Tag Archives: grant morrison

DC Studios announces 10 new film and television projects including Amanda Waller, Superman, Booster Gold, and more!

DC logo

DC Studios Co-Chairmen and CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran have announced plans for their first 10 film and television projects under the new DC banner they lead across film, television, and animation. Gunn and Safran are designing and implementing a long-term interconnected story for the iconic franchise and characters, and today shared details on “Chapter 1” focused on “Gods and Monsters” with five new films and five television series for HBO Max already in development.

The plan is for a connected universe with all ten projects set within the same shared DC Universe. Characters will crossover between projects.

The reveal has some surprising announcements but shows a very wide variety of characters and projects. Live action, animation, television, and film, some of the projects are high profile characters and some are sure to be the stars of tomorrow.

What also stands out from the announcement is Gunn’s promotion of other projects that will be outside of this connected world and will be labeled as “Elseworlds”. Examples are The Batman and the upcoming Joker sequel.

Film Projects:

  • Superman: Legacy – written by Gunn, the film will hit theaters on July 11, 2025, and focus on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing.
  • The Authority – DC’s WildStorm characters will join the DCU as members of The Authority take matters into their own hands to do what they believe is right
  • The Brave and the Bold – the DCU will introduce its Batman and Robin in this unusual father-son story inspired by Grant Morrison’s comic series
  • Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow – this science fiction adventure, which will be based on Tom King’s amazing, award-winning recent comics stories, presents a Supergirl viewers are not used to seeing
  • Swamp Thing – the film will investigate the dark origins of Swamp Thing

Television projects for HBO Max:

  • Creature Commandos – a seven-episode animated show in which Amanda Waller creates a black ops team out of monstrous prisoners; Gunn wrote all the episodes of the first season
  • Waller – starring Viola Davis, this series features Team Peacemaker and will be written by Christal Henry (Watchmen) and Jeremy Carver (Supernatural)
  • Booster Gold – Booster Gold uses basic technology from the future to pretend to be a superhero in present day
  • Lanterns – this enormous TV event series follows intergalactic cops John Stewart and Hal Jordan as they uncover a dark mystery 
  • Paradise Lost ­– set in Themyscira, home of the Amazons and birthplace of Wonder Woman, this drama focuses on the genesis and political intrigue of an island of all women

It’s an interesting mix of known and unknown properties for the wide masses. What do you think of the initial lineup? Sound off in the comments!

The Miracleman Omnibus, the Definitive Collection returns with a new printing

Last month, Marvel honored the 40th anniversary of Miracleman’s transformative reinvention with the brand-new Miracleman Omnibus! This long-awaited omnibus collected the influential work on the character from all of its legendary creators such as Alan Davis, Garry Leach, John Totleben, and more. A hit with fans, this extraordinary omnibus will return with a second printing this March.

This new printing will give readers another chance to witness Miracleman’s incredible origins, his most breathtaking feats, and the relevant and dramatic struggles of his alter-ego, freelance reporter Michael Moran, who must reconcile his life as the lesser half of a god—all depicted in glorious Omnibus format! Considered one of the medium’s greatest masterpieces, Miracleman’s adventures launched a new wave of comic book storytelling, and its extraordinary impact on the Super Hero genre is still felt to this day.

Middle-aged reporter Michael Moran always knew he was meant for something more. When an unexpected series of events leads him to reclaim his destiny, Miracleman is reborn. But Miracleman’s return threatens unravel Moran’s life. Their connections to Dr. Emil Gargunza and Project Zarathustra bring with them disturbing revelations and trigger the return of a childhood friend who, beneath his sinister smile, has become something terrifying. Pushing the concept of the Super Hero to its logical conclusion, Miracleman is nothing short of a revelation. This first-ever Omnibus edition, complete with a massive trove of covers, original artwork and rare features, includes:

  • Material from Warrior (1982) #1-18, #20-21
  • Miracleman (1985) #1, #3, #6-16
  • Marvelman Special (1984) #1
  • Material from A1 (1989) #1
  • All-New Miracleman Annual (2014) #1

Check out the cover by comics great Alan Davis, and don’t miss your chance to experience the series that transformed the Super Hero and stands as one of the most influential works in the comic book art form this March.

Miracleman Omnibus

You Were Never My Age: Unpacking Quentin Quire’s Problematic History

Quentin Quire

You were never my age professor. 16 million mutants died in Genosha while you were planning new ways to do nothing.”

