grant morrison

Dig Boston and League Podcast Comics Picks of the Week for Wed. April 6.2016


The Fix #1 is about terrible people doing terrible things, from the Superior Foes of Spider-Man team of Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber. I mean it, these guys are awful! It’s Breaking Bad in comics form, but extremely funny. … He can fly anything if you need a pilot! Poe Dameron #1 gives a backstory to Star Wars: The Force Awakens hero from Charles Soule and Phil Noto (Black Widow). …Wonder Woman Earth One graphic novel is Grant Morrison’s take on the character in the popular Earth One mythology with art by Yanick Paquette (Batman: Incorporated). …Picks this week from


Artist Darick Robertson of Transmetropolitan, The Boys, and Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker joins the punk rock Occupy Comics crew at Black Mask Studios for his talking-gun tale in Ballistic. This week also sees the deluxe hardcover release of Happy! from Image Comics, a hard-boiled Christmas story about an imaginary horse friend, written by Grant Morrison. Darick joins us today for the Mighty Q&A.



Clay N. Ferno: Hi Darick! We’re just though with reading Ballistic #3 from you and Adam Egypt Mortimer. As bonus fodder there are some script notes in the back about odd science and weird history. Are you at home working in this hyper-future? Butch and Spider might be related somehow, right?

Darick Robertson: Well, world building is something I’m familiar with, but Spider and Butch wouldn’t really exist together. Transmetropolitan is a future where the world we live in now just kept expanding and expanding, and we built upon and into what exists to maintain an ever-growing population and city life. Butch inhabits a world where it’s utopia by technology. The West as we know it is a crumbled, environmentally destroyed memory and the entire truly surviving civilization is inhabiting a continent born of bio-formed trash and manipulated DNA that rests upon terraformed rock, twice the size of Texas. Where Spider Jerusalem’s Government was ridiculous, it was still a government. Repo City State is run by a cabal of glorified gangsters.






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Two very different but special Batman titles come our way this week as Grant Morrison scratches a seven year itch with the Dark Knight and the New 52 celebrates two years of Scott Snyder’s Batman in Batman Annual #2. Over at Image, from the pages of Madman, It Girl and the Atomics ends a 12 issue run.

WRITER: Grant Morrison
ART: Chris Burnham
Publication Date: July 31, 2013
Price: $3.99
Publisher: DC Comics
UPC: 76194130642101341
Buy it HERE

It is the epic conclusion of Grant Morrison’s run on Batman! He gave us Damian Wayne and took him away. He put a mirror up to all versions of The Dark Knight including the disturbed Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, brought Bruce Wayne back to life after being killed by Darkseid in Final Crisis and here had assembled pre-New 52 a globe spanning army of Batman associates called Batman, Inc. 

Those who have been enjoying the book from Morrison’s polarizing run may also have read his treatise on superheroes and Batman in Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Superhero. The book explores why Morrison has such a natural feel for the history of the DCU and our relationship to superheroes as modern gods. 

A sword fight between Talia and Batman comments on the medium and the series conclusion by reading the Talia’s dialogue at least one of three ways. “Your son lies dead and buried! The line! Of Wayne! Cancelled!” or “Batman! Is! Dead!” versus “Batman! Is! Cancelled!”

All of which Batman replies “No. Not Yet.” — implying through flashbacks that the icon will never die. “It never ends”, “It probably never will.”

This issue surpasses his final Superman comic (for the time being, at least), Action Comics #17. Batman deals with the loss of his Robin and son by way of Talia Al Ghul, Damian Wayne in a final confrontation in the Batcave co-starring a Batwoman, Jason Todd (in Knight armor), Jim Gordon and Alfred. 

Chris Burnham’s art is amazing once again, and hope to see him on more DC books.
Batman Inc., spanning both timelines will be missed in my nearly monthly rotation, all of the trade paperbacks in both timelines are highly recommended. Morrison gets the evergreen qualities of Batman and his family. All are worth a re-read for bizarre call outs to Silver Age easter eggs and comments on comic books themselves.



Image has another huge week with too many books to review so we pick on the cibopathic Chew for our first shot this week. 

Over at DC we knock back a potion of Grant Morrison’s final Action Comicsissue before dusting off the JSA Liberty Files: Whistling Skull #4.

CHEW #32

ART/COLOR: Rob Guillory
Publication Date: March 20, 2013
Price: $2.99
Publisher: Image Comics
UPC: 70985300808803211

Image had an incredible week, and when you are the go-to place to publish your own work and have the top talent in the industry dropping projects at your feet, you inevitably have some of the best books come shipping consistently.

