Friday, March 30, 2007

Free Form Comments

Random thoughts, questions, suggestions, ideas, criticism, self-promotion, requests to be added to the blog roll.

Quick question from me: are the New X-Men posts changing anyone's mind on the status of Morrison's run as a whole? Am I preaching to the choir (which is not always a bad thing)? Or is this one of those "I see your points but I still love New X-Men."

17 comments:

Ultimate Matt said...

You'll have your work cut out for you to change my mind about Riot at Xavier's. That was my favorite arcs of the run and one of my favorite things Morrison's written.

For the most part, though, I can see your points and vaguely agree with a lot of them, but a lot of my love for his NXM run is nostalgic. That was the run that turned me into a Morrison fan; I didn't particularly care for or "get" his work till then, so it holds a special place in my heart.

Marc Caputo said...

Actually, Geoff, I'm a bit behind in keeping up with your posts - but 2:20 today is Spring Break for NYC DOE and I'ma free man until 4/11 - catching up on that and some other books as well as DVDs.

So far, though, I've been using the posts to help me read the run with a better eye for detail. I can't say that I always agree with your readings of things or your assessments, but it keeps me on my toes. Jim DeRogatis edited a great book called "Kill Your Idols", in which younger music critics assailed/assasinated the sacred cows of the rock canon. In his introduction, he states (basically) that nothing endorses his love of an album like a negative review. He claims that people's pointing out of what doesn't work for them puts what DOES work for him into relief.

So that's much of my takeaway from your posts.

Anonymous said...

Hi this is Pat AKA The DYslexicon. I herd about you on the CGS pod cast.

I loved the new X-men round at the time. It felt very fresh and gave the feeling like anything could happen in the books. I think that my enjoyment of the books came from my perspective of competing the book to other X-men books of the time and to the books that had come out a couple of years earlier. Those NXM books were leaps and bounds ahead of those books.

I think the way you are looking at it is from the perspective of comparing NXM to other works of Morison. New X-men, apparently, just don’t stack up in comparison. That’s fine.

Loving the column. Please keep up the great work
Wopple123@yahoo.com

Dante Kleinberg said...

"I see your points but I still love New X-Men."

Thacher said...

I am desperately trying to get into the groove of writing in my blog again. I missed all of March until last night. I enjoy reading your posts, and yours is one of those blogs where I go "See, he's talking about things, and discussing them. Not just going 'Wow, my life is boring but great, but now I have a cold ZOMG.'" I like that. So I'm maybe going to try something different. I've tried something different three times or so now. Let's see if this sticks.

As for New X-men, I really enjoyed it initially, but there were definitely things that I've forgotten about, like the whole "Beast is gay" thing. We have a copy of the giant omnibus at the store, and I may just borrow it one night and flip through and see it again with your criticisms in my head. The things you say make sense, and make me nod my head and stroke my beard, but I think overall I still like it. It did totally devolve into the crazy, what with the Xorn reveal being totally out of left field, crack-head genocidal Magneto and naked Xavier floating in a jar. Like the GI Joe comics of my youth, it was enjoyable but probably won't stand up to critical re-reading. It's kind of sad that a comic from only how many years ago falls apart, though.

I think I'm in the minority when it comes to the Batman issue this week. I liked it, but thought the Bane references were kind of weird.
Wonder Woman? Ouch. Just, wow, so much ouch. Show *and* tell, all over the place.

Ultimate Matt said...

The "gay beast" thing I actually like; it's (arguably) a subtle qway of playing with Hank's insecurity with his new look. The whole thing started as a way of beating trish to the punch when she dumped him ("oh yeah? well, I didn't want you anyway"); it just continued as an overall defense mechanism to divert attention from his freakish appearance. I actually liked that subplot; I don't believe he was ever intended to actually be gay. Even when Scott confronted him about it, he diverted the conversation into some nonsense about challenging perceptions.

RAB said...

I never actually loved New X-Men and in fact never read a single issue of Morrison's run until after he was off the book and his changes had been largely undone. At that point I heard a lot of hardcore X-fans revile his tenure and praise Joss Whedon for being old-school and restoring so much of the status quo...which predisposed me to like whatever Morrison had done before I actually saw it. Nothing against Whedon at all; just a feeling that we need more shaking things up and new ideas and less of the reactionary attitude that "[name of superhero comic here] was best whenever I was twelve years old, therefore everything should be restored to how it was then and kept that way!" When I finally did read Morrison's run in its entirety, it was with that in mind -- enjoying the new ideas and the wordplay, with much less concern for the overall coherence of the storyline.