All images are taken from “Riot at Xavier’s” New X-Men #135-138 (2002), Written by Grant Morrison, Pencils by Frank Quitely, Inks by Tim Townshend and Avalon Studios.


I’ll admit, for a time I was delighted at Quentin Quire’s many deaths in the modern era. Even if I understand where his pain is coming from, he still expresses it like a little shit. I credit working with writer, critic, calligrapher, knitter-for-good, and all around amazing human Jay Edidin, for helping me pivot my frustrations with the character to a curiosity. In our prep for our Flame Con Panel “We Hope You Survive the Experience: The Mutant Metaphor and Youth Advocacy”, we returned to the Morrison era a few times.

It was hearing Jay talk about this character through the lens of seeing Quire not as a “school-shooter” as many fans reductively label the character, but as a traumatize minority youth, that opened the door for this re-reading of Riot at Xavier’s. Of course Quentin Quire is a little shit, he was never allowed to be anything else. If anybody adult had approached him as something more than a nuisance, perhaps the Riot could have been avoided. If Prof. Xavier had made him feel seen and heard, if Xavier had celebrated Quentin’s commitment to defending the mutant community instead of passing judgment on the methods of a child, maybe Quentin would have been kept from going to the extremes he did. Xavier though is not a good man. He’s not even a good educator. So…the riot happened. People got hurt. Someone died.

Let’s set up the pins of Quentin Quire’s breaking point.

  • Genocidal Violence Enacted on the mutant community in the attack on Genosha
  • The world’s institutions of power respond by ultimately increasing hostility towards mutants
  • Xavier only doubles down on his neo-liberal, almost centrist, “both sides” narrative, going so far as to invite humans to this mutant safe space
  • Quentin Quire finds out he is in fact adopted, and thus “neglected” by his biological parents.
  • Jumbo Carnation is thought to have been killed in an anti-mutant hate crime.
  • Quentine Quire, desperately seeks the protection of the leaders of his mutant community, only to be continuously written off and mocked
  • Quentin Quire, feeling helpless turns to substance use to offset these feelings of powerlessness

Quentin Quire did not fail the Xavier School, it failed him. If you focus too much on the riot itself, and not the contextualizing story around it, you may not see it that way. I’d like to make an argument for curiosity and empathy. Not just for this character, but for every real life Quentin Quire. For the children who are written off, pathologized, and neglected because of the pain they feel and their inability to process that pain in ways that did not cause others’ harm. There are many Quentin Quires in my community, people who were failed by their communities, their families, by the institutions of power in the world that we’re told should protect us.

As I write this, the trans community continues to face an explicitly genocidal campaign of eugenics. Our aggressors seek to criminalize gender-affirming care and therefore shutting down access to life-saving resources for trans youth. States like Idaho are attempting to make it punishable by life in prison to provide this life saving care. Texas, passing similar legislation, has officially begun investigating the families of trans children, both presently and families of people who provided their children GAC , even if they are no longer children. The international trans community watches on in horror, as something grimly similar to Days of Future Past begins to ramp up.  

Given that most of this legislation falsely claims to being attempt to protect children’s normative reproductive “ability”, it’s easy and accurate to call this a campaign of eugenics. This coordinated attack on youth is no accident. It’s known that when you withhold gender affirming care from people, their mental health declines. I need not quote suicide rates here. Trust that this legislative campaign will result in the deaths of trans people, and categorically is an act of genocide. And trans people? We’re left to just cope, as our allies continuously fail to stand up for us in material ways big & small. ( author’s note: in the weeks since writing the initial draft of this piece multiple states have begun to push and in some case have passed bills forcibly detransition trans folks up age 25 and criminalizing gender affirming care. I tried to track it all to keep updated links, but the tragedy is that would be a daily task. You need only do a quick google to see the rising waves of anti trans eugenics legislation.)

I reread Riot at Xavier’s feeling like the page and the world outside my window are not that different. Trans people are in pain. We feel hopeless, we feel despair, we feel rage; we cry out in agony while our “allies” could barely rally enough to retweet an article, let alone read it. We’re forced to clock into work, where the pain we’re feeling is painted-over and suppressed to keep ourselves safe. Trans rage has no place in a cisnormative society and we face being demonized if we let slip even a sliver of that rage in the wrong space, to the wrong people. Our government fails to meaningfully intervene, despite promises that they’ve “got our back”. We’re watching our own genocide be debated like a conversation about how you take your coffee. As I watch comics spaces online rage on with discourse after discourse about the most inane and trivial bullshit, I feel Quentin’s pain.

