espanolbot: (Default)
[personal profile] espanolbot posting in [community profile] scans_daily
What some may not now is that when Mark Millar intially began working in American comics, he was mentored by another Scottish comicbook creator, Grant Morrison, who had established himself earlier in the British Invasion during the 1980s.

By all accounts Millar used to bounce ideas off of Morrison, who would contribute ideas of his own occasionally and some would be incorperated into Millar's stories. Two series that were confirmed to take place in the collaborative period include Millar's Red Son book (an Elseworld were Superman landed in Soviet Russia, worth reading in its own right) and his Authority run (patchy, with some good ideas in there).

Millar would eventually fall out with Morrison in regard to creditting where exactly his ideas began and Morrison's started, going so far as to say that no such collaboration existed in some interviews, while Morrison tends to possibly scale up the amount of credit he feels he deserves.

Some scenes could be interpreted as being "Uniquely Morrison" in tone, but I thought that I should focus on two examples that make for a fascinating parallel with each other. One from the Authority, a cynical deconstruction of superheroes written at it's most bleak, and All Star Superman, an uber-idealistic story focusing on the genuine good supeheroes can do as well as a treatise as to why Superman is awesome (something Morrison returns to in Final Crisis).

First up, the older of the two examples. From the storyline Earth Inferno, where a supervillain (a British heart surgeon from the 1960s who murdered three entire African countries in alphabetical order) manages to regain his enormous magical superpowers and goes on a rampage.

The Earth has been completely evacuated into parallel realities to reduce the collateral damage, but since the guy has complete control over time and space now, he gloats and tortures the Authority as his powers (won't say how) slowly increase the longer he uses them.

Just as all seems lost, the Midnighter shows up with the entire superhero population of a world where all the genders are reversed from the regular Wildstorm universe,

So in an issue drawn by Frank Quitely, a supervillain gains superpowers, goes on a rampage, and after a set time-limit is up, his powers increase to the point he achieves cosmic awareness and realises what a horrible person he was.

Cut forward to All-Star Superman, where Lex Luthor has lethally poisoned Superman by overdosing him with solar energy, has given himself a 24-hour serum to duplicate his powers, and has seemingly defeated his foe once and for all.

He drags Superman outside to gloat about his victory,

Lex is emotionally broken by this ordeal and is executed shortly afterwards. Personally I prefer the movie's adaption of this scene, though that might be blasphemy, as the revelation has enabled him to achieve a level of empathy with Superman, and thus accept Superman's accusation. This makes him attempt to make things right before facing his death with dignity, and provides people with the means to undo his mistakes...

So... this is another issue, drawn by Frank Quitely, a supervillain gains superpowers, goes on a rampage, and after a set time-limit is up, his powers increase to the point he achieves cosmic awareness and realises what a horrible person he was.

Who came up with it first is up to debate, but the fact there are such similarities between two series with such different tones is interesting, to me at least.

Date: 2012-10-14 10:47 pm (UTC)
grazzt: (Default)
From: [personal profile] grazzt
I could have sworn I heard somewhere that Morrison either ghost-wrote or helped write some of Millar's Authority, so it might actually just be Morrison reusing an idea.

Date: 2012-10-15 01:24 am (UTC)
halloweenjack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] halloweenjack
I'd read the same thing. According to an interview that Morrison did with Rich Johnston, Authority #28 is his(near the bottom of the entry).

Date: 2012-10-15 04:58 am (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
The two were basically joined at the hip for a period; Take, for instance, Red Son - the ending is pure Morrison. There's also books where the two are actively credited as writing together.

Date: 2012-10-14 10:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Back in the days when they still wrote for 2000AD (or had just left), one of the writers working on another story - possibly John Smith, if memory serves - sneaked in a mention of an author whose shadow had taken on a life and career of its own.

I gather Millar didn't make too many friends there at that point in time.

