Jan 18, 2017

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 693: Annihilator #1, September 2014


What's that you say? There's not enough Grant Morrison on this blog. Well, okay. I'll capitulate.

I have a couple of Morrison-penned mini-series sitting on my table that, for reasons unknown, I've simply not gotten around to finishing. Reading, that is. I'll admit that I'm less-enthusiastic about his later work than I am about his earlier stuff, but that likely has more to do with my propensity for superheroes than it does Morrison's craft. He still makes stories that are, in most cases literally, out of this world.

Annihilator is an interesting one. It fits into that metagenre of writers writing about being writers. Actually, perhaps that's a metametagenre. In Morrison's case, though, he acknowledges in critiquing the process of writing fiction that it is a fantastical pursuit, and so injects the fantastical into his story. There are, by my count thus far, three black holes in this story, and all of them are metaphors. We have the Great Annihilator, the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. We have the mysterious sinkhole on the property that Ray Spass (pronounced "space," as in outer). And we have the dark hole on Spass' brain scan, an inoperable tumour. They're all the same thing, really: that spot of darkness from which springs forth creativity.

Though maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.

This series also does something that Morrison is well-known for: it blurs the lines between reality and fiction, introducing, at the issue's end, ultimate interstellar supervillain Max Nomax to his ostensible creator, Ray Spass. Nomax is the main character in Ray's new screenplay. As Warren Ellis has said, we have a strange relationship with our fiction, and only through fiction can we have conversations with it. Well, that and literary criticism, though oftentimes I find that criticism isn't actually having a conversation with fiction, but shouting over it and telling everyone what it means.

I might be a bit bitter, though.


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