Almost every trans person I know finds themselves grappled in a loop of psychic agony and the dissonance of the passive reactions of those in their environments. We have been failed by those who continue to claim to protect us. To see leaders who are supposed to protect us talk about “ peaceful resistance” or “patience” while you know the lives of everybody like you are being threatened. When people who should have kept you safe fail you, what options do you really have?

I know there is an aesthetic of pro-fascism present in this story about Quentin Quire. But are Quentin’s actions those of a reactionary? No. Not if you’re using the term in its correct context. Quentin’s politics are radical for sure, but reactionary politics are typically in service establishing a return to tradition or fundamentalist framings, often conservative aligned framings.

Quentin is not a reactionary. He is radical and extremist in methods and separatist in his leanings. It’s a politics of insurrectionism, though poorly executed. Or more accurately, it executed commensurate to Quentin’s emotional capacity, as one caught between several overlapping dynamics of privilege and marginality. Quentin’s actions are dangerous, violent, misplaced, and ultimately lethal, but the values that underpin his actions are not those traditionally understood as “reactionary” values. They are a temper tantrum; they are an attempt to utilize the means of communication one has to seek out a means to fulfill their emotional needs. Quentin has been systematically let down and written off by everybody he trusted to protect him. He is dealing with feelings of rage, abandonment, and powerlessness. Well… hurt-people hurt people. That is what this story is trying to say.

It takes work to reframe this story. You have to believe that there are no bad kids, there are only kids whose needs are not being met. You need to have a sense of how minority stress is one of the leading catalysts of  intra-community harm. You need to get curious, not judgemental. I spend a lot of time surrounded by therapists, ones particularly with an abolitionist, anti-carceral framework to their approach. Through these lenses, I see the callous and violent actions undertaken by Quentin not as a supremacist movement, but a literal minority grappling with an immense amount of pain, fear, and disappointment.

Being a minority is messy, messy stuff when the world is trying to wipe out everybody like you. You will not react “rationally” to anything you encounter, especially if what you encounter is more pain. When the story opens, we find Quentine Quire as the recipient of some world shattering news; Quentin Quire was adopted. And we see him struggling to process this in the very next scene. Like the hurt child he is, Quentin immediately turns to lashing out at those around him. Quentin does not have a support system, and so he processes his pain in one of the only ways he understands, by making somebody else feel his pain. It may not be fair or “right”, but emotions aren’t clean and tidy, nor are the people feeling them. We have all had experiences like this: somebody hurt us and we attempt to process that pain by inflicting it outside of ourselves, to attempt to regain a sense of control over one’s life and environment.

X-Men

When he is brought before Xavier and Beast, instead of getting curious about the root of his behavior, they get judgemental. They even go so far as to literally pathologize Quentin’s emotional state. They handwaive away his concerns about Xavier’s endangering liberalism and they side-step the pain he is feeling over finding out he was adopted. His pain is written off as the result of his brain “burning sugar fifteen times faster than normal.” In this moment, they don’t approach Quentin as caretakers in an emotional sense, they act as school administrators, and poor ones at that. This encounter, rather than de-escalating Quentin’s feelings of alienation, only pushes him further down the path towards his breaking point.

On the very next page we see Quentin taking “kick”, a fictional drug that not only elevates one’s abilities but also seems to provide feelings of emotional power & control. It’s an elevating drug, very appealing to somebody who, like Quentin, feels increasingly powerless inside. In a moment of reflection, Quentin takes a puff. Immediately after, three strangers cruelly kick through the flowers left at Jumbo’s site of death on the sidewalk. Quentin continues to see a world that not only hates mutants, but makes a mockery of the pain trans people— I mean mutants, are communally feeling.

Substance use is not an uncommon coping mechanism for marginalized youth. I say this as a recovering addict, who is in community with a number of other recovering addicts. Numerous studies have uncovered an array of health and well-being issues among trans adolescents, including elevated rates of depression, suicidal ideation, sexual risk behaviors, and self-mutilation. When compared with their peers in schools, trans students have reported higher rates of physical victimization, verbal harassment, and cyberbullying, as well as lower social support from peers and school staff.

Trans youth’s inclination towards substance-based-coping strategies is increased when these youth do not have the support of their parents or caretakers. There is nobody looking out for Quentin Quire’s emotional needs and few people will make an earnest effort until Jubilee and Chamber lead the next Generation X team. It is no surprise that Quentin, and so many marginalized youth like him, turn to substance use and this coping mechanism is arguably one of the leading catalysts to Quentin’s actions, second only to the following scene.

