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I just read Grant Morrison's New 52 Action Comics run and my head is going to explode

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I just read Grant Morrison's New 52 Action Comics run and my head is going to explode

Old 07-07-14, 12:25 AM
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I just read Grant Morrison's New 52 Action Comics run and my head is going to explode

All I can say is, "WTF did I just read?" I had no clue what was happening 90% of the time. His recent Batman work was confusing too, but this was FAR worse. I barely comprehend the plot or what actually happened.

Some of the stuff was just really really stupid too. I don't know if it was intentional or not, but knowing Morrison loves the Silver Age it probably was intentional. Stuff like Superman reading every medical book in the world in less than 5 minutes and becoming a "super surgeon" just had me rolling my eyes at how stupid it was.

I will never understand why so many people love Grant Morrison.
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Old 07-07-14, 01:06 AM
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Re: I just read Grant Morrison's New 52 Action Comics run and my head is going to exp

His stuff usually requires very careful reading and a deep knowledge of obscure comic trivia. The formula doesn't always work, especially if you don't like his particular interpretation of a character.
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Old 07-07-14, 02:01 AM
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Re: I just read Grant Morrison's New 52 Action Comics run and my head is going to exp

I prefer Morrison's standalone works than his in-universe superhero stuff.

Doom Patrol, Animal Man, Invisibles, We3, All Star Superman > Justice League, Batman, 52, New X-Men

Morrison's sensibilities don't really mesh well within the context of a greater superhero universe unless it's something like Doom Patrol or Animal Man which, while part of the DCU, were fairly obscure characters that allowed him to cut loose.
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Old 07-07-14, 02:18 AM
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Re: I just read Grant Morrison's New 52 Action Comics run and my head is going to exp

Originally Posted by taffer View Post
I will never understand why so many people love Grant Morrison.
Because the good probably outweighs the bad. New X-Men, JLA, Earth 2, Batman & Robin, All-Star Superman, Animal Man, We3, Doom Patrol, and Flex Mentallo, were all great.

Outside of Dick Grayson as Batman, I feel like his Batman run was all over the place. Some aspects of it were great, some were not so great in my opinion, like Leviathan.

What else was his Action Comics run like? I never gave it a look since I figured he told the definitive Superman story with his All-Star project.
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Old 07-07-14, 07:37 AM
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Re: I just read Grant Morrison's New 52 Action Comics run and my head is going to exp

Originally Posted by brayzie View Post
What else was his Action Comics run like? I never gave it a look since I figured he told the definitive Superman story with his All-Star project.
It's somewhat similar to the original early Golden Age Superman fighting as a social crusader against evil businessmen. Superman also is not as powerful here. He can't fly and instead "leaps buildings in a single bound." Then there is some Silver Age goofiness too, such as the "super surgeon" thing I mentioned in my original post.

The first four issues were actually not bad, but then it starts bouncing all over the place. The dialogue gets hard to follow. Scenes jump around from past, present, to future without warning, and that gets progressively worse as the run continues. By the end, it's jumping back and forth through time with almost each and every panel. About halfway through, I gave up trying to figure it out. All I know is that it ended with some 5th dimension Mr. Mxyzptlk mumbo jumbo that made no sense whatsoever.

Last edited by taffer; 07-07-14 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 07-07-14, 11:44 AM
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Re: I just read Grant Morrison's New 52 Action Comics run and my head is going to exp

I generally love love love Grant Morrison. For the most part, I still feel he's one of the best comic writers in the business. However, his Action Comics run fell horrible flat. I enjoyed the first couple issues as well with him harking back to the Golden Age Superman. But once he started bouncing around within his own storyline, it became overly confusing (The Imp was attacking Superman simultaneously throughout his life). I don't think the type of story-telling Morrison was trying to achieve works with a title that's released on a monthly schedule. It's hard to remember where things fall into place. I'm sure if you chopped up his run and put them in a different reading order, it would probably make sense.

I think brayzie is right - Morrison already told his definitive Superman story with All-Star Superman. This felt like he was trying to make something new with leftover pieces.


I looking forward to The Multiversity.
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Old 07-07-14, 12:04 PM
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Re: I just read Grant Morrison's New 52 Action Comics run and my head is going to exp

I think DC wanted to get fans excited by giving him first crack at defining Superman in the new 52, since he had written the most popular take of the character in recent times with All-Star Superman. I'm not sure he was the right fit to launch a new interpretation of the character, especially considering the Superman brand is carefully managed now by outside corporate interests.
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Old 07-07-14, 12:17 PM
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Re: I just read Grant Morrison's New 52 Action Comics run and my head is going to exp

The really amazing thing is that the New 52 is supposed to be "new reader friendly." If Morrison's Action Comics was the first comic I ever read, I would never again read another comic as long as I live.
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Old 07-07-14, 12:49 PM
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Re: I just read Grant Morrison's New 52 Action Comics run and my head is going to exp

Yeah, the fact that they set this into the new 52's past, then messed around with the timeline anyway, made things really confusing. But not as confusing as Final Crisis/Superman Beyond.
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Old 07-07-14, 06:28 PM
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Re: I just read Grant Morrison's New 52 Action Comics run and my head is going to exp

Originally Posted by taffer View Post
The really amazing thing is that the New 52 is supposed to be "new reader friendly." If Morrison's Action Comics was the first comic I ever read, I would never again read another comic as long as I live.
As much as All-Star Superman relied on readers being familiar with the Silver Age elements of Superman, I still felt it was something that would be appealing to new readers. Each issue had a story that was pretty much self-contained, the covers were something that really grabbed your attention and set itself a part from the multitude of other superhero comics on the rack, and the art meshed well with Morrison's style.

