So begins my journey into some of Grant Morrison’s most lauded comics, many of which I’ve shamefully never read. I’d have been turned off by the art style in Doom Patrol in the past, & it’s still not quite my cup of tea but case works smart & complements GM’s script nicely here.
Oh wow! This is great! I can’t believe I never realised anyone had put Struwwelpeter into a comic! I was so scared of him as child! Dark, surreal, thrilling stuff, with this fascinating background note about what makes us who we are ... I’m in.
In the end, this is a simple, but solid recipe for success. Strong characterisation (I know what the cast are ‘like’ before I know much about their powers), good action, and a really weird central conceit backed up by some genuine thought.
Sometimes this sort of high-concept stuff flies over my head, but there’s something about the writing here that brings me along. I love the twist here on the usual ‘the world needs the ...’ speech.
Great first arc (I do love story arcs that don’t conform to the ‘six-issue written for TPB’ stuff that so much of the comics I read when I was younger did), finishing on two genuinely intriguing epilogues.
Excellent start to the second arc. Really pacy and quite chilling. This scene between Remis and Eleanor’s ex husband is fascinating.
I was wrong about Richard Case for all these years. Whatever it was about this sort of art that turned me off; I was a fool. He’s magnificent here working alongside Scott Hannah to make this dark story explode into the light.
Oh, and don’t think I don’t notice your chocolate bar habit Dr Caulder!
Well ... this is just horrifying. There’s a lot to process here ... but for what it’s worth, the tension here is as close to horror movie as I think I’ve ever seen a comic manage.
Morrison clearly having the time of his life here. Amazing to think he was allowed to run rampant like this so early in his career!
God. This is astonishing! Not just weird for the sake of it, absurdist for the sake of the story. Wow, now that’s something. Brilliant!
Thank you to the person that took the time to reach out and remind me Morrison goes by they/ them these days. I’ve gotten than wrong a few times in here already; but trying my best to remember.
This is so delightfully weird. But then an encounter with The Brotherhood of Dada would be a let down if it wasn’t like this really ...
Amazing. Such unique storytelling. Bisley is killing with these covers, Case continues to show me how wrong I was about him, and Morrison playing with high brow concepts by the panel, but never crossing that fine line over into pretentious .
#30 goes to some very, very dark places. I wonder how sensitively done this is, because it’s horrifying, but I’m not sure it feels exploitative. I’m not the best person to judge, but Jane’s trauma writ large like this certainly makes for a harrowing read.
Ideas are just spilling out onto the page here, setting up space in my own imagination rent free while this chaotic plot just rattles by, picking up steam panel by panel. This issue is a ride, grab hold and enjoy it, and then sit back and think ...
Wow, this book just does not let up. It keeps pouring all these concepts out so thick and fast you could happily drown in them. There are green shoots here of stories Morrison will tell later on in his career, but gosh, there’s a lot to take in here for one comic.
Their plots are short and tight but busting at the seams. The formula steps out of the tried and true big fight with the super villains and always settles on more elegant solutions. The darkness is ever-present, but sets beautifully against the offbeat cast. More wonderful stuff.
Just to stretch their wings Morrison turns to comedy here to consider a philosophical question that’s hung in the background throughout the series to date; ‘does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body?’.
Another day, another beautiful odd concept turned comic script. Danny The Living Street and the Men from Nowehere, eradicating eccentricities wherever they find them. And just to make it abundantly clear how intolerant that is, their real problem is that Danny is a transvestite.
Oh my god, it’s almost impossible to know what to pick out here; the defeat of Mr Jones, the appearance of Flex Mentallo, Rhea’s metamorphosis, Richard Case’s ongoing catwalk of weird and wonderful character designs ... there’s so much chaos here & it’s all beautifully curated.
This recap page is glorious ... it’s actually helped ground me in the unravelling (ha!) story again to a degree.
Argh! This issue is just so dense I want to sit and think about some of the panels and concepts Morrison is playing with for hours ...
This comic just goes from strength to strength. So many mainstream comics just seem flat by comparison to the layer upon layer Morrison is adding here. It’s a long time since I’ve lingered over the words as much as I’m finding myself doing here.