The scene where Quentin, Charles, and Emma intellectually spar is a fascinating one to me. Remember that everybody who Quentin is seeking validation and support from is in this room. He’s expecting Xavier to support his emotional needs, he’s expecting validation from his peers, and in some ways Quentin is trying to establish himself as their caregivers. He is trying something that many adults grow to do, expressing love and care in the ways they wished that they had received love and care.

Quentin rightfully takes issue with Xavier’s “non-confrontational” liberalism, which leads him to invite humans to school in a performative piece of stunt politics referred to as “Open Day”. Consider that the school is positioned to students as a safe-haven and many come to this school looking to escape the trauma inflicted on them by an inherently anti-mutant society. Many of the children here can be assumed to have been victims to anti-mutant violence within their previous environments. You are essentially granting access for the oppressor class, to the oppressed class by way of turning this safe-space into a thought experiment. Quentin says as much within the scene, posing the question very explicitly to Xavier. Xavier plainly side-steps Quentin’s critique and instead plants his flag in addressing the classroom to discuss the legitimate though, less relevant here, dangers of “Kick”.

Quentin makes a final attempt to press his concern, citing the recent murder of Jumbo Carnation. There is a reveal in the later story that will reframe Jumbo’s death, but keep in mind that at this moment Quentin and much of the mutant community believe he was the victim of a violent anti-mutant assault.

These types of communal traumas are regular occurrences for the trans community. For the last 5 years, each subsequent year has set a new record of anti-trans murder; and we know the reported numbers are lower than the actual death toll due to the transphobia of the media and law enforcement. However unlike in Grant Morrison’s story, this epidemic of transmisogyny fuel murders disproportionately target trans women, specifically trans women of color, and more specifically Black trans women & trans feminine folks who face greater threats of fatal violence, Intimate Partnee Violence, micro-aggressions, discrimination in housing & employment, among countless other manifestations of transmisogynoir. This is the news cycle the community is dealing now and always.

We scroll social media: child protective services is investigating the families of trans children, a bill is being pressed that would make providing gender affirming care a felony, a Black trans woman was murdered in cold blood, another state is banning trans children from sports, another trans person is murdered in in a “trans-panic” killing, a major new outlet platforms another bigot to turn trans lives into a thoughts experiment, another trans person murdered. It’s an endless loop that we do not escape. Mix that up with the apathy of our cis “allies”, who ignore it all at or at best “send love” or offer empty affirmations of how they “see” us. Know this, allies: being seen isn’t the problem your inaction is. We don’t need “allies”, we need accomplices”.

How any trans person stays sane and balanced during these times is a mystery to me. I can’t help but see Quentin through that lens. Rather than being systemically disenfranchised, he has actual power through his mutations and the mutations of others and so, he uses what he has to do what he sees as right. Now, we could attempt to further dissect the concept of “what is right ” for a traumatized minority teenager dealing with personal & communal trauma, alongside substance abuse or we could lead with empathy.

Quentin’s actions are dangerous, they are violent, and they are largely unproductive as a path towards building collective power for mutants. He in fact, is really only endangering mutants with his actions. This is his tragic irony at the end of the story. Bleeding from every orifice on the steps of the school at the moment the bubble bursts, we see the scared and hurt child. We see a child who lacked a support system to safely de-escalate his actions through curiosity and compassion. We see a child who was ignored, whose pain was ignored and who is so clearly seeking out any course of action that will give him a sense of control. I’m not asking anybody to excuse the character’s actions, instead I’m asking that we understand them within their context.

X-Men

There is a narrative that Quentin is a “reactionary”, which as we’ve touched on, is not an accurate use of the term. Instead of demonstrating a fundamentalist or “supremacist” ideology, he’s more in line with a sort of violent sepratist thinking. There is also a narrative of Quentin as a “proto-fascist”, which I believe really has its roots in aesthetics. If you drop Quentin’s look into our own world, he closely resembles a proud-boy wannabe, or what I refer to in my Marauder’s essay as “pin-stripe fascism”. Those aesthetics however, were not as widely associated with far-right movements during the time this story was released. I suspect though, that even if they were, Morrison would be utilizing them to play on our conceptions of fasci-aesthetics. I think these ways of seeing Quentin are valid, especially if you’re not sympathetic to Quire’s character.

