Grant Morrison’s run on ACTION COMICS reaches its conclusion with this new hardcover collecting issues #13-18 of the series. The Multitude returns, and Superman must face them on Mars! Then, the Man of Steel is on trial—and the jury is made up of the Anti-Superman Army! Plus: What is the secret of the Little Man?
Oh. My. God.
I think I’ve just discovered the Ulysses of comic books. Final Crisis eat your heart out.
Perhaps it was only a matter of time before Morrison started to show his true colors. In all honesty, I really enjoyed the first two volumes, even though the plot was somewhat hard to follow sometimes. But then I remembered that this is Grant Morrison we’re talking about.
On one hand, Morrison has written some great DC stories, including All-Star Superman, which some consider to be one of the greatest – if not the greatest – Superman story ever written. However, on the other hand, this is the same guy who wrote the aneurysm-inducing Final Crisis, which might as well hold the crowning title of the most confusing (and boring) graphic novel in DC Comics 75+ year history. When I read that graphic novel, I only lasted about 25% of the way – asking myself incessantly “What the heck is going on?” After that, my brain gave up, and I decided to just enjoy the artwork like a kid who can’t read. That was also the straw that broke the camel’s back; My favourite DC ongoing series had been cancelled thanks to Final Crisis, and I stopped reading DC Comics for 9 years.
Now, it seems that with this volume, Morrison was probably trying to beat his own record.
Normally, I try to give a plot rundown, but what’s the point? Clark Kent’s former landlady is a princess from the fifth dimension, the wife of classic villain-turned bedridden comedian Mister Mxyzptlk, Superman fights a multitude of angels on mars, Nimrod hunts him down in a red-sun-infested landscape, Superman nearly gets trapped in the phantom zone, but he manages to rescue Krypto, and Doomsday appears to fight the Man of Steel… when Superman is already dead… all while Clark Kent is at the prom with Lana Lang, only to hear his folks are dead. The Anti-Superman Army tries to kill Superman again, and Lord Vyndktv (your guess is as good as mine) is behind it all, and the Legion of Superheroes arrives to try and save Superman, after becoming fugitives in their own time.
And guess what? This ALL happens at the same time!
Confused? Well, so am I!
It’s volumes like this that make me wonder why Morrison has all the praise that he does. Unless this is pure political correctness or outright lies is beyond me, but nearly every Morrison story that I read seems to have this problem. The plot is unreadable and makes no sense, leaving you to force yourself to plow through his writing. The cast of characters to keep track of is ENORMOUS, and the dialogue, the sudden cuts to new scenes or old ones only makes things even more confusing.
Perhaps this is the product of deconstructionism, or maybe a postmodern look at comics, but this volume’s story was terrible. I read comics to have fun, and that’s impossible to do when the plot simply can’t be followed, the cast is too big, the focus is nonexistent, and you’re left wondering if there’s something wrong with you when nothing made sense at the end of the first read. I’m really glad the next volume wasn’t written by Morrison; Final Crisis was confusing enough!
Since the plot completely lost me (and the reviews on Goodreads makes it clear that I’m not alone), I just did what a lot of people do when comic books make no sense, I just admired the artwork. Morales does a good job following the scripts convoluted expectations. How he did it is beyond me; the artwork is pretty to look at, but without good story to back it up, that’s all this volume has going for it.
Scholly Fisch seems to try and tie lose ends together in the final stories on this volume, and while I appreciate this effort (and the Neil Degrasse Tyson cameo), the damage is already done at that point.
If you like good artwork, Morales does a fantastic job in this volume; I can’t blame him at all for my overall disappointment. If you want to good story, then Sholly Fisch attempts to deliver in #18, but the rest is only going to confuse and anger many readers.
In fact, this may even be the last Morrison title I’ll touch for a long time…
#ReadingChallenge2018 – 5