lost me on the whole Superman Beyond part, there was no real explanation of the Club Darkseid, was this fleshed-out out somewhere else and not in FC HC? and Kalibak as a tiger...I don't get it...Sometimes i love morrison, and sometimes I have no clue what the hell is going on...Batman and Robin is awesome though...

5/14/10
I don't know why I keep doing it...Grant Morrison is killing me...

I know people love him, I picked up Final Crisis earlier this year and hated it; no, worse than hated it; i didn't understand most of it...I just don't get him I guess (although I thought A.S. Superman was excellent)...so I'm at the LCBS today and I see the Batman: the return of Bruce Wayne comic, and I'm like "okay, I'm interested, because maybe he is just crazy enough to pull off "the Omega Sanction that traps the organism in a series of alternate realities, each worse than the previous one." but again, I don't get it...I'm lost...
Spoiler:
10 pages of caveman talk and Supes and GL and Booster Gold show up? Am I missing something? WTF is going on?


the thread that the first post is in has a discussion of Morrison that might interest you.
http://forum.dvdtalk.com/comic-book-talk/560746-september-october-november-general-comic-discussion-fall-harvest-edition.html

dishpan
05-17-12, 01:06 PM
I really loved the Batman and Robin series; it was one of my favorite things I have read in the last few years and the All Star Superman might be my favorite superman story of all time…but here are two of my posts about Morrison in the last ~3years:

the thread that the first post is in has a discussion of Morrison that might interest you.
http://forum.dvdtalk.com/comic-book-talk/560746-september-october-november-general-comic-discussion-fall-harvest-edition.html

haha, nice

yeah all star superman is good, have you seen the movie version? i thought it was actually better after dwayne mcduffie took grants work and streamlined it into one coherent overarching story.

kodave
05-17-12, 01:40 PM
For some reason, nothing in Grant Morrison's Batman run sounds good to me story wise so I've never bothered to try to jump into it. The Damian/Bruce stuff sounds iffy. The Black Glove stuff sounds like you have to read the Black Casebook or know your SA Batman to fully delve into. I don't like mega events really, so the whole tie in to Final Crisis and everything that comes after like RIP and the Return with time traveling Bruce is just a big turn off to me. Batman, Incorporated also doesn't sound appealing to me.

I actually read the trade of Batman and Robin that follows Morrison's run and it was okay, but nothing special. I'm not sure that the Dick/Damian dynamic is worth going back to read about.

The only thing that slightly has me interested is Batman: The Resurrection of Ra's Al Ghul, but that's only part Morrison.

I've barely warmed to older events like Knightfall and No Man's Land. I think I like my Batman stories more stand alone than overly long and dramatic.

I did like Snyder's The Black Mirror and am looking forward to reading his Court of Owls stuff (since the event doesn't sound too out of hand, other than some potentially unnecessary tie ins). So at least I have options other than Morrison for current Batman.

dishpan
05-17-12, 01:49 PM
kodave, even though i dont like reading morrisons dialogue and specific works usually, i cant argue with the people earlier who said that he has some good ideas. to me even if he does nothing else right the concept of damian wayne is so great. whether its watching a batman and robin teamup where batman is bruce or batman is dick, robin is just so interesting and i want more (by any creators, not just gm).

my biggest complaint is actually that post flashpoint dick is nightwing again so we dont get any more b&r stories with dick relating to damian as a former robin while also helping him cope with their shared loss of a father (and bruce) and not getting along while dick is trying to live up to bruces shadow on his own too. that was some fascinating material to me.

regarding snyder; the owls are fun, the black mirror is very solid and gates of gotham was as well. there is a lot batman out there that is worth reading even if you dont like grant ive found.

Mike86
10-26-12, 06:07 PM
Sorry to bump this thread but I've been reading through the R.I.P. storyline recently and while I enjoy aspects of it I do agree that it can be a bit overly complicated at times. I read R.I.P. a year or so ago solo and realized that was a mistake.