Riot at Xavier’s (for me) will always be a cautionary tale about the unchecked rage produced by minority stress, compounded with the neglect felt from those we expect to care for us. I’ve been there and I’ve lost things and people along the way. But, I keep trying. I put in a lot of effort to try to learn from my failures and to do better in the future. It can be hard to convey that at the source of all my rage and anger, there burns a deep love for all in my community. I like to believe that we’re all more than our worst day. We’re all more than what systems of neglect and oppression have turned us into. We can always come back and we can always heal.

I didn’t know if I’d ever write this piece, but there are a lot of trans folks I know, who look at this story and see reflections of our own pain. I don’t know, but suspect other marginalized communities may as well. In leftist communities, we have a tendency towards disposability that can be truly, truly toxic. I’ve seen it destroy careers, lives, and relationships, because for some reason it’s easier for us to permanently ostracize community members for their failures, rather than building communities that cradle failures and heal from them.

I see this in the text of Quentin’s story, I see this in how the character is discussed, and I see it in the ways we navigate our own communities. Perhaps that’s what hit me about this story. It’s seeing a kid at their lowest and wishing for something better for them. It’s the prayer that we can fuck up and be understood as human rather than “bad” or “dangerous” or any of the other labels we throw at people when they fail us.

There is no easy conclusion to had. This story and this character is messy and there are really justifiable and nuanced reasons to stand on either side of it. There’s just as much reason to straddle the story with suspicious appreciation.

This is a traumatic story, with a literal body count and like all those who do harm, it’s about cycles of trauma that are too complex to easily untangle. Another notable facet is that it was written by a closeted non binary author in the early 2000’s. That alone is a set of relationships that could easily warrant another 3000 words. Maybe one day I’ll write that essay, but not here.

I’m not expecting anybody to leave my essay having had their entire view of Quentin Quire shifted, nor am I defending the characters choices or the author’s in constructing them. I hope though, that I’ve added a question-mark to your thoughts in this story and engendered a lens of curiosity into a character who is often too easily written off. Because that has stakes in the real world, to allow for the pain and suffering of masculine folks and those who are or are culturally read as men, to have space to be understood rather than sublimated.

 As somebody who spent 25 years being read as a man, I’ve seen the way people reacted to my pain, which only became culturally “ valid” when I revealed the truth of my identity to that ignorant world. It reframed what everybody thought they knew about my pain. This is also an experience that continues on well after I’ve come out, due to much of the cultural transmisogyny, that leads many to still read me ( a trans women who does not pass ) incorrectly as a man. This is something that plagues many AMAB trans folks, and particularly targets AMAB people of color; as the ideals of feminine beauty that trans women and trans femmes are held to, is a Eurocentric mode of beauty that is rooted in whiteness. As a result trans feminine people of color, are exponentially more targeted by transmisogyny than white trans feminine folks.

X-Men

The lens of how racial identity informs our response to an individual’s pain and frustration is absent from this story. In fact the few people of color in the story are victimized and exploited by Quire. Perhaps, if  this lens’ presence is felt by the reader, it is in a marked ignorance of this lens, which informs Quire’s racist actions, particularly the way he disempowers characters of color.

I’d begun this essay sometime in the early spring months of 2022, and I’m here wrapping it up in Fall. A lot is different and a lot is the same. The attacks on the trans community are becoming more and more alarming. Threats of violence against hospitals that provide gender affirming care, fascists storming community events, politicians and writers openly discuss “the transgender question” in the media. New legislation keeps being proposed, in the hopes of wiping out trans people, all the while we fail to see our “allies” even acknowledge the existence of the threat let alone its scope.

Quentin Quire

Along the way, I’ve been doing a lot of trauma-work. I’ve confronted the sad, angry, shivering Quentin Quire within, desperate for anybody at all to take them seriously. Balancing familial trauma with the CPTSD of living in a world actively lobbying for the genocide of everybody like you…Well, it’s a lot.

Quentin’s “riot” has become even clearer to me. He’s not rebelling against Xavier as a figurehead or even the school’s faculty. He’s rebelling against hopelessness & apathy in the face of genocide. He’s rebelling against a culture of internalized liberalism that declaws the mutant population at the moment where they’re most vulnerable. I see that fear behind every word-bubble of his in this story.

This essay turned into something else here at the end. Or maybe it didn’t, maybe it was always about addressing the cultural gaps in structures of caretaking for the emotional needs of those who we have written off previously. Quentin Quire is not a villain. He is a victim. He is hurt; and hurt people hurt people.