The Pheromone Communion here is practically cinematic ... no, orchestral ... yes. I’m running out of superlatives, but this is just unlike any comic I’ve ever read.
As this arc goes on I’m realising it’s one of the longest stories they’ve told so far. Case is really getting an opportunity to spread his wings here.
This is a great issue. Morrison shows just how much of the groundwork they have been laying throughout the run so far, pulling a load of familiar elements together to present something big, something more deftly layered, all through the perspective of a classic super-hero origin!
Love seeing ads for some of the stories I’m going to come to next. I can’t deny, I’m feeling some pangs as I make my way through Doom Patrol that it will be over at some point. Exciting to realise how much more I have to come.
It’s almost like doing half a dozen puzzles all at the same time ... love this gag about making your own comics :-)
Fantastic arc. They never retread the same sort of ground do they? The finale is Dorothy’s coming out party, and gosh it’s ominous and creepy and cool. Flex adds this sort of level of normalcy almost, but even his story is wrapped up in Morrison’s delicious twisted logic.
This is too funny. What a fantastic start to a new arc ...
This issue is unmitigated genius. It’s so funny.
The timing and the inner monologue of this prat fall should not work in a comic. Credit to both writer and artist for making this work so damn well.
I mean, #45 is going to take some beating, but the pace quickens in #46. We’re going somewhere & GM is hinting we’ve been heading there all along ...
Dan Vozzo is the unsung hero of this one, bringing the script and RichRd Case’s pencils to life. Letting the tone shift effortlessly from scene to scene without any jarring, piling on the emotional resonance to make everything seem that much more explosive by the final page.
I’m constantly amazed by the character design on this book. I assume that’s all Richard Case. Honestly, he out-weirds Morrison, or at least meets him halfway with some of this. And it just feels so fresh. I wish more comics were this brave.
The psychedelia ramps up (if that were even possible) for 50, with Jamie Hewlett joining us for a few pages and reallt rising to the challenge.
There’s also a glorious collection of pin ups in the back where GM rattles off a load of other Doom Patrol adventures and challenges his guest artists to try to show them in a single page (with some considerably more successful than others at doing so).
GM is moving pieces around the board elegantly here. Dorothy is still haunted by the deal she did in the Pentagon, rifts are appearing in the Doom Patrol over political differences exposed by The Brotherhood of Dada’s message, and a new player is about to enter the fray ...
Jamie Hewlett’s cover, Philip Bond’s ‘finishes’ & Morrison’s commitment to the absurd (see The Toy turning up late) make this finale sing. There’s even a note of poignancy here as Mr Nobody dies. You wonder how much of a villain GM really believed him to be.
Morrison flexes their funny bone a bit here. I particularly like this issues take on John Constantine ... Ken Steacy plays ball and does a decent impersonation of Kirby to help bring this weird story to life. Now I’m sat back wondering where they take this one ...
The nature of Remis’ duality has lurked in the background forever so this deep dive into their psyche has been a long time coming. It’s heavy on the symbolism and has a sense of foreboding to it. But it’s beautiful at times too. Really special stuff.
This one is harrowing. Dorothy’s dear is palpable, Jane remembering being raped and killing her rapist is harrowing. Actually Josh being shot at the end feels incidental in a way. Another tough read.
Storm clouds are gathering in the background here, but Jane’s emotional journey continues to take centre stage. Of all the ‘horrors’ these superhero’s face, the ones that really loom over them are the evils that normal people do.
Wow! This one is amazing, pure, unfiltered comic book greatness. Caulder’s monologue is pitch perfect, and ties so much together. The irony of his catastrophe theory essentially being his undoing as The Candlemaker runs rampant is particularly elegantly done!
It’s time to take ride through Robotman’s psyche (why not, we’ve been through most of the others). The narration, the layouts, the colours here, all add to that sense of a mind unravelling.
Oh god, in setting the first phase of The Candlemaker’s Apocalypse - destroying the soul of the world -in direct comparison to the behaviour of missionaries, GM sets up a profoundly chilling delicious irony for his final (?) story arc.
The tension and the pace ratcheting up massively here. GM knows when pure action is the way to keep the heart of a story beating. Some incredible work by Case here. He makes The Candlemaker look so powerful.
At times this has the feel of a horror movie climax, with The Candlemaker just stalking towards them no matter what they throw at it. Such great pacing.