Action Comics #1-18 looks kind of messy. As a new reader I wouldn't want to read about a Superman who fights crime in a t-shirt and jeans with a makeshift cape around his neck. The covers looked just like everything else in the New 52. Some of the stories seem more enjoyable as meta-commentary, than as a straightforward adventure. Issue #8 is commenting, without subtlety, on DC/WB and it's treatment of Siegel and Shuster, as well as the marketing and merchandising of the character vs what the character represents. On it's own though it's not that fun. Some big dumb machine/monster is killing the various versions of Clark, Lois and Jimmy.

For the last 5 issues it's about the 5th dimension Imps and the multiverse, and how Vyndktvx (Vindictive?) was messing around with Superman's life from the past, present and future. I liked the concept, and Rags Morales depiction of the Imps was great but it seems like it goes on forever. A 1 or 2-part story would have been fine but it turns out that the Imp was behind everything and it all has to tie to it.

There's definitely some highlights, like Krypto's story for example.

Last edited by brayzie; 07-07-14 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 07-07-14, 07:04 PM
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Re: I just read Grant Morrison's New 52 Action Comics run and my head is going to exp

Originally Posted by brayzie View Post
There's definitely some highlights, like Krypto's story for example.
Yeah I loved that backup story as well as the ones with Jonathan and Martha not being able to get pregnant and future Clark talking to past Jonathan. The backup stories were generally much much better than the main story. Probably because the backups weren't written by Morrison.
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Old 07-07-14, 07:12 PM
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Re: I just read Grant Morrison's New 52 Action Comics run and my head is going to exp

Wait, the story where Krypto is a phantom but always by Superman's side wasn't written by Morrison?

Oh yeah, the Gene Ha illustrated Krypton scene was beautiful. Worked very will with Morrison's sci-fi dialogue.
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Old 07-07-14, 07:19 PM
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Re: I just read Grant Morrison's New 52 Action Comics run and my head is going to exp

Originally Posted by brayzie View Post
Wait, the story where Krypto is a phantom but always by Superman's side wasn't written by Morrison?
I just double checked to make sure, and it was written by Sholly Fisch.

http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Action_Comics_Vol_2_13
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Old 07-07-14, 08:08 PM
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Re: I just read Grant Morrison's New 52 Action Comics run and my head is going to exp

A positivereview of Grant Morrison's Action Comics run by Laura Sneddon.

The review is interesting to read.

This was not to be merely the introduction of the character, but the making of him – joining up pieces of a fragmented puzzle to show the whole, a Superman for a new generation of readers that brought the best of every previous incarnation along for the ride.

I thought this was a very good comment of the review and the comic:


Morrison failed in a fundamental way on this book. The concept of the New 52 was to reinvigorate these older characters for a new audience, free of baggage and accessible. Morrison’s writing although undoubtly interesting and complex is largely inaccessible for folks who don’t regularly read comics. He is telling a disjointed tapestry full of Superman Easter eggs for the seasoned Superman reader but the elusive new reader is no doubt baffled by these strange and bizarre plot lines.
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Old 07-07-14, 08:14 PM
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Re: I just read Grant Morrison's New 52 Action Comics run and my head is going to exp

I just finished his run on Batman and feel the same way, at times I was like what heck I'm I reading.
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Old 07-07-14, 08:23 PM
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Re: I just read Grant Morrison's New 52 Action Comics run and my head is going to exp

I dug the first few issues. I loved the idea of seeing all the iconic elements fall into place in Action Comics while the fully realized Superman had adventures in his own title. Once things got all wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey I lost interest. It's not that Morrison wrote it badly, it just wasn't what I wanted out of that series.
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Old 07-08-14, 09:37 PM
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Re: I just read Grant Morrison's New 52 Action Comics run and my head is going to exp

Originally Posted by Mok View Post
I just finished his run on Batman and feel the same way, at times I was like what heck I'm I reading.
I really didn't like RIP at all. Way too overbloated and felt like he was just trying to make things complicated for the sake of it. Just felt like a gigantic mess overall to me. The best part to come out of it was his run on Batman & Robin with Dick as Batman and Damian as Robin.
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Old 07-09-14, 12:35 AM
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Re: I just read Grant Morrison's New 52 Action Comics run and my head is going to exp

I picked up an issue from RIP. The art and dialogue made a confusing story more confusing. Preview of it here. I couldn't tell who it was reading the book (Nightwing, Tim Drake, Jason Todd???) and it seemed like the captions were his internal monologue but it turned out it was the passages from the book.

In hindsight the story is pretty cool...
Spoiler:
Grant Morrison made the whole sci-fi era of Batman canon and in-continuity but explained it as part of a psychological experiment that the character undertook. He also tied in various parts of Batman history and introduced some new villains.


I like the idea but i don't think it was executed very well. A "Last time in Batman..." in each issue would have helped to bring readers up to speed. Tony Daniel drew a great Joker but his artwork was hard to follow. And worst of all, I don't think Grant Morrison gave that much consideration to readers who were not well versed in the 40 year history of the character.
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Old 07-09-14, 11:45 AM
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Re: I just read Grant Morrison's New 52 Action Comics run and my head is going to exp

What I didn't like about Morrison's pre-Dick run is that they shoehorn this drowning scene, and IIRC you have to read Infinite Crisis to figure out how Darkseid ties into it all.
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Old 07-11-14, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
I dug the first few issues. I loved the idea of seeing all the iconic elements fall into place in Action Comics while the fully realized Superman had adventures in his own title. Once things got all wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey I lost interest. It's not that Morrison wrote it badly, it just wasn't what I wanted out of that series.
Morrison does tend to have a habit of getting really out-there and sometimes flying off the rails.
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