By night, Sinead Kinney is a trans rights activist, patient advocate, comic writer, artist, dungeon master, major dyke, and comics journalist. 

Marvel Has Plans to Celebrate 40 Years of Miracleman

Miracleman teaser

Though Miracleman first appeared as Marvelman in 1954, 2022 marks 40 years since the character’s revival in 1982 by writer Alan Moore and artist Garry Leach in the anthology comic Warrior. Marvel has some plans to celebrate as the character’s return was teased in the final page of this week’s Timeless.

Timeless is this year’s one-shot teasing what we can expect from Marvel in 2022 with the return of Miracleman being a big surprise that was kept under wraps.

Marvel announced in 2009 that they had purchased the rights to Marvelman though the publisher’s use of the character has been one of stops and starts since.

In June 2010, Marvel published a Marvelman Classic Primer one-shot and in July 2010 began an ongoing series reprinting material followed by hardcovers. But, there were issues behind the scenes we’ve been told that things were still up in the air and complicated.

In 2013 Marvel announced they had “solidified” their rights to Miracleman and Neil Gaiman would finish his run that had begun 25 years earlier. A “lost” story by Grant Morrison and drawn by Joe Quesada was eventually released with a new story by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred. For the most part, the releases were reprints of older material. New material was announced to be released in 2017 but was canceled due to legal hurdles which were then supposedly resolved with a publication that was supposed to begin in 2019 that including Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham‘s work.

Now, it looks like we’ll finally be getting that and possibly more. The fact this tease was within a Marvel comic as part of the story and not an ad indicates this will tie into the proper Marvel comic universe. In a recent calendar released to stores, Marvel further teased the 40th anniversary of Miracleman’s return.

What does 2022 have for us as far as this character? Could the teased “Judgement” event that involves the Avengers, X-Men, and Eternals have something to do with it? We’ll find out soon enough!

Preview: Proctor Valley Road

Proctor Valley Road

(W) Grant Morrison, Alex Child (A/CA) Naomi Franquiz
In Shops: Nov 03, 2021
SRP: $19.99

It’s the 1970s. It’s the most haunted, demon-infested stretch of road in America. Welcome to Proctor Valley Road.

August, Rylee, Cora, and Jennie have organized a “Spook Tour” on the infamous roadway with their classmates to fund attending the concert of their dreams.

But when their visit turns deadly, these four friends race to rescue the missing students… before the town tears them limb from limb and slay the evils roaming Proctor Valley Road… along with the monsters lurking in the hearts of 1970s America.

Visionary author Grant Morrison (Klaus, Batman: Arkham Asylum) and co-writer Alex Child (BBC’s Holby City) along with artist Naomi Franquiz (Tales from Harrow County) present a chilling new horror series about the mysterious monsters that haunt Proctor Valley Road – and the four misfit teenagers who must stop them.

Collects Proctor Valley Road #1-5.

Proctor Valley Road

Review: Superman and the Authority #4

Superman and the Authority #4

After an all-too brief four issues, Superman and the Authority #4 ends before the titular team can even blast off on their first mission together. However, that kind of seems to be the point as Grant Morrison, Mikel Janin, and Jordie Bellaire drive home that this is a team that has much bigger fish to fry than Ultrahumanite, Brainiac (I eye-rolled when he was revealed as the “Big Bad”. Of course, he was.), and rejects from the original run of The Authority. Also, in a more metafictional way, Morrison is showing that they’re beyond such petty things as superhero fisticuffs and are giving the DC Universe one last gift of a kick-ass superhero team plus one final, beautiful Superman moment and a couple “stingers” that could fuel a whole damn event comic or two.

Superman and the Authority #4 continues the divide and conquer structure of the previous three issues with Grant Morrison and Janin showing Superman fighting the Ultrahumanite by his lonesome, then the Authority doing their Wildstorm political satire with a heavy dose of punching, and finally, a primal, elemental battle between light and dark aka Apollo and Eclipso for the soul of Lightray. Lightray is more potential than a character at this point, but she does bring in a nonbinary, queer OMAC fittingly named Mac into the story that almost steals the whole comic at the end and might even have Manchester Black and Midnighter beat in the snappy one-liner department.

Each portion of the story plays with tropes from different comics eras or eras of Morrison’s career. For example, the opening fight between Superman and the Ultrahumanite mentions the gangsters he fought in the Golden Age and the different kinds of kryptonite from the Silver Age while Morrison’s whip-smart characterization of Lois Lane is straight from All-Star Superman. And after these small stories come to a close, Superman and the Authority #4 wraps up in a clever way that rejects the final slugfest that most “event” type books turn into and instead act as a road map for future characters, and in universe, heroes.