This is a glorious finish. Danny The Street’s story and intervention is just a wonderful, heartwarming, optimistic way to respond to the tragedy and trauma the cast have suffered.
... what an ending. I don’t know if my heart is broken or mended. When the final pages make you want to go back read everything that came before you know you’ve been in the hands of a master storyteller. That was just an incredible ride.
This, by Rachel Pollack as she prepares to step into Grant’s shoes, is amazing. If anyone has recommendations for comics writing about Doom Patrol before I move on to the next book in my reading list (Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on a Serious Earth), I’d be very grateful.
Ok, so, I’m aware Arkham Asylum is seminal ... and don’t know why I’ve never read it before ... and I’m really trying here ... but I just don’t like it. I’m sort of conscious how beautiful it is, and yes, it’s a thought-provoking story, but it’s just not for me.
It may just be me, but I’m finding The Joker’s dialogue really hard to read. That lettering is often impenetrable. Also, I’m reminded why I hate trade paperbacks. So often reading this something fell to close to the middle of the page for me to see.
The copy I have has this forward by Morrison at the back, and his original scripts, which I’m actually finding more interesting (and readable) than the comic itself. I hadn’t anticipated reading this, but I sort of feel I have to if I’m going to full appreciate this one.
Yeah, honestly, this note in the script and the later annotation clarifying the thinking behind it is more enjoyable to me than most of the book.
Hah! I love this
Done. The script is better than the comic. Which kills me. I’m sure this is considered sacrilege but I almost wonder whether I would like it more by another artist ... anyway, moving on. Next up is another version of the Dark Knight from Morrison ...
Thought I’d take a brief step back and read Morrison’s contributions to Spider-man and the Zoids, a comic I collected avidly as a kid (and still have physically somewhere) but barely remember. There’s a few neat stories here, Deserts in 30 & 31 is full of pathos.
Oh god, Silverman! I was terrified of this guy when I was younger. I feel like I can see some of the writer Morrison came to be peeking out of this villain.
Oh wow, this one, the start of his big storyline on the book, a nine issue story called The Black Zoid, has Morrison written all over it ...
Big apocalyptic battle, the two main good Zoids, Zoidzilla and Gore have fallen, and one of the key human charact3rs is flashing back to childhood trauma ... yep ...
So much of this is so familiar ...
Hints of Terminator and Doom Patrol’s Robotman here. Also Morrison went back to this same coin toss motif for the climax of Arkham Asylum ... I actually prefer it here.
Two other classic hints of Morrison’s later work here - following the great battle with the evil villain a new and worse villain in the form of a very human corporation emerges, and here a hero trapped in their own minds ape, battling for control over their selfhood.
His last story is super weird ... and feels like it was going somewhere, but one issue later the comic ended and (apparently) Zoids went solo monthly ... but this was all I really came for ... and it was definitely an interesting detour. Next up, LOTDK Gothic!
So, this is off to a decent start. Klaus Janson does some fine work, and the writing is confident and assured, setting the scene nicely, Bruce having nightmares, the rebuild of the cathedral, the mob terrified by the return of Mr Whisper ...
Another horrifying child abusing villain, a theme running rampant through Morrison’s early work at this point. This is harrowing stuff even with Alfred’s patented sarcasm allowing us a wry smile at the end.
More here. Morrison writes Alfred as just incredibly politely tired of all this nonsense. Like he’s dealing with a very rich delusional man child ...
I guess it’s not just Alfred ...
This is a great issue. Whisper’s origin here is dense and creepy, and Batman’s exploration of the drowned monastery is perfectly brought to live by Janson’s lovely intricate artwork.
Wow. The story unfolds here and Whisper’s plot is laid bare, revealing all kinds of Morrison goodness; sacred/ occult geometry built into gothic architecture, an American Indian soul trap, a deal with the devil, romantic poetry, all carefully interwoven with Batman’s own history.
Did I somehow forget this incredible convoluted death trap? It’s fine, because issue five knows exactly how a Batman finale should begin ...
Great story, great finish, beautifully rendered through out. Highly recommended!

Up next, I’ll dive back into Zenith Book One.