Looking back on those issues as you've been writing about them has definitely enhanced my perception of their weaknesses, and I'd be less inclined to recommend it to others. (It's also interesting to contrast how solid most of his DC work is in comparison to his Marvel efforts.) Overall, my feeling has been "I see your points and agree with them, but these problems didn't bother me while I was reading the story, and I still give him props for what he was trying to do."

LurkerWithout said...

Everyone should be buying ps238. People who don't hate Freedom. And Justice. And Pie. Why do you all hate Pie?

Roger said...

I think New X-Men shows Grant Morrison struggling with Marvel corporate continuity. That, for me, is why the series is so uneven. I think the series could be read as a failed sequel to Morrison's Invisibles--because it promises to go further than the Invisibles and because it fails to go as far as the Invisibles went in terms of truly transforming our experience of comic books and mainstream superheroes. I think Geoff is correct in showing us the problems of the series. But many of these problems could be attributed to a Marvel bullpen who didn't want to allow Morrison to go as crazy as he wanted to--which is why we have all of these weird moments where he seems to have a great idea and goes back on it. I wouldn't be surprised if the Xorn reveal was a hastily put together plot device because Marvel simply didn't want Xorn to remain a central character in the series after Morrison left. It's still one of my favorite series, but I see that it could have been much better.

Oh, and I just moved my blog to tharmas.wordpress.com, because I have more control over the format of the blog AND anyone can leave comments. So, people should check it out!

Roger said...

sorry, that is http://tharmas.wordpress.com

Stephen said...

Semi-related self-promotion:

I had a Morrison & Quitely page on my blog recently, as part of my new "100 great Pages" series. You can see it here:
http://stephenfrug.blogspot.com/2007/03/100-great-pages-grant-morrison-frank.html

SF

craig taylor said...

Well, Geoff, your reviews have clarified my own feelings toward New X-Men. I loved it at first - mostly because of Quitely - but stopped reading after issue 132, and didn't return until issue 151 'Here Comes Tomorrow'. I missed everything between, and also took a couple of years off reading comics.

I'm enjoying your reviews for the critical insights. cheers.

Coligo said...

Similarly to Ultimate Matt I understand & appreciate your arguements and many of them are accurate examples of the numerous flaws in the run. However, This is the series that got me reading X-Men stories in the first place.

Keep the posts coming, it's great to see an academic analysis of something you've only 'read' until now.

Brendan Hogg said...

Or is this one of those "I see your points but I still love New X-Men."

Yeah, that. (Hi, I haven't commented before, in fact it's those posts that brought me here.) New X-Men was my second ever comics after Watchmen (I am a recent convert), which makes me even more biased than I would be anyway.

I'm enjoying the posts, though I do wonder a bit whether you're reviewing the run in terms of what you hoped it would be (posthuman pop sexy cool) rather than what it turned out to be, but you do raise lots of interesting points. In particular, it hadn't occurred to me until now that the reason I couldn't reconcile all the different versions of (say) Cassandra or Sublime wasn't that I hadn't come up with a cunning enough theory but that it had actually just been made up as it went along ...

brendan hogg said...

@rab (am I doing this Blog comment thing right?):

At that point I heard a lot of hardcore X-fans revile his tenure and praise Joss Whedon for being old-school and restoring so much of the status quo...

Huh ... wha? 'Cos AFAICS Whedon is the one who's actually engaged with Morrison's ideas and changes. I was predisposed to like Astonishing anyway as a slavering Whedon fan boy, but with New being my first X-Men comics that raised my appreciation of it even more.

Matt Brady said...

Geoff, I think I was "I see your points but still love NXM" when you started the series, but you're converting me to "it's pretty good but definitely has some flaws". Of course, it's been a while since I read most of the run, so whenever I reread it my opinion might change again.

And I concur with Brendan about the Whedon follow-up to Morrison's run; he seemed to be the only one (other than maybe Greg Pak in the Phoenix Endsong/Warsong miniserieses) to use Morrison's ideas rather than ignore or retcon them.

Matt Brady said...

Oh, and a blog-plug: I've got new comics reviews, a TV review (BSG!), and I finally got around to the review of Empowered that I promised.