It has been nearly four years since the debut of Chew, a crime story in the not so distant future where eating chicken is illegal. Not only that, the FDA has risen as a top federal crime agency and in this world people have sense based superpowers.

Some can communicate through food, detect the future of what they eat, and some like the star of the book, Tony Chu can read the history of the food he eats.

That is to say, when Tony eats a hamburger he experiences the lives and loss of 100 cows. This comes in handy, when more than once Tony has had to sink his teeth into a corpse to find out what happened to the body.

Chew is a hilarious book based on such a bizarre concept that is the reason for it’s success. You’d be lost picking this issue up if you are not caught up, a lot has happened in the past few issues. Newcomers should pick up the perennial bestsellers Chew Vol.1 in paperback or hardcoverOmnivore Edition.

Tony tackles terrorists at the taco tasting and immerses himself in his work while mourning the loss off his sister. Over lunch a strawberry milkshake lunch, tensions rise between Colby and D-Bear in an illegal chicken shack when Colby connects the dots on D-Bear’s post mission phone calls. Luckily this ends in a knock out fight in the kitchen with butcher knives and swearing.

Near the end of the issue, Tony makes plans to reconnect with his cibopathic daughter, Olive Chu.

Fun issue but this would be confusing to anyone not caught up, so save your lunch money for a few days and pick up the trade to dine on these fine comics!


WRITER: Grant Morrison, Sholly Fisch
ARTIST: Rags Morales, Chris Sprouse and more
Publication Date: March 20, 2013
Price: $4.99
Publisher: DC Comics
UPC: 76194130637701811

Mr. Morrison has had quite a couple of weeks. First, the death of Robin Damian Wayne in Batman Incorporated #8, and now this…

Grant and Rags finish up their run on Action Comics, starring none other than the big guy, Superman.

The breaking news is that Andy Diggle (The Losers, Daredevil, Doctor Who), tapped to take over after this team’s departure with Tony Daniel (Batman, Detective Comics) on art has quit the title over professional differences with DC Comics.

Tony Daniel will now be both writing and drawing the book, after Diggle’s one and only issue #19 hitting the stands next month.

We’re going to be keeping an eye on this nugget of gossip for sure. Many creators have expressed similar differences with the higher ups at DC since the New 52 relaunch.

This issue was not cheap at a $4.99 cover price but was worth the price of admission to the fifth dimension. Morrison has done what he promised to do in his bestselling novel Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human. He’s let Schrödinger’s cat in and out of the multidimensional bag and referenced 75 years of Superman’s history from each Crisis to silly Golden Age Legion of Super-Heroes stories starring Superboy to a brand new and over arching reconfiguration of the Fifth Dimensional imp Mister Mxyzptlk. 

If you can let this 18 issue Superman story wash over you from a place of superhero innocence and remember that this is the development of Clark Kent before joining the Justice League, this issue leaves off at a great point. By feeling that Clark graduated from the blue jeans and sprinting around in a single bound to fighting fifth dimensional time bubbles and hoisting an impossibly giant Doomsday into space, Kal is ready to take on saving Metropolis and the world (and the terraformers on Mars) hundreds of times over. 

Supergods could be a prerequisite to Morrison’s Action run, I’m curious to see if fans were turned off from the writing here, because I was teetering on the line of enjoyment / confusion through most of it, with leaning toward over 90% of enjoyment by the end of each issue. The trick is that Morrison doesn’t want these to be easy comics to read, and the more you understand that the better your experience may be!

The backup story drawn by Chris Sprouse and sometime Action writer Sholly Fisch is a cute and well drawn story set in the future at a Superman museum. This is in the era of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Basically a young kid stands up to bullying while Superman videos play in the background and we hear “Man of Tomorrow”, “Faster than a speeding bullet”, “Look, up in the sky” as sound bytes from the movies. Sprouse is an amazing artist, and we hope to see him draw more DC Comics in the future. He may not though, as he also jumped ship from his DC assignment Adventures of Superman earlier this month with anti-gay bigot writer Orson Scott Card. Sprouse did the Kal El thing and stood up for justice. Way to go, Chris!


WRITER: B. Clay Moore
ARTIST: Tony Harris
Publication Date: March 20, 2013
Price: $2.99
Publisher: DC Comics
UPC: 76194126988700411

As we near the end of this week’s missive, save for the most popular superhero of all time, these books aren’t that easy to pick up and enjoy without a bit of prep.