Still waiting for my Zenith books to arrive, but I’ve found a dump of Morrison’s Captain Clyde strips that feel worth a look. Early on it’s clear he had a real desire to do superheroes for a new perspective. What would a Scottish superhero look like. The dialects here are lovely.
I guess this is the end of the first ‘arc’. It’s got a lot of personality. Morrison’s art is actually quite nice. Scans are poor, but it’s nice to actually find this stuff. Captain Clyde’s remorse over taking any life is the interesting plot point here.
In the second arc we get a perfectly functionable origin story overplayed on the origin of a villain Quasar. It’s all pretty fun actually. I particularly like that Morrison sees no need to make CC especially likeable.
For his first real superhero throw down, Morrison goes all out. There’s a smart finale here, that’s really well considered and lands neatly. We end the second arc with Quasar defeated, but Captain Clyde having to face down the police who are intent on arresting him.
Honestly, it’s hard to tell if the strips here are just uploaded in the wrong order, some are missing, or the story is just jumping all over the place. Either way, this is hard work.
There’s some familiar stuff here, occult mythologies, evil military complexes lurking in the background, psychic battles ... but in general, this is not an easy read.
Also, eeek, “the second Ibrox disaster” ... blech!
I do quite like the way the plot escalates during the Sinister Circle arc (including the odd sub-plot which begins delightfully in ‘the slums of Manchester”)
Seeing super villains talk in that thick Scots dialect is just a delight
This monologue from the villain behind the villain, The Black Messiah, is pure Morrison, as is the story taking darker and more dangerous tones as it moves forward.
It all goes very Lord of the Rings for the penultimate act here ...
I’m pretty sure I’d like the narration here if I could just read it ... that first panel is a lot of fun. Oooh, and Quasar is back
The ending is pretty hard to follow. I think Captain Clyde realises he’s intended to be the Black Messiah and chooses annihilation over turning to evil after Alison’s declaration of love reminds him of his humanity. That was not great, but interesting to see where ideas are born.
Finally, the postman delivered four volumes of Zenith today, so my Grant Morrison re-read is back on as of now!
I’m honestly hooked from the start here. Steve Yeowell does some wonderful work here. I’m a sucker for black and white comics and he doesn’t waste the format. Although, I feel like the Masterman character design must be one of the most used in comics at this point ...
That introductory page for Zenith is beautiful. Pure physical comedy! To go from that to the genuinely creepy entrance of the Dark God, and their embodiment as Masterman (who is creepy in his own right here) is just a perfect juxtaposition.
I love Ruby’s inner narrative here. It’s lyrical, poetic, and really lifts the page. The backstory of the Dark Gods is pure Morrison, as is Mandala, although Yeowell’s character design here really lifts him up to something special. That he’s become a Tory MP is hilarious.
I feel like both Morrison and Yeowell are having the time of their life here. These two pages, one of Masterman ‘ascending’ & the other with Ruby and Siadwel creating a cloud are filled with poetry, both in their language and imagery. Really powerful stuff from both creators.
Wow! This is superb. Just an epic battle perfectly paced. Superhero comics at their best, with a Tory MP riding to the rescue at the 11th hour is amazing, Zenith punching straight through Masterman ... but then that turn! Holy **** so well done
I’m not well versed in his work, but these appear to be entities from Lovecraft?
There are perhaps too many different levels on which to enjoy the fact the word St John used as a post hypnotic kill switch are ‘Tyger Tyger’ ... hah!
The epilogue here is amazing. That evil look is just so much fun! Evil has been defeated ... but don’t forget about the Tory MP! Hahah!
Oh god! This is just brilliant. The layers in the background of this story are piling up fast, and they are dark and twisted and creepy. I LOVE this story!
And to finish off this amazing first volume, a load of the gorgeous 2000AD covers the story was first printed, and some amazing character design sheets from Brendan McCarthy. I loved this! I’m really looking forward to diving into the other three volumes! Brilliant stuff.
Book Two begins as dramatically as Book One ends, with a prologue that packs a punch & a jaw-dropping big concept splash page that lands a big hit in its own right. Morrison made parallel world’s a theme throughout their career, interesting to see that idea emerging so early on.
These two jokes ... I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, but I applaud the effort to bring genuine humour into the book.
