Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Morrison's Soldiers of fortune: Grant Morrison talks with Newsarama about the concepts behind his 30-issue Seven Soldiers project, and the first arc of JLA: Classified:
The fun really starts when you combine all the books like a 30 piece jigsaw to reveal the epic story behind it all, with a cast of hundreds, criss-crossing and affecting one another's lives. I think it adds up to the most intricate and ambitious single superhero story anyone's attempted.

My hope is that each of the books has a different enough flavor for all of the seven to find their own special audience - there's hip hop psychedelia, full-on fantasy adventure in modern day Los Angeles, a gritty, hard luck heroine book, a rollercoaster techno-thriller, a sci-fi western, vampire knights from hell riding giant spiders and more fresh new superheroes than anyone has a right to expect. This is a huge mega-novel, cape fiction's own Lord of the Rings. It could just as easily fall flat on its face but I’m hoping there are enough people out there who want new kinds of thrills.

The current vogue in superhero comics, post-“Hush” is for the 'definitive' take, which tends to manifest itself as creators playing it safe by cherry-picking and re-packaging all the best and most popular elements of an already successful feature. It's a commercial strip-mining kind of approach to a given property that seems to make a lot of sense until you realize it can really only work once before you find yourself in the awful position of having to make up stuff again. Seven Soldiers is an attempt to clear some new ground and make stories for people who want something a little different from 'greatest hits' reworkings of books they've already read.

Obviously these days it's a lot harder to sell comics with new ideas and untested characters and it's clear why it would be easier just do a 12-part Batman or JLA book but someone has to be willing to take chances with original material and sometimes it has to be me.
As for his JLA: Classified run, well: "Aquaman has no beard and John Stewart is Green Lantern so it's pretty much set in some kind of current continuity but I’m afraid it's not the gloomy 'adult' world of Sue Dibny's shredded lycra pants so keep well away if it's attempted rape you crave. Cannibalism, yes, rape, no. My DCU is a day-glo, non-stop funhouse, where the world is threatened every five minutes and godlike beings clash in the skies like fireworks."