He’s been doing some interesting stuff back at 2000ad too, which will likely come to trade soon.
Was just reading through my old New X Men trades and I gotta say, it was even better than I remembered.
I’m a huge Morrison fan, but so much of his work explores the same set of central ideas; never more apparent than when he’s working with DC characters, as it was through them that he first seemed to hash them out, but it bleeds into a lot of his other stuff. Even so, they’re often well worth the price of admission, but they are essentially performances; the draw is the execution and iteration (which is itself sort of a metaphor for mainstream comics I guess).
But with his Marvel work, while it never reach the heights of his independent or DC work, he was forced to grapple with a whole new set of central principles and, I think, you got some wonderful, novel work from it, as he applied his interests and execution in the X direction.
Anyway, its great, and intricate, and well thought out, and a pleasure to re-read after so many years away.
I always wish Morrison had done more with Marvel. I feel like there was a killer Fantastic Four run in him somewhere (1234 was ok, but I think with a bolder and brighter artist he might have gone to different places with it).
mmm, I wonder if Fantastic Four might have covered some of the same ground he did at DC, though. FF & Captain America have always been the most “DC” of the Marvel franchises, to me (especially once the Ben Grimm monster angst sort of wore itself out, but even before they were the paragons of the MU).
I sort of like that he did something like the X Men, which I think forced him to go in different directions, more sexual, weirdly biological, etc. Ditto Marvel Boy, which had a set up that was classic Morrison but with a verve, energy, and attitude that was clearly trying to encapsulate the Marvel essence.
Might have been an interesting Iron Man in there, I think, and Thor had he been allowed to make some large-scale changes (perhaps more Ultimate Thor, to think of it).
I know what you mean Deniz. He’s played a lot with the archetypes and mythic elements of the heroes at DC and the X-Men don’t really fit that too well so he had to flex different muscles.
It may well be worth a re-read. I have to admit I lost a bit of interest in it at the time, mainly I think due to the rather messy nature of the art contribution after Quitely had dropped out. I have a decent amount of free time and access to Marvel Unlimited so may give it a go.
Mm, I just finished up the Cassandra Nova mega-arc so we’ll see if it gets wonkier from that point on.
Even now, the art was variable, but nothing out of the modern norm, except for poor Igor Kordey, who I know was very upset about his treatment (and it shows in the work). The Imperial Guard fight at Xaviers…I’d have killed to see that rendered by Quitely, or even EVS, or a Kordey with ample time to get it right.
The art’s pretty solid after the Nova arc. Even Kordey comes back and gets to do good work on the three-part story that introduced Fantomex. And we also get JP Leon & Sienkiewicz, Bachalo, Jimenez, Silvestri, and more Quitely and EVS.
New X-Men is the book that introduced me to Morrison, and through him the works of guys like Moore, Gaiman, Ellis, Ennis, Milligan, etc, so it’ll always hold a special place in my heart. I should reread it again. I really liked how he approached mutants as a culture and wished more writers ran with that after him. Claremont did the soap opera stuff to perfection so even good runs by people like Whedon, Mike Carey, and Jason Aaron feel a bit been there, done that.
Let’s be honest we’d kill for Quitely to render almost every comic but we have to take what we can get.
I think we all know here by now the crazy deadlines Kordey was given and how good his work actually can be when he isn’t given 4 days to do 22 pages.
Which is a great line-up but hugely erratic. It may have added to me feeling it lost some focus. That is a long time ago now though so I think I will give it another read and see how I feel 15 years or so on.
Looking back, it’s really impressive what he did. The rendering is ugly in many places but the storytelling is clear and fluid, even in the fight scenes involving a dozen or so characters.
Iron Man got a bit of a look in with the analogue in Marvel Boy I guess. And we saw glimpses of a few Thor ideas in Multiversity.
I think FF is a sort of pure imaginative adventure that he would do great things with. I actually think it could be quite different to his extended Kirby riffs with DC, which always felt quite beholden to what has gone before in a way that FF isn’t necessarily. Maybe he could cover similar ground with a Challengers of the Unknown revival or something.
Teamed with the right artist I think it could be something special. But to be honest I think anything new by Morrison for the Big Two is going to have a touch of the familiar about it at this point. He’s covered so many characters and concepts in his prolific career that there isn’t a huge amount of new ground for him in that arena.
Have you been following his Heavy Metal stuff?
On and off, but not regularly. Nothing’s really grabbed me.
Maybe if they gave him The Inhumans he’d actually make them as interesting as Marvel wish they were.
Ah. I think, for me, it was JLA that functioned that way (though by the time I got to it, he was already onto the Marvel stuff).
Both JLA and X Men hold up, I think, as the level best those franchises have ever been for me (though I know that Claremont’s will always be the landmark for X Men).
New X-Men is definitely my favourite X-Men,even Iif I am disappointed with the art in about 40% of the issues. Grant managed a great ending with his run. The dystopian future drawn by Silvestri? I love that. And when Bachalo did the Cyclops/Wolverine mutants on a mission arc, that was great too. It just felt like a lot of different flavours, and always trying something new even though there was the greatest hits approach to it.
As for Fantastic Four, wasn’t he developing the Ultimate concept for them before he left Marvel? I can’t remember what his take was though.
Was he? I didn’t know that.
From the UNPUBLISHED MORRISON
ULTIMATE FANTASTIC 4 (2002)
Initially offered the choice of rebooting the Marvel line with Ultimate X-Men or Ultimate Spider-Man as a lure away from DC, Morrison turned both titles down, recommending Mark Millar for the Ultimate X-Men gig, and jumping ship from DC to pen the X-franchise flagship title, retitled New X-Men during his tenure.
During his 4-year stint at Marvel, Morrison consulted on the launch of further titles in the Ultimate line, specifically Ultimate Fantastic Four and Ultimate Avengers, eventually known simply as The Ultimates.
Ultimate Fantastic Four was envisioned as a superhero sitcom-soap opera, seen by Morrison to be in line with prevailing pop-culture trends (think Buffy, Friends etc.). This tactic had been used before in comics, notably in Giffen & DeMatties’ Justice League International, a comic that had, at the time of Morrison’s proposal, dramatically fallen out of fashion since its heyday in the late 80’s-early 90’s.
Supposedly Mark Waid, then writer of the main Fantastic Four book, asked for any Ultimate Fantastic Four book to be delayed so as not to detract from the then critical and commercial success of his title.
Ultimate Fantastic Four eventually surfaced in 2004, after Morrison had left Marvel for another stint at DC, written by [Warren Ellis] Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Millar and, according to Morrison in various interviews, incorporating uncredited much of his original pitch.
“Ultimate Fantastic Four will probably still appear”, said Morrison in an interview with Newsarama, “but I won’t have anything to do with it. I was involved in some of the discussions that went on prior to the release of The Ultimates so I feel as though I’ve contributed my ten cents worth already.”
Wordery are doing a buy one book and get 10% off everything other item in your order - code SPRING10
They’re not great on preorder items but if you want to catch up on stuff already out it could make for quite a saving - only one thing to note: Payment is at point of order!
That is a weird discount. Like they’re begrudgingly having to do an offer.
That’s really unexpected to read for some reason.
I know you are a big GM fan and I always had the picture that it would have been the more leftfield stuff that brought you in, then you’d went on and read his more mainstream stuff for completion - I’m basing this purely on what I think your taste in comics is - I think we share a lot of the same favourite writers
However, this goes to show how good his XMen run actually is that it made that impression on you.
(I thought it was fantastic)