• Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

Absolute Crisis on Infinite Earths (Review/Retrospective)

This January, I’m going to take a look at some of DC’s biggest “events.” This week I’ll be taking at the event that started it all, Marv Wolfman and George Pérez’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, reprinted in DC’s oversized and slipcased Absolute line.

It’s interesting to reflect on Crisis on Infinite Earths, more than a quarter of a century after the twelve-issue maxi-series was published. In the time since, it seems like the editorial purpose driving the event – the desire to “simplify” DC’s tangled and messed continuity into one single and unified history by abolishing the myriad of alternate continuities – has been somewhat undone with the return of the multiverse in 52 and Final Crisis, but this arguably allows Wolfman and Pérez’s epic to be considered on its own merit. Although the series might not be as important as it once was in explaining the sometimes bizarre way that all of DC’s published line fit together, I think you can still see a huge influence of this crossover in the stories that the authors at DC are telling, and how they approach them.

Holding out for some heroes...

Continue reading

Joe the Barbarian: The Deluxe Edition (Review)

December is “Grant Morrison month” here at the m0vie blog, as we take the month to consider and reflect on one of the most critically acclaimed (and polarising) authors working in the medium.

Ultimus Alpha tells it how it is, Kid. This fairtale’s on a one-way trip to Hell.

Joe the Barbarian isn’t Grant Morrison at his creative peak. It isn’t going to redefine the medium, or become an enduring classic for the ages. If it features on college reading lists, I suspect it will be sorted with the “optional” texts somewhere below the “key” Morrisonian works. That doesn’t mean that Joe the Barbarian is bad or anything nearly as drastic. It’s a nice little fairytale fantasy story, one that feels like Morrison paying homage to a bizarre mix of Cabaret and The Lord of the Rings. There’s a lot here to enjoy, but there’s nothing that’ll really knock anybody’s socks off.

Swordplay...

Continue reading

Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers of Victory: Zatanna (Review/Retrospective)

December is “Grant Morrison month” here at the m0vie blog, as we take the month to consider and reflect on one of the most critically acclaimed (and polarising) authors working in the medium. We’ve got a special treat for you this week, which is “Seven Soldiers Week”, so check back each day for a review of one of the Seven Soldier miniseries that Morrison put together.

Zatanna is undoubtedly the most recognisable DC comics character among Morrison’s seven-character line-up. Sure, Frankenstein is a cultural icon and Mister Miracle is a member of Kirby’s New Gods, but Zatanna is an iconic part of the DC Universe, with her own rich and established history which has played into large events within the fictional universe repeatedly. As such, it’s no surprise that she is the only member of the Seven Soldiers ensemble to have a current on-going series – written by long-time Batman author Paul Dini. Of course, Dini mostly handles his own interpretation of the stage magician, to the point that this little four-issue series might really have never happened. Still, I’m glad it did, if only because Morrison gets to handle some pretty important character beats and acknowledge the character’s rich history at the same time.

I take my hat off to Morrison...

Continue reading

Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers of Victory: Shining Knight (Review)

December is “Grant Morrison month” here at the m0vie blog, as we take the month to consider and reflect on one of the most critically acclaimed (and polarising) authors working in the medium. We’ve got a special treat for you this week, which is “Seven Soldiers Week”, so check back each day for a review of one of the Seven Soldier miniseries that Morrison put together.

Shining Knight is one of those heroes that Morrison picked from relative obscurity for his Seven Soldiers project. The only encounter I ever had with the character was watching an episode of Justice League Unlimited featuring the original Seven Soldiers line-up as a bit of an in-joke. So, I don’t really have any frame of reference for how Morrison is reworking the character here, but I imagine it’s quite thoroughly.

Winging it...

Continue reading

Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers of Victory: Mister Miracle (Review/Retrospective)

December is “Grant Morrison month” here at the m0vie blog, as we take the month to consider and reflect on one of the most critically acclaimed (and polarising) authors working in the medium. We’ve got a special treat for you this week, which is “Seven Soldiers Week”, so check back each day for a review of one of the Seven Soldier miniseries that Morrison put together.

