Comics Creators

Morrison & Moore - the love story


Well, Animal Man ended as a rebuild of the superhero idea, but it was a thorough deconstruction for well over half, I’d say.

Deconstruction has become a bad word, but it’s a good thing, I think – it means you’re taking a critical eye to what you have in front of you, figuring out how it works, then putting it back together again, hopefully with some improvements.

It’s not the only way to do it - the ABC line was total build, and all the deconstruction had clearly gone on behind Moore’s eyes before he started writing - but it is a satisfying way to do it.

Morrison’s mainstream stuff almost always follows that formula, long form - Batman was a complete deconstruction of that character and mythology, to reveal the radiant core that somehow was ignored for decades (Batman as an inherently collaborative and iterative idea), then rebuild something new around it. Doom Patrol, it could be argued, was a deconstruction of mainstream values more than comic tropes.

I’ve often found comic fans weirdly dogmatic about these things – to the point that reality gets altered to fit their preconceived ideas of intent. Frank Miller’s work on Batman is often called gritty, but it’s actually some of the most absurd, large scale, silly stuff you’ve ever seen – mutants gangs and Batman on horseback and Superman sucking the light out of plants speaking poetry as Cyborg-Batman stomps in for the kill. His Batman stuff is a real celebration of the DCU, in all it’s weird and wonderful glory. And yet because, for wahtever reason, he’s been labeled as gritty and despising of superheroes, his work is seen through that light.

It’s all just tools for the box, is what I’m saying.

Best book currently on the stands?

Yeah, I like deconstructionism. I’m also not trying to give value to the idea of either Moore or Morrison ripping each other off. I think the idea’s absurd either way.

For a work to be “reconstructionist” (no idea if that’s actually a term; spellcheck doesn’t seem to think so) it has to be deconstructionist in some way, while asserting the positive value of what it’s deconstructing. Otherwise it’s just a straight version. So I agree, Animal Man does deconstruct superheroes as well. So do Flex, Supreme, Top 10.


I guess they’re both forms of deconstruction. One’s cynical, one’s celebratory.


In that case, Moore got there first with Miracleman :wink:

For what it’s worth, I love both Morrison’s and Moore’s work, though Moore is probably the writer I admire more. That whole feud thing going on between them seems a bit silly, and sad given that it really comes down to Morrison admiring Moore so much that he couldn’t live with Moore not appreciating his work. (Or at least that’s how the whole thing seemed to me.)


I didn’t know they had a feud. You’re right, that is silly. Just goes to show you, they’re just normal everyday humans. How boring.


I don’t think it’s a feud so much as a bit of enduring resentment. I get the impression that Moore doesn’t give it much thought, other than a bit of vague irritation. And Morrison has grown far beyond the Moore imitator that he once might have been in his youth, into quite a different voice.


Moore is the one who keeps bringing it up in interviews though.
I haven’t Morrison talk about Moore apart from in Supergods (which would be remiss to not discuss his superhero work).




Is there more of that? I want more of that!


Not as best I can tell. It’s not on the original artist’s website any more, even.


As far as I’m aware he only did one interview in which he addressed the subject, and stated that he had no intention if publicly commenting on it again.


Do you mean with Miracleman and the other heroes building a utopia at the end? I think that’s a bit different than the aim of works like Flex Mentallo and Supreme that look to assert the value of superhero comics as they are traditionally–stories without conclusion. Miracleman took superheroes to one of their logical conclusions (the other probably being The Authority). It’s a more ambitious and challenging take, part of the reason why I like Miracleman even more than I like Morrison’s superhero work.


I can’t speak for Christian but when I mentioned Marvelman/Miracleman earlier, I was thinking mainly about the way Moore’s story repurposes the original Marvelman stories (with all the dream machine/implanted memory stuff).


Is that asserting the stories’ positive value, though? The old stories are repurposed as fantasies to keep a prisoner complacent.


I guess I read it as contrasting their optimism against the more cynical world created by Moore’s version of the story, but perhaps that wasn’t intended.