The technique used here, telling the story across three different scenes simultaneously is really clever and effective at adding layers to the tension. I love the idea St John is being accused of using telepathic powers to influence commons votes.
One of the things making this book so special is the level of craft on show from both Morrison & Yeowell. Both are telling intricate stories across their respective channels, Morrison, skipping around distinct narrative voices to give his cast agency & Yeowell ... well ... wow.
Even the letterer (Kid?) is intent on doing things their way. I love some of this, it’s so distinctive I find myself actually speaking the sounds under my breath to hear them. I’m not sure when I last did that.
I still say psychic superhero/ villain, Tory MP, minister of defence is a truly terrifying idea ... Thatcher lurking in the background here, guiding St John, is creepy beyond belief.
Two more great epilogues here to close out Phase Two, with the introduction of Chimera, and the continuation of the background plot around the alternatives, the alignment, and the arrival of The Lloigor ... it’s all building to a head.
Zenith Phase Three definitely opens to my tastes, delving into the Alternative world’s intro’d in Phase Two and giving us three new awesome characters in short succession, Jimmy Quick, Mr Why, and Archie, who reminds me of so much that I hated about 90s acid house/ rave culture.
Oh yeah, hate him, hope he does painfully :-) in all seriousness, it’s great that Morrison hasn’t fallen for their own hype, and still understands the need to lace a little humour throughout here.
I love Morrison’s commitment to Zenith generally being a bit of a dick here. I think he hinted at it in the first two books, but has decided to go all in here and it’s great!
Exposition delivered by a rambling madman is somehow creepier than ever. Complimented by the narrative from Alternative 666 and the cruelty it talks of, these pages really ramp up the threat level in this story. Yeowell continues to work wonders in two tones.
Hmmm, how can I make this creepier ... oh yes a masochistic religious zealot Singing hymns loudly as Armageddon looms ... that ought to do it.
I don’t know what I love more here, the idea of a much loved children’s fun fair turned into a demonic concentration camp, or simply the name, Tommy Trident The Nuclear Boy (in cycling shorts) ... the sheer wealth of ideas Morrison has in their arsenal is just dazzling ...
I mean, I can just imagine them waking from a dream with the idea for the Chaostructor here ...
I keep meaning to mention the pacing. I want to say I’m constantly surprised not to feel more jarred by the shorter chapters but in truth everything reads so smoothly (even as the story’s pace increases) that I keep forgetting to notice. Also, Spring-heeled Jock ... Amazing :-D
There’s a really clever twist trailed here. Morrison just drops it in and then distracts us all with a big dinosaur bedecked in flowers, ridden by an acid house themed robot superhero ...
There’s some batshit exposition as we build to a climax here, and Maximan’s monologue is full on weirdness. But it lands. Dangerously crazy, ominous, it definitely adds to the tension of the moment. As does Yeowell’s mastery of two tone storytelling.
Just trying to process the thinking behind the Tory MP being the hero standing alone against the villain at the end of the world ... I can’t help but assume that means he will ascend to be the true villain in time.
Even if the reveal here is rather predictable, it’s all very nicely done.
There’s a weird psychedelic interlude with St John at the back here that’s ... well, kind of nothing 🤷🏻‍♂️
Phase Four starts with a shock! We’re in colour now ... and I don’t know if I like it!! Argh change! This is a nice little prologue though introducing a dark mysterious future where Zenith and St John are apparently dead and The Lloigor have taken over ...
Phase Four makes more of Zenith’s pop star status than I remember from any of the previous books. Cynically reinventing himself to cash in on the 60s psychedelic revivals is a perfect move for the character. Nice to see Archie tagging along here too.
Interestingly, during movies, the fight scenes are almost always where I switch off ... in comics, they draw me in ... and this one is so well considered. It’s simple, but so effective, with the competing narrative timelines telling the story so neatly.
I love this page
I’m sharing a bit less here as I get closer and closer to the end ... but this is just great.
There’s a really clever plot device used here, very elegantly developed where part of the narrative is a journal written in the future by Dr Micheal Peyne, the ‘father’ of superheroes, as he ages backward, soared by the Lloigor for his pet in helping them take over the world.
Oh .... wow ... that is such a great finish ... I don’t even know how to talk about that without spoiling it, and you seriously need to read it yourselves ...