Luckily the audience here has years of comic book experience to be able to handle this kind of thick, psychedelic and rare form of comic book suggestions that you’ve come to expect from us!  That is to say, when suggesting you read The Whistling Skull, branded as JSA Liberty Files, you’ll undoubtedly not be surprised that this book has absolutely nothing to do with Justice Society, Earth Two, Jay Garrick or Hawkman.

B. Clay Moore and Tony Harris have devised a way to tell old school bizarre tales of the weird starring original characters under the DC Comics banner. With no connection to the New 52, no superheroes that you know, and starring The Whistling Skull alongside partner Nigel this is a very strange book, indeed. 

This is also the book I am most looking forward to reading each month.

The Whistling Skull and Nigel are patrolling the English countryside and stumble upon the work of ex-communicated Nazi doctor Klaus Hellman. Hitler was not keen on Hellman’s machinations for making his own brand of super-soldier and was kicked out of the reich. Posing as broken down circus caravan, The Whistling Skull and Nigel stop to assist but are trapped by the Nazi Hellman and his band of gypsy freaks.

The origin of The Whistling Skull and his powers are slowly being revealed, but he is the most recent in a long line of Skulls. Nigel is a sweet and innocent—albeit not that bright—Watson to the Skull’s Sherlock. This fantastical WWII superhero adventure story sits on the shelf nearHellboy/B.P.R.D. or is reminiscent of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Also, what is amazing about this book is that while familiar, it is truly unique in scope and the art by Tony Harris is amazingly detailed and dark. Noir overtones, occult madness, Nazi Doctors and a skull with a steampipe on the right temple. Can you ask for anything more? Yes. “More issues of this please”, I say, with my fingers crossed, to not have DC editorial mess with this amazing book!


DigBoston and LeaguePodcast Comic Book Picks of the Week for February 20, 2013



YO JOE! Clay’s so excited about the release of this book, and a recent conversation he had with scribe Fred Van Lente that he got the Arashikage tattoo on the 27th anniversary of his first G.I.Joe comic book (#46!). Dig favorite comic writer Van Lente puts the team in the public eye in the age of WikiLeaks and Twitter combat in G.I.Joe #1. It’s an extra-sized extra-wierd Action Comics #17 from Grant Morrison and Rags Morales. Morrison’s New 52 Superman run ends here, as Kal-El must save all of creation, natch! … Billy Martin of Good Charlotte enters the ring of spooky comic writers with his debut book, Vitriol The Hunter from IDW. Knowing our soft spot for guitars and vampire comics, it’s a safe bet we’ll stake this one out for at least a few issues. … Picks this week from


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Action Comics #0 - Art by Ben Oliver
One year after the relaunch of the DC Universe, with many titles still holding strong through two waves of cancellations, DC breaks the flow to provide Secret Origin stories for many characters. Finally we will get a peek at the five year gap between the Flashpoint story and the first appearance of The New 52 The Justice League.

Need some comics to pull out of your backpack on the quad to impress that cute co-ed with the Scott Pilgrim vs. The WorldSharpie‘ shirt? How about sparking off that fling with a re-imagining of Clark Kent’s first years in Metropolis in Action Comics #0 or read about how Bruce Wayne got his martial arts training before becoming Batman in Detective Comics #0.

Your critical analysis of the Dark Knight Rises ending could lead to an autumnal romance brimming with nerdcore in-jokes and tokidoki hoodie snuggles.


DigBoston and LeaguePodcast Comic Book Picks of the Week for January 18, 2012



The controversial and gifted storyteller Grant Morrison released an analysis of super heroes and autobiography Supergods last year. Check out his take on British TV’s Avengers in Steed and Mrs. Peel #1. Best read in your worst Scottish accent aloud on the bus with one eyebrow raised! … If you’re trapped in the prison of Hell, you had best outsmart the mysterious Warden to escape. Greg Pak (Hulk) and Tony Parker (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep) debut Dead Mans Run #1 this week. Preview here. … We hate repeating ourselves but, come on! This Mark Waid Daredevil book is what everyone is talking about, plus Daredevil #8 features The Amazing Spider-Man and Black Cat! Don’t miss the astounding classic art style of Paolo Rivera and Matt Murdock being happy for once! Picks this week from LeaguePodcast.

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