Grant Morrison runs amok in the press again
“We’re running out of visions of the future except dystopias,” Morrison says. “The superhero is Western culture’s last-gasp attempt to say there’s a future for us.” Sitting in his drafty house overlooking Loch Long, an hour outside his hometown of Glasgow, the 52-year-old writer smiles. “The creators of superheroes were all freaks,” he says. “People forget that—they were all outcasts, on the margins of society.” And then, inevitably, he shifts from the third person to the first. “We’re people who don’t fit into normal society.”And in his case, it figures. Even if he didn't name them directly there, just what kind of chutzpah is that to call Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Roy Thomas et al a bunch of freaks? They were and are perfectly normal human beings, and a lot saner than Morrison's proving himself to be with this sensationalist garbage.
On Superman, he says:
...his popularity has declined—nobody wants to be the son of a farmer now.Says who? That's like saying nobody wants to make it in the food industry anymore or build an empire out of agriculture.
His take on Batman is worse:
“I got interested in the class element of Batman: He’s a rich man who beats up poor people. It’s quite a bizarre mission to go out at night dressed as a bat and punch the hell out of junkies. And then he goes home and lives in this mansion. There’s an aspirational quality to him—he’s an outlaw and he can buy anything. He has a new Batmobile every movie. He’s very plutonian in the sense that he’s wealthy and also in the sense that he’s sexually deviant. Gayness is built into Batman. I’m not using gay in the pejorative sense, but Batman is very, very gay. There’s just no denying it. Obviously as a fictional character he’s intended to be heterosexual, but the basis of the whole concept is utterly gay. I think that’s why people like it. All these women fancy him and they all wear fetish clothes and jump around rooftops to get to him. He doesn’t care—he’s more interested in hanging out with the old guy and the kid.”If I were Bob Kane and I read this from the afterlife, I'd be spinning in my grave if I saw how he was insulting Kane's famous vigilante creation by claiming he was literally a "gay" creation, all the lovely ladies Bruce Wayne dated notwithstanding. The only problem is that in recent times, editors' fiat and writers have basically brought all that potential of human relations to a standstill - it seems these days that he's written more often fighting crime and not leading a social life, if at all. This is all the fault of either the writers, or the editors who won't allow any human drama with a girlfriend selectively or otherwise, or both.
On Wonder Woman, he says:
William Moulton Marston, the guy who created Wonder Woman, was a noted psychiatrist. He’s the guy who invented the polygraph, the lie detector. He was one of those bohemian free-love guys; he and his wife, Elizabeth, shared a lover, Olive, who was the physical model for Wonder Woman.Just what proof does he have for that? Sounds more like a defamatory smear.
On the Joker, he says:
I identify with the Joker to a certain extent—at least the way I write him, which is as this cosmic fool. He’s Batman’s perfect opposite, and because of that he’s as sexy as Batman, if not more so.What an insult to Batman he's making there. He goes on to say that:
I rationalized that by saying he’s [Joker] supersane, the first man of the 21st century who’s dealing with this overload of information by changing his entire personality. I quite like him, because he’s a pop star—he’s like Bowie.I think in the past decades, there's been way too much "supervillain worship" among writers, more so than readers, and as Morrison's rambling blathering suggests, it's getting way out of hand.
In one of the statements he makes about the Invisibles, he says:
In Kathmandu there’s this temple with 365 steps, one for each day of the year, and apparently if you can go up in a single breath, you’re guaranteed enlightenment. It’s easy to do if you’re young and fit. I just took a deep breath and ran up. Three days later I was visited by five-dimensional aliens. (I’d eaten a bit of hash, but honestly, it wasn’t a drug trip. I ate a lot of things afterward to see if I could make it happen again, and I never could.)But if he did gobble narcotics, then it was a a drug trip. Not very honest then, I'm afraid.
On Lord Fanny, a character who appeared in the Invisibles, he says:
“When I was doing The Invisibles, I was spending all my money from Arkham Asylum [Morrison’s hit graphic novel about Batman’s enemies] doing all the things I’d never done as a Presbyterian boy. You freak out, take tons of drugs. It was about the systematic derangement of the senses, as Rimbaud said. So I came up with the notion of an alter ego who was a dodgy, freaky girl [Lord Fanny, pictured]. I can’t smoke tobacco— it hurts—but she could. I created this persona, and I’d contact demons and wander down streets in this ridiculous state. I didn’t look like a girl, but I looked like a good tranny, so it was okay. I did it for four or five years before I got too old for it. I still have some of the clothes, but they mostly got destroyed doing insane rituals and climbing hills in high heels and stuff.”He couldn't smoke cigarettes but he could take drugs?!? I fail to see the logic here. And his tests in cross-dressing that he boasts about are tasteless too.
On Magneto, archnemesis of X-Men, he says:
“Magneto’s an old terrorist bastard. I got into trouble—the X-Men fans hated me because I made him into a stupid old drug-addicted idiot. He had started out as this sneering, grim terrorist character, so I thought, Well, that’s who he really is. [Writer] Chris Claremont had done a lot of good work over the years to redeem the character: He made him a survivor of the death camps and this noble antihero. And I went in and shat on all of it. It was right after 9/11, and I said there’s nothing fucking noble about this at all.”He's starting to sound like Brian Bendis after he'd boasted about his own deconstruction of the Avengers. Back in the day, what made Magneto stand out was that he hadn't actually killed anybody per se (at least not until the early 1990s), and came to his senses after he'd almost killed Kitty Pryde in 1983 (I think it was in UXM #150). And Morrison had the gall to try and make him no different from real life terrorists who, as Morrison signaled following Frank Miller's announcement he wanted to write the anti-jihad story that became Holy Terror, he doesn't think worthy of fighting? Please. But if that's his opinion on Magneto, why does he say that Claremont did good work on him? If he thinks so, he wouldn't have gone in such horrific direction with him but rather come up with a new antagonist who could fill the role instead. In any case, Claremont may have actually spoiled some of that towards the end of his original run in the early 1990s when he was launching the first official spinoff of the flagship Uncanny X-Men title (the sans-adjective series).
So there's Morrison going along making sensationalistic claims and boasts to the mainstream press again, and sadly, that might be the reason why the big two are willing to keep him around.
Update: on the Dixonverse board, one poster says that:
In Supergods Morrison mentions that "in his youth" he often gave interviews where he would intentionally say controversial or inflammatory things just to get a reaction from people, and mentioned that such a practice was somewhat common among the younger writers in the UK comics scene. According to him, most of the negative things he said about Alan Moore stemmed from this thinking, because he knew taking shots at Moore would generate heat.The answer is probably no, he's not, but is so desperate for the media's attention that he'll say whatever it takes to bore everybody to sleep.
Whenever I read Morrison's comments about things like the Matrix stealing his ideas from the Invisibles or that he should get part of the credit for Arkham Asylum being on of the best selling video games of all time, since he wrote a comic that had the name Arkham Asylum in the title, I really don't know if he's being serious or not.