Date: 2012-10-14 10:50 pm (UTC)
panthyr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] panthyr
Oh gods, the potato people.

Date: 2012-10-14 11:25 pm (UTC)
thanekos: Yoshikage Kira as Kosaku Kawajiri, after the second arrow. (Default)
From: [personal profile] thanekos
And if (Leo Quintum == Lex Luthor) for you, then the two moments become kind of opposite to each other.

Date: 2012-10-15 12:22 am (UTC)
captainbellman: It Was A Boojum... (Default)
From: [personal profile] captainbellman
You wonder whether some of Lex is still in Leo - he seems to be very 'into' the dramatic effect of telling Lois that Superman is dying. Additionally, it would be a very Lex-like move to create a scientist whose one purpose in life is to find a haiku that sums up the entire universe...when, as you can see above, he'd already done that. Either Leo retained some of Lex's dickishness...or he simply forgot the haiku and needed a reminder.

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Date: 2012-10-14 11:32 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
I wish I could enjoy Frank Quitely's art when he draws people, I really do, but I just... can't, I think it's hideous. There's talent aplenty, don't get me wrong, but it's just the faces I can't get past.

On the other hand, I loved his art on WE3.

Date: 2012-10-15 12:07 am (UTC)
turtlefu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] turtlefu
While I agree about his general lumpiness, I will always remember a single panel he did of Beat in mid-lunge on his X-Men run, which I think is one of the finest examples are displaying motion in a static image ever.

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Date: 2012-10-15 12:15 am (UTC)
thatnickguy: Oreo-lovin' Martian (Default)
From: [personal profile] thatnickguy
I can see where you're coming from. Even for me, Quitely's hit and miss.

That said, I feel that he and Morrison tend to bring out the best in each other. Morrison's out-there ideas seem most suited with Quitely's art and vice versa.

Date: 2012-10-15 12:26 am (UTC)
suzene: (Default)
From: [personal profile] suzene
Ditto (though I had the usual issues with WE3, I literally caught my breath at some of the panel transitions). I understand why Quietly has fans, I just can't get over some of the fug quirks in the art enough to be one.

Date: 2012-10-15 01:28 am (UTC)
halloweenjack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] halloweenjack
This is one of those discussions that I know that I've been having for at least a quarter of a century, because I remember talking with someone who couldn't get past some of the faces in The Dark Knight Returns. There's no accounting for taste, really, but if someone does something really original or interesting with their art, I'd walk across the prostrate backs of a hundred imitators of the Flavor of the Month to get a sketch.

Date: 2012-10-15 04:03 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] silicondream
I loved We3, I loved Flex Mentallo, and I loved the sentinels and pretty much any nonhumanoid mutant in NewXMen. Quitely just seems to go off the rails when he's drawing people (women especially) that are supposed to be pretty.

Date: 2012-10-15 05:10 am (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
I tend to agree. I read New X-Men recently and found it pretty revolting in terms of people, to be honest, but then I'd read All Star Superman beforehand and I really liked the art, there. I think there's still some quirks about it that I don't quite get - Superman seems to have a reaaaaally long neck in some scenes - but I think it's pretty good stuff in All Star.

Date: 2012-10-15 10:04 pm (UTC)
citygod: (Default)
From: [personal profile] citygod
hey icon_uk, you're Scottish, right? What do you think of Quietly's description of his own art: "Moebius meets the Broons"?
His style totally made sense when I read that - there's a lot of Dudley Watkins in his linework. (Superman even has a bit of a Desperate Dan chin.)

Date: 2012-10-15 03:29 am (UTC)
theepicbeyond: (Default)
From: [personal profile] theepicbeyond
This is a good comparison. I feel as though the difference between millar and morrison, is the difference between cynicism and optimism. Also apollo blasting the villain kinda reminds me of Ultimate Captain America kicking banner in the jaw after the battle with the hulk. This poor pathetic guy (whos a villain cause he's pathetic) is at the lowest point and what does hero do? Kick him while he's down.