Man, that Archie doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about!?!
Truly a dark epilogue ...
Honestly, that was something really special. I’m not sure I expected to enjoy Zenith as much as I did, but it’s a really solid, dark, twisted, funny, and ultimately, complete story perfectly complemented by Yeowell’s beautiful art. Highly recommended. Next up, Animal Man ...
And we’re off. First thoughts, this feels unique. The character’s voices are so clear early on. There’s this warm family vibe I haven’t seen Morrison do elsewhere. Buddy doesn’t seem like any other heroes they’ve written before either ... he’s definitely not Zenith!
I feel like the seeds for We3 are growing here to a degree. Morrison does this looming, predatory, male, evil thing so well that despite there being a huge fight with a giant rat/ Beast in this issue where Buddy loses an arm, this is the page that really frightens me.
There’s an interesting editorial at the back, where they talk about their own history with the character, plans for the future ... and apparently an adolescent ‘interest’ in Bob Oksner’s Supergirl.
The domestic warmth is the juxtaposition to the cruelty and ugliness of man Morrison exposes to his here. This layer of arrogance, privilege and evil from characters across the board is just overwhelming. The prose they write for some of the inner narration is so powerful.
Well this is just an amazing climax. Animal Man is Morrison flexing their muscles. It’s different to their other work, but easily as powerful. This issue is brimming over with moments that really shook me. I’m in love with Buddy reading Where The Wild Things Are to his daughter.
Using that scene to bookend Buddy’s fight with B’wana Beast is clever, giving us this final moment of hope here, to cap off the battle Ellen and the kids fought simultaneously is beautiful.
And the fate of Dr Myers? Brutal, elegant, fine by me. Morrison again asking us to consider where evil really lurks in the world.
I’m reading slower, but these comics seem like they’re worth spending time with. Next up (but for later) is this beautiful issue. Brian Bolland really working some magic on these covers.
Holy shit ... this is amazing stuff. I’m blown away here. Truog and Hazlewood really rise to the challenge here of that script (which must have been amazing to see). This isn’t just any comic book is it?
This is more familiar Morrison. The high concept - Thanagarian Art Martyrs - has their name written all over it. Truog and Hazlewood are catching my eye over and over ... the first three panels here are beautiful.
This one is sad. It’s full of heart, abs Buddy’s compassionate nature sits in the background of The Red Mask’s epitaph. I suspect there’s more than we first see here, but even if there isn’t it stands alone as a superhero story with a lot of pathos. The colours soar.
There’s a good old fashioned straight up superhero fight ... that Ellen wins by kicking Mirror Master in the balls and then down the stairs ... whooo! But this one is all about the three epilogues in truth ... and especially that third one of my money is worth anything.
Brilliant issue really playing to the book & cast’s strengths. Some scenes of domestic bliss & strife with cliff being bullied taking centre stage, plot developing in the background & opportunities for the art to take centre stage, highlighting the beauty of the natural world.
Side step here into Secret Origins 39 - The Myth of the Creation, but glad I took it because this one feels like essential reading. The meta dialogue of the aliens here is fascinating, essentially commenting on the ever changing nature of comic stories and characters.
There’s a lot of misdirection here, which I think Morrison loves. Buddy stopping by Hertfordshire to mess with a fox hunt is beautiful. Vixen turning up because of their similar powers & then the spirit attack. But it’s Highwater’s visit to Arkham I can’t stop thinking about.
I love this page, where Buddy picks up ‘non-verbal communication’ accidentally from apes and has this primal response to Vixen. So clever. The background story with the Aliens interfering in continuity is fascinating ...
In anyone else’s hands this’d be ostentatious but it’s so elegantly done. Makes me consider the comparison between the psychedelic chaos of Doom Patrol & this more considered deconstruction of normal storytelling - the commonality is a genuine back drop of superheroics in each.
This is a very powerful comic. Morrison has an eye to the violence men do & he casts it on South Africa here. Truog, Hazlewood & Tatjana Wood rise heroically to the challenge and provide pages that pack a genuine punch to the gut.
The comic is littered with these insightful moments like these, where these nuggets of truth slip out of the mouths of the cast ... it all feels like we’re on the cusp of realising something huge about ourselves. This argument between Dominic & Maxwell is particularly poignant.