But, just because Superman and the Authority #4 doesn’t conclude with an apocalyptic punch-up, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have plenty of action. Mikel Janin turns in layouts and choreography that updates early aughts widescreen superhero books for the era of TikTok and NFTs. He takes glee in showing Midnighter kick the shit out of a white supremacist baddie named Iron Cross, who is probably pissed that Donald Trump doesn’t have a Twitter account any more, in swooping panels.

On the other hand, Janin uses tighter grids in conjunction with Bellaire’s intense flat colors to show any time Authority members are stressed out or in real danger like when Natasha Irons has to switch armor while fighting alien refugee Siv, who is not so bad in the end. There’s real power behind the punches and kicks with Mikel Janin adding speed lines and energy bursts to his clean figure work. Kirby Krackle meets ligne claire and all is right with the world as he, Morrison, and Jordie Bellaire embrace the fun, bombastic side of superhero comics while also shifting the paradigm just a little bit.

The Authority’s “new way” of doing things that Superman alluded to in previous issues comes to play in the battle between Natasha Irons and Siv. After making the Authority’s first opponent a totally irredeemable Nazi, Grant Morrison shakes things up and makes Siv, an alien who fights to raise awareness for her species that is hated and feared after accidentally crash landing in California. By beating up some superheroes, she can help her people get resources and recognition. Natasha Irons is aware of this fact, but still ends up shorting Siv out in the heat of battle as she switches armor in mid-air.

Janin’s frenetic paneling and MTV style “edits” helps build suspense as he cuts from Irons free-falling to Manchester Black tussling with one of his old Elite buddies Coldcast, a Black superhero that is trying to repair his reputation … by teaming up with a white supremacist aka respectability politics with metahuman powers. However, after all the hullabaloo, there’s one great panel of Irons apologizing to Siv and doing everything in her power to help Siv’s people while Siv contemplates pacifism. This little mini arc shows that like a great rock song, Grant Morrison and Mikel Janin can nail the quiet moments as well as the loud ones like Midnighter aggressively fighting and flirting with a French queer badass named Fleur de Lis, who I hope makes an appearance elsewhere.

Superman and the Authority #4 features the memorable action and one-liners of its predecessors while having a true heart thanks to the sequences with Superman deciding to move on to deal with other threats and letting his amazing, bisexual son Jon Kent defend Earth as Superman in his stead. There’s a real Shakespeare/Prospero in The Tempest relationship between Morrison and Superman as they, Janin, and Bellaire put on one last spectacle, remark on how the old days weren’t so great (I love Black’s dialogue about JFK), and set up some threads for the next generation of DC Comics writers to play with. I personally think this won’t be Grant Morrison’s last DC story, but if it was, Superman and the Authority #4 is suitably entertaining and thought provoking and looks towards the future instead of being blinded by nostalgia, namely, bring on nb OMAC!

Story: Grant Morrison  Art: Mikel Janin
Colors: Jordie Bellaire Letters: Tom Napolitano
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Preview: Superman and the Authority #4

Superman and the Authority #4

Written by: Grant Morrison
Art by: Mikel Janin

Is the team ready for what’s next? Will the Man of Steel’s new super-group fall apart before they even begin? The Ultra-Humanite has put together his own team of rogues designed to match the Authority fist for fist. This series comes to an explosive conclusion that will threaten to split the Man of Steel in half!

Superman and the Authority #4

Preview: Superman and the Authority #3

Superman and the Authority #3

Written by: Grant Morrison
Art by: Travel Foreman, Mikel Janin

Superman put the Authority back together, but why? What threat is out there that only this group can contend with? The Ultra-Humanite, of course! This fearsome foe is forming a team of his own, one designed to go fist-to-fist with the Authority. It will be their baptism in battle to prove if Superman is right that regardless of who we are, there is a hero lurking inside even the worst of us. This penultimate issue is an important chapter in the new Superman mythos, helping to set up where Clark Kent goes next…and who he goes there with.