It's such a bitter thing to do. I hate the Superheroes are bullies cliche. At least with Superman Lex is still a threat and he doesn't kill him.

Date: 2012-10-15 05:12 am (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
Again, this was my problem with Millar's Authority; I don't know if the removal of Jenny Sparks hobbled the team, so to speak - her loss is certainly cited as why they went off the rails by Brubaker - but they all took a distinct level in being complete assholes under Millar; I mean, not only does Apollo burn the guy alive, but Angie then kicks his still-smouldering head off. It's revolting.

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Date: 2012-10-15 09:15 am (UTC)
suzene: (Default)
From: [personal profile] suzene
That's an interesting comparison to make, especially given that there's evidence that Millar does have that optimism lurking in there somewhere. JLA: Paradise Lost ends with someone who gave up divinity for a woman he fell in love with genuinely happy -- even thrilled -- for her happiness when she turns out to love someone else (though that could have been Morrison's influence), an anti-terrorism story which posits that hate is better met with laughter, some genuinely lovely work on Superman Adventues, and so on. And yet he chooses to push stuff like Kickass, Wanted, and Nemesis because it's bank.

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Date: 2012-10-15 03:55 am (UTC)
stolisomancer: (mmm soda)
From: [personal profile] stolisomancer
I'm impressed at the level of self-control it must have taken to not punch Lex so hard that most of his body vaporized from hydrostatic shock.

Date: 2012-10-15 05:01 am (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
At that point, Luthor's still coming down off the effects of his 'Superman for a Day' formula, I think. Which is why he's actually able to take two punches to the face from Clark.

Date: 2012-10-15 04:01 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] silicondream
Millar and Morrison also collaborated on the Flash and Swamp Thing, both of which I enjoyed a great deal. And the climactic moment in Swamp Thing is another one just like these two--Swamp Thing plans to unify with all the elemental forces and destroy all life on Earth, but the moment he actually goes full cosmic, he changes his tune and decides to care for life instead.

I think the main difference between these scenes is that the Evil Doctor is weeping out of remorse, while Lex is weeping due to a) a wider understanding of the world and b) the realization that Superman's outmaneuvered him yet again. Supes finishes Lex off because he understands that no amount of enlightenment can actually turn Lex into a decent person; the Authority finishes the Evil Doctor off because they don't actually care that he's turned into a decent person.

Date: 2012-10-15 05:05 am (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
I think that the trouble with the Authority scene is that it's still distinctly Millar-flavoured, especially in terms of the dialogue; Millar's also the sort that might find it hilarious to go 'oh hey, this villain just had an epiphany, but the heroes burn him anyway' - But then I never really felt Millar had a brilliant grasp on the Authority. They pretty much shifted away from being pro-active dark superheroes to a bunch of assholes immediately, under his watch.

Date: 2012-10-15 06:19 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] kingofmadcows
Or maybe they both played Planescape: Torment and took the idea from Chris Avellone.

Date: 2012-10-15 08:40 am (UTC)
mrosa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrosa
When I read the title, I thought this was going to be about how Morrison is turning into Millar with crappy, derivative, inspid, superficial, written-for-the-movie comics like Dinosaurs vs. Aliens, Happy! and the forthcoming Anihilator.

Date: 2012-10-15 12:59 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
As 'not bad' as the pages from Happy! on here were, I do remember sitting there and thinking to myself 'if Morrison hadn't written this, it wouldn't be getting published'.

As for Dinosaurs Vs Aliens - a guy's gotta turn a buck, and it's not like he came up with that one himself - Didn't Barry Sonnenfeld (sp?) approach him for the scriptwriting duties there?

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Date: 2012-10-15 10:06 pm (UTC)
citygod: (Default)
From: [personal profile] citygod
Interesting post that demonstrates what I've thought for years: Miller is the Red Bull version of Morrison - more caffeine, less flavour.


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