Feb 27, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 368: Marvel Knights Double-Shot #2, July 2002

(Read today. Will blog tomorrow.)

(It's tomorrow now - isn't that an odd statement to make?)

 This comic was sort of made for me. Not only does it feature a very typically Morrisonian tale of uncertain identity and twist endings, but the second story is a Man-Thing tale written and illustrated by the amazing Ted McKeever. I don't have a lot of McKeever's work, but, for me, he represents that farthest reach, stylistically, of the aesthetic that crystallized in 90s Vertigo. Though his work with Rachel Pollack on Doom Patrol is not amongst the best-remembered parts of that series, I quite enjoy it. McKeever's messy unreality always jibed well with the tone of the series to me.

The Morrison tale in today's comic is a nice little piece of work, trading rather explicitly on the PKD connection I mentioned the other day. We've got telepathic mutants who aren't actually telepathic mutants, double and triple agents who aren't aware of their own double-ness, a badass super spy whose powers seem to include always ending up with very attractive women. There's a call-back of sorts in the story to Morrison's work on Animal Man, in that the "telepaths" in the story resemble the yellow aliens that originally gave Buddy Baker his powers. For Morrison's run, these aliens were ciphers for the creative force of the universe (i.e., Morrison himself), so what they're doing here, and their true identities, are interesting questions to ponder.

When we discuss short stories in an academic setting, we often make the distinction between time and place. Short stories are not meant to necessarily be about time - that's why they're short. They're a brief glimpse at a discreet slice of time, in which the important elements to note are the place-based elements. The setting, the interactions of the characters. We're not in it for an extended meditation on these things, but to witness, or experience, the action, and to take from that action a small kernel of knowledge. Given the very visual nature of comics, I wonder what differences in the parsing of comics short stories has from that of prose short stories. Fodder for further thought, I think.

Alright. Continuing on our Morrison week, we'll jump back a bit in time tomorrow, back to some 2000 A.D. material. Onward!

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