Superman and the Authority #3

Review: Superman and the Authority #3

Superman And The Authority #3

The shape of Grant Morrison’s storyline becomes clearer in the penultimate issue of Superman and the Authority #3 with the team going on their first mission and a larger (and very old school) foe rears its ugly head even as the recruitment drive continues. Yes, the final member of The Authority is Lightray aka Lia Nelson from Earth-9 aka the Tangent Comics universe giving the book a continued 1990s/early 2000s feel a la the original team. This extends to Travel Foreman and Alex Sinclair’s visuals in an early sequence where the team must rescue June Moone aka the Enchantress from her old nemesis Dzamor that features edgy, energy-filled art work and a delicate Sandman-esque script from Morrison, whose Superman uses cleverness not punching to win the day. However, this art goes bye bye and is replaced by the sleek, modern stylings of Mikel Janin and Alex Sinclair for the inter-team banter and battles to come.

Superman and the Authority #3 really builds off the previous issue’s character-driven focus to put team members which we already care about in intense situations with Grant Morrison splitting the team up in smaller groups except for their leader, Superman, who gets to go mano a mano in his situation. As mentioned in the last paragraph, Superman’s cleverness, not his waning super strength gets a workout in this issue until the final few pages, and the Authority lineup covers up his weaknesses while also acting like variables in equations. For example, Enchantress has no upper limit to her magical abilities when she merges June Moone and Enchantress as one, Manchester Black’s psychic skills and general bad attitude come in handy rescuing and merging said technologies, and Apollo’s solar powered strength slots in nicely for Superman’s old abilities. Plus he treats Superman with the most respect and deference with the exception of Steel, who has a personal relationship with him through her uncle.

Even if this Authority team doesn’t have a multi-adventure/arc future mapped out for them, the interpersonal dynamic that Morrison and Janin craft for the team through dialogue, facial expressions, and body language make for an entertaining time. Manchester Black plays the role of punching bag, (*groans*) devil’s advocate, and general wise-ass, and his continued being cut down to size is more memorable than the bigger plot. Six months from now, I won’t care what the Big Bad was up to (I do admire Grant Morrison’s nod to history and Mikel Janin’s body horror design choice.), but I will remember that Old Man Superman praised the activist-minded nature of late millennial/Generation Z and showed how shallow the “old is good, new is bad” paradigm of books like Kingdom Come were in a two panel exchange with Black. This Superman doesn’t have a no-killing policy because of the Comics Code Authority or Mark Waid, but because death ultimately prevents restorative justice, which is what he seems to be aiming for with this new team.

Yes, that’s the actual Round Table

Superman and the Authority #3 is titled “Grimdark”, and it fits the active violence of the story as well as the literal darkness enshrouding Lightray at her crash pad where Apollo and Enchantress try to snag her. Lightray gets an abbreviated version of the solo sub-stories that Steel, Midnighter and Apollo, and Enchantress got in the previous, and Jordie Bellaire’s palette does a lot of the heavy lifting as she goes from being the first child born on Mars to an influencer type figure and then hiding in the dark talking to a mysterious figure. Bellaire uses a dark red panel for her birth because she was the child of an affair then uses a bright palette for her superhero identity and then turning to utter darkness until Apollo pops in with his whole solar deal. The brightness doesn’t let up as Apollo ends up in physical combat with Lightray’s “body guard”. Introducing a new cast member this late in the game is a risky, but Morrison, Janin, and Bellaire roll the dice and resurrect a wild card character that brings an element of sadness, vulnerability, and pure potential. I’m excited to see the role Lightray plays in Superman and the Authority‘s endgame.

For the most part, Superman and the Authority #3 avoids the “middle chapter” issue in serialized comics as Grant Morrison, Mikel Janin, and Jordie Bellaire bring out the team’s opponent, show an aging Superman using his mind instead of his powers and playing the role of strategist instead of tank, and give a glimpse of the actual Authority team in action. It hits that sweet spot between light and darkness kind of like June Moone/Enchantress and her fun new look. (Her attempts at flirting with Apollo are pretty pathetic though.)

Story: Grant Morrison  Art: Mikel JaninTravel Foreman
Colors: Jordie Bellaire, Alex Sinclair Letters: Steve Wands
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Preview: Superman and the Authority #3

Superman and the Authority #3

Written by: Grant Morrison
Art by: Travel Foreman, Mikel Janin

Superman put the Authority back together, but why? What threat is out there that only this group can contend with? The Ultra-Humanite, of course! This fearsome foe is forming a team of his own, one designed to go fist-to-fist with the Authority. It will be their baptism in battle to prove if Superman is right that regardless of who we are, there is a hero lurking inside even the worst of us. This penultimate issue is an important chapter in the new Superman mythos, helping to set up where Clark Kent goes next…and who he goes there with.

Superman and the Authority #3
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