Thursday, February 19, 2009

Grant Morrison's Superman Saga: Part II

Part II of my exploration of "Grant Morrison's Superman Saga" is now posted at CBR. This one's pretty much all "JLA," all the time, as I put Superman's "middle years" into context and tell you what happens along the way.

Check it out -- it's a big entry.

(And the finale, in which I explore "Final Crisis" and "All-Star Superman" is even longer.)


Anonymous said...

Tim: I hope you are going to live up to an earlier promise and do something similar for Batman (at least as Morrison's run now stands, which is complicated since he intends to return).

I still can't figure out Joe Chill in Hell.

Timothy Callahan said...

I was thinking of maybe doing "Apollo and Dionysus: Grant Morrison's Superman and Batman" as my next book project. If I go with that, then I'll do the Morrison Batman Chronology to balance the Superman one.

Would you buy such a book? Would anyone?

Vanja said...

Seems like someone is already missing his bi-weekly dose of Morrison:)

Anonymous said...

I would most certainly buy such a book.

Deep Space Transmissions said...

Count me in for a copy also. I love all this stuff. Between your blog and the Mindless Ones', I'm not suffering too bad from enforced Morrison withdrawal.
Seaguy 2 can't arrive quick enough.
Oh, and not to nitpick about the column, but the godawful Amazo story from JLA 27 was written by Mark Millar, not Morrison.
Keep up the good work!

Kris Krause said...

Not to knock your Superman work here, but I honestly think a Batman chronology would be more cohesive and more interesting because Morrison's work on Batman is pretty centralized yet nonlinear while Superman is a character who has popped in and out of Morrison's career in a more varied fashion. What it boils down to for me is that the pure Morrisonian Superman on display in All Star Superman is at odds with every version of the mainstream Superman he has written due to philosophical differences especially relating to Superman's power levels and his relationship with Lois Lane.

I think Morrison's mainstream Superman work, including Final Crisis, are all glimmers of Morrison's ideal Superman that he was given free reign to display in All Star and it seems best to me if looked at for reflections of the ideal in the practical (because what comic writer ever believes they will get to tell their ideal version of a character) rather than to attempt to lump them all into a single chronology.

There doesn't seem to be this type of clash with Morrison's Batman work, however. I never got the sense that Morrison was unable to write the Batman he wanted to write in any era of his Batman work, so a cohesive chronology there is not only entirely possible, but I suspect many readers would find it indispensable when Morrison is done with Batman because continuity is so important to Morrison's Batman, whereas the center of Morrison's Superman work, All Star Superman, was a project that shunned continuity in its very inception despite Morrison's stated belief that all comic stories can be considered in continuity. The Lois Lane who just finds out about Superman's identity right before he goes off to live in the sun would be very curious about the Lois Lane who was married to Superman and needed J'onn J'onzz t fill in for Clark on a press visit to the JLA base on the moon.

But I applaud you for this massive undertaking of exploring Morrison's entire history of Superman tales and for so far getting a new installment out each day. And I'd buy such a Superman/Batman book if you were to write it after Morrison wraps up his Batman saga completely.

Timothy Callahan said...

I think it's way easier to tell a Morrison Batman chronology, but I also think that makes it inherently less interesting, since all the pieces fit together relatively seamlessly. (The Morrison Superman stuff has to be wedged into place.) BUT as a companion to the Superman Chronology, I guess it makes sense.

Ben--thanks for noticing that JLA #27 gaffe. I didn't have Millar listed as writer in my notes, so I just included it as part of Morrison's run. I've edited it out (and the ease in which it was edited out belies how inessential the story was even if it were written by Morrison).

Vanja said...

There is a point to doing the Morrison Superman chronology, particularly in regards to the Supermen of the future, Solaris the tyrant sun, and Superman's eventual becoming one with the star, as these events tie Morrison's "JLA" run (along with the One Million crossover) to All Star Superman, and have recently tied to "Final Crisis".

Similarly, even his Ultramarines have an arc that stretched to JLA Classified, which is what, I believe, his "Authority" was meant to pick up on, ie. the superheroes stranded in our, real world, as created by Superman in "All Star Superman".

So, just like with Brian Bendis and his Marvel books, as well as Greg Rucka's stuff at DC, all of Morrison's stuff forms its own cannon.

Anonymous said...

Point of order. According to the trade, one Mark Miller actually wrote the story featuring Amazon

Anonymous said...

That was supposed to be Amazo!

Anonymous said...

There's a pretty easy solution to married Lois in JLA and Final Crisis and the non-married Lois in All Star, in that Morrison and co's Superman 2000 pitch 'occurs' sometime after FC but before ASS. With Solaris, Superman-Prime and the Superman Squad all tying into the One Million continuity I like to think it is an elegant way to tie all of Morrison's Superman work into it's own canon.

Tim, did you give any thought into including the Superman 2000 pitch into these articles? Would be interesting to see it in context to ASS.

Timothy Callahan said...

Oh, Anonymous, you've read my mind.