However I just recently ordered the new deluxe edition of Batman: The Black Glove (which also includes the Batman and Son issues) and find R.I.P. a bit more understandable now as it kind of sets up a lot of the backstory. Reading through Final Crisis now which is just sort of okay. I have kind of mixed opinions on Morrison, he seems talented on the one hand but something about him makes me not particularly love his stories. I guess I can't say for sure if I like the overall story or not since I'm really only about half through it (have to read the three Batman and Robin volumes, The Return of Bruce Wayne, Time and the Batman, and Batman Inc. novels), but honestly for some reason the arc itself doesn't seem to have that classic epic Batman feel that a lot of the older arcs have. Maybe it's just because it feels overly long and complex just for the sake of being that way or something I dunno.

fujishig
10-29-12, 12:09 PM
There's a Superman mini or one shot (I don't remember) that is pretty essential to reading Final Crisis, just to let you know. Oh, and don't bother with Death of the New Gods or Countdown to Final Crisis, they basically just contradict and don't lead into Final Crisis despite the name and timing.

Mike86
11-04-12, 12:28 PM
Wow. Final Crisis may be one of the worst comic book stories I've ever read. It jumps around so much and the story just feels incomplete. It's a pretty confusing read if you ask me but I understood the main parts. Overall though not impressed with this one much at all.

dishpan
11-06-12, 09:13 AM
Wow. Final Crisis may be one of the worst comic book stories I've ever read. It jumps around so much and the story just feels incomplete. It's a pretty confusing read if you ask me but I understood the main parts. Overall though not impressed with this one much at all.

i agree. but have you seen how awesome the absolute edition looks??

http://i.imgur.com/BQlM0.jpg

Mike86
11-06-12, 10:49 AM
Absolute editions are nice but I'm not going to buy a crap story because it's an Absolute. I have however considered buying The Long Halloween and Dark Victory Absolutes but haven't gotten around to them yet.

The whole Final Crisis story aside from being confusing as all hell and just all over the place with it's story bothered me in regards to how Batman was "killed." Granted I realize he's back and all but the whole thing just felt pretty anti-climactic and I didn't like the fact that it wasn't even a member of his Rogues Gallery who killed him but insted Darkseid Also wasn't a big fan of how Batman used a gun on an enemy personally. Just seems like it goes against the character in a pretty big way to me. I'll continue reading the rest of the trade paperbacks that make up the R.I.P. storyline but overall kinda mixed on the whole thing thus far.

fujishig
11-06-12, 01:55 PM
What was even more confusing was that Morrison wrote an "out" in the regular Batman title for Batman's death, and I still have no idea why.

I don't remember much about what happened in Final Crisis, so I read the synopsis:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Crisis

and I don't recall 75% of that stuff. Try Seven Soldiers, I liked that a lot better.

madcougar
11-17-12, 10:04 PM
:lol: I thought of this thread today as I was reading the HC of Batman Inc. About six issues in, all I could think was "WTF is going on and why?!"

Mike86
01-01-13, 04:53 PM
I took a break for a while from this storyline but have recently been getting back into it. It actually seems to get better after the events of RIP in my opinion. The Batman & Robin series with Grayson as Batman and Damian as Robin is actually a really fun read and Dick makes a pretty good Batman.

Time and the Batman is where things really started to click for me though since it had "lost chapters" from RIP. If those had been included initally the whole story would've made way more sense. I'm on The Return of Bruce Wayne now which is pretty good. Have one more issue of it to go before finishing and moving on to the third volume of Batman & Robin and Batman Inc. to finish up the story.

brayzie
11-23-13, 02:17 PM
I just came across Morrison's last Batman issue. The Heretic is unmasked and he's a giant hulking brute but with Damian Wayne's 10 year old face. He fails to kill Batman so Talia cuts his head off. Later on she beats Batman in a fight only to get shot by the original Kathy Kane.

I really like that Morrison brought all that old silver age stuff back in his ow unique way but it really didn't feel like a Batman story to me. And I hate the way he kills off villains, see Magneto's death. Actually I'm also disappointed with Damian being killed off too.

Any thoughts on Morrison's run?

PhantomStranger
11-23-13, 03:01 PM
Morrison's comics have always been plotted very densely and you need almost a cross-referenced index to understand what is fully happening. He also likes to hide critical or important elements in obtuse ways inside the narrative. I don't think it always works out, which is why I don't consider him on the same level as Alan Moore or Neil Gaiman.