Morrison’s fascination with Jack Kirby creations continues. The author also reworked the Newsboy Legion and Klarion the Witch-Boy as part of Seven Soldiers, but Mister Miracle allows Morrison to play with perhaps the most iconic additions that Kirby made to the DC pantheon, dating back to his return from Marvel in the seventies, the New Gods. It goes without saying that this four-issue series actually serves as more of a lead-in to Final Crisis than an exploration of the Seven Soldiers mythology, but it’s still an absolutely fascinating look at some of Morrison’s big ideas.

No escape...

Continue reading

Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers of Victory (Review/Retrospective)

December is “Grant Morrison month” here at the m0vie blog, as we take the month to consider and reflect on one of the most critically acclaimed (and polarising) authors working in the medium. We’ve got a special treat for you this week, which is “Seven Soldiers Week”, so check back each day for a review of one of the Seven Soldier miniseries that Morrison put together.

Seven Soldiers of Victory is perhaps the strangest comic book “event” that we’ve ever seen. It’s essentially two issues, with a series of seven four-issue miniseries unfolding between them. The idea is that the seven books each follow one of the eponymous seven members of the superhero team destined to save the world from an evil invasion. Of course, this is a Grant Morrison story, so there’s far more to it than that, but perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the crossover is that (with one exception) none of the seven members of the team actually meet each other.

Seven is a magic number...

Continue reading

Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers of Victory: The Guardian (Review)

December is “Grant Morrison month” here at the m0vie blog, as we take the month to consider and reflect on one of the most critically acclaimed (and polarising) authors working in the medium. We’ve got a special treat for you this week, which is “Seven Soldiers Week”, so check back each day for a review of one of the Seven Soldier miniseries that Morrison put together.

The Guardian really just gives Grant Morrison a chance to play with a whole bunch of high concept crazy ideas inside a loose superhero framework, while allowing the scribe to play with various outmoded comic book concepts. Of course, there are elements of that within the other stories (and, to be frank, within most other major superhero titles the author has ever written), but The Guardian stands out amongst these Seven Soldiers of Victory miniseries as perhaps the most “Morrison-esque” of them.

Making headlines...

Continue reading

Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers of Victory: Frankenstein (Review/Retrospective)

December is “Grant Morrison month” here at the m0vie blog, as we take the month to consider and reflect on one of the most critically acclaimed (and polarising) authors working in the medium. We’ve got a special treat for you this week, which is “Seven Soldiers Week”, so check back each day for a review of one of the Seven Soldier miniseries that Morrison put together.

Sometimes we all get too caught up in Morrison’s wonderful symbolism, mysticism and deeper meaning. Sometimes comic books don’t need to be anything more than a ridiculous premise executed in wonderful style. The covers to this miniseries tell you all you need to know, as does the opening splash page, featuring the monster striding into action as an off-screen character declares, “Die, Frankenstein, die!” You know you’re in for a wonderful high-concept action adventure which isn’t going try to be anything more than effortlessly cool. It’s moments like this which remind you, quite simply, that Grant Morrison loves comics, just as much as you and I do.

Words cannot describe how awesome this is...

Continue reading

Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers of Victory: The Bulleteer (Review/Retrospective)

December is “Grant Morrison month” here at the m0vie blog, as we take the month to consider and reflect on one of the most critically acclaimed (and polarising) authors working in the medium. We’ve got a special treat for you this week, which is “Seven Soldiers Week”, so check back each day for a review of one of the Seven Soldier miniseries that Morrison put together.

There’s a whole class of people in hospital wards, Mrs. Harrower, people who’d do just about anything to hang out with the skintight crowd. They expose themselves to radioactive materials or drink home-made potions… They interact with venomous insects and dangerous animals in the expectation of receiving some totem power.

There’s not a lot of sympathy among medical staff who have to clean up the mess.

The Bulleteer is a wonderful deconstruction of the superhero world we see so often reflected in the comics of Marvel and DC. These characters were created decades ago, in a different world. Writing elsewhere last year, I wondered if the very concept of a secret identity is outdated, a genre convention which doesn’t reflect the modern world. Clark Kent is a modest cover for Superman, a creation which afford him the opportunity to pretend to be normal, a humble camouflage that seemed perfectly quaint in the thirties. These days, I wonder if people would even bother. After all, in this era of instant celebrity and reality television, with the entire world aspiring to become “special”, why would you ever want to be normal?

What happens when the shine comes off?

Continue reading