Saturday, December 20, 2008

Grant Morrison - "In every style and fashion" part 3


Yet, it was Morrison's stint on "J.L.A." that made him so interesting to Marvel's new editorial. Proving his worth to the company on 2000's "Marvel boy" and "Fantastic Four: 1234" mini-series, he was paired with Frank Quitely, and given wide-berth to reinvent the company's second biggest franchise, "the X-Men" (retitled "New X-Men" to mark the occasion). Once again, Morrison devoted his energies to telling a complete story in the span of several years, with perhaps the biggest amount of creative freedom he enjoyed until that time on a major superhero title.

The fans immediately took notice, and Morrison was bold enough to try and pitch a "Nick Fury" ongoing series in 2002. The attempt got so far as to have the short story prologue in an anthology title, but was shot down quickly before his plans gestated into a finished new first issue. Once again reminded of the corporate-organized mindset that makes even the most daring publishers fall in the overprotective state when it comes to their decades old superhero licenses, Morrison re-tooled his submissions and published his story in Vertigo, as "the Filth", penciled by Chris Weston. To this day, this maxi-series remains one of Morrison's most ambitious works, and while it doesn't rely on the readers' outside knowledge the way "the Invisibles" did, it's still full of mad ideas fired at a rapid succession in midst of chaotic plots and the whole that is anything but easy to understand.

Thus it was that restricted to only writing one ongoing series at Marvel, Grant Morrison focused all his attention on "the New X-Men", doing his own take on the characters' most famous story-arcs, while turning the book into a real SF comic with evolution as it's main theme. The stories were well-received by a large auditorium, prompting Marvel to experiment with a bi-weekly schedule during most of his run on the title, in the process losing Frank Quitely as the main artist. Editorial decision led to cases of uneven art produced by some of the freelancers working extremely short deadlines.

Still, Morrison was determined to further develop some of his ideas back at Vertigo, such as "We3", a concept originating in one of his "New X-Men" arcs.

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