This sequence is magnificent. The narrative blooms, but stops short of pretentious, always checking itself. The art and the colours sing, that palette lifting everything into something ethereal and making ever word count more.
God. They are pulling off some incredibly neat tricks here. Pacing like this (where you can hear your heart beat in time with each step a character takes) is just superbly difficult to pull off in a comic book. It’s a horror movie tension. Really wonderful to read.
This is a beautiful story, Morrison balancing deftly his ‘evil men do’ theme with the narrative of the dolphin throughout, carried into something even more special by its ending.
Graceful, poignant, thought-provoking. Morrison/ Buddy continues here to think round the corners of the superhero formula and wonder if things could actually work differently ... there’s an air of sadness here that the prose gives breath to.
Morrison’s brave enough to set up his character’s moral position & then pull the rug out from under it, the firemen hurt by his activism, his best friend accusing him of lecturing everyone, his disintegration on TV, we’re nearing the end of Act II here and Buddy is at a low ebb.
In the background another plot is creeping up on us, and McCulloch issues the callback @EmmaHouxbois predicted way back when I read #2
Wow. This one is just amazing. There’s so much to unpack here but something is telling me not to overthink it and just let it roll over me ... really engaging storytelling ...
The pace quickens again. So many big powerful moments lurking at the edge of understanding right here, it’s intoxicating both for Buddy and the reader, it’s euphoric ...
... but that euphoria is just another trick. We’re supposed to get drunk on it, we’re supposed to swell in those moments of epiphany ... because that makes the horror of those last few pages so much more devastating.
Full of grief and loss and a spreading darkness, this issue sings a solemn song. These fade to blacks the perfect illustration for the moments when Buddy surfaces from his own grief for a few seconds. Again, the tone here spills out of the pages.
We all knew where that black suit was leading, right?

Immersed in Buddy’s grief as we’ve been, it’s a challenge to feel pity as he rampages through his torturers here. But it’s a challenge Morrison isn’t 100% shy of. When he’s done his family are still dead. He feels nothing.
Buddy is falling faster and faster. Morrison explores grief in superhero terms here with all those powers at hand he says, grief is still overpowering. Might we even make it worse? Lovely narrative here showing just how many ways Morrison has planned this story to get us here.
In Arkham Psycho Pirate babbles about continuity, and he sees us ... and we’re building here to a big finish ...
And I’m done. I wanted to read the last four issues as one abs let them breathe a little. I cried at the end. It’s a rather wonderful thing when a comic book can touch you so, but that’s why I do this. Sometimes fiction helps us escape just a little bit, yes?
There are so many moments here that matter, choosing ones to highlight to you feels somewhat arbitrary. In many ways the story seems to bumble through those moments a bit, but it still feels natural
There’s a loneliness here. It’s poignant playing with optimism and a sort of hopeless resignation throughout. To me it’s asking ‘Will they remember me?’
There’s more here. Just the character of this limbo alone, cold and desolate. To walk his character through here as we head toward that conclusion seems such a bleak choice. To arrive home and find the pets he left behind dead now too ... ouch.
I suspect the panels I pick from this final issue will say more about me than I have managed for years ... so perhaps I’ll just let them stand as they are. These pages made me cry. This comic doesn’t know how powerful it really is.
Moving on now in my Grant Morrison Reading list. I have a few one shots and shorter series to read next.
Secret Origins 46’s Ghosts of Stone is a wistful take on a tried and tested formula, telling the poignant origin of Justice Mountain, a sentient rock that has seen all of history, and at the end, longs for the days the Justice League walked its caverns. It’s rather beautiful.
It also has a great sense of humour at times. I love the reason Barry gives Iris here for having to rush off on their date ...
Flash of Two Worlds in Secret Origins 50 is so much fun. And such a great concept to reunite the people of Keystone and Capital City. I love the format too, the story told in the voice of a kid doing his homework project is brilliantly realised in the narrative and the layouts.
The only thing bothering me through was ... what exactly is it the secret origin of ... but then all is made clear on this wonderful final page :-D and suddenly even the kid’s ‘too cool to enjoy this’ tone throughout makes perfect sense.
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