Some of this Morrison reading project has been fairly heavy going.  The Filth, The Invisibles, and Seven Soldiers of Victory are meaty lumps of sequential narrative.  On top of that, the modicum of research some of my posts have necessitated has felt a tiny bit like work here and there*.

So I’ve been saving up Morrison’s JLA for when burnout beckons and I need some simple 4-colour superhero fun. 

That moment has arrived! 

JLA was my introduction to the mainstream DCU.  Even though the stories weren’t designed to be read in conjunction with the rest of DC’s output at the time, reading about these central characters each month gave me a good handle on where the DCU was at back then.  I loved this incarnation of the team.  Morrison’s deft handling of these characters in their team book and his portrayal of them as a group bound together by mutual trust and respect allowed them to have a strong presence when they appeared as a team in other books, or when other writers borrowed the reins. 

Because I have a fondness for this period of DCU history, I’ll probably be taking side-trips to appearances of the JLA in other comics during Morrison’s tenure as chief custodian.  Such was my fanboyish enthusiasm for the JLA that I eventually bought many of those appearances, including events like JLApe and Day of Judgement.  These summer crossovers might have been knocked at the time, but they are veritable models of restraint in light of DC’s publishing practices since DiDio took over.

Here is a chronology of Morrison’s JLA and the storylines that intersected with it.  I’ll be using it to decide the reading order and possible side-trips.  Let us know if there are any glaring errors on it.  I’d love to read through every appearance of the JLA during 1996-2000, but unfortunately, most of them are amongst the comics I had to leave behind when I made my big move.  If you would like to chime in with commentary on JLApe, Paradise Lost, Day of Judgement or any of the other stories in the chronology, be my guest.

JLA was stratospherically popular back when it hit the stands, so it’d be good to hear what you all thought of it at the time and how you think it reads now. 

If possible, I’d like for all the early posts to focus on the first 2-3 storylines rather than ranging too far ahead.  Not really for SPOILER reasons, but just to keep the discussion from getting too general.  I don’t think we have to worry about spoiling later developments, though, as most of us have probably read this series already.

Given I’ll be branching out to the work of other writers, it seems right to begin the discussion with Justice League: Midsummer’s Nightmare, written by Mark Waid and Fabian Niceiza.

*Ironic, given where I wrote most of them…

 

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As far as I know, J'emm had only one other appearance before this -- he was used in an issue of DC Challenge, a concept I'd love to see used again.
and believe it or not, Aquaman (in Craig Hamilton's undersea camo costume)

Ah, then that explains Aquaman's similar costume in his Key-induced fantasy of the flooded Earth!

I had my hand on some of those J'emm comics yesterday too, but they were only a handful, and I didn't want to commit to looking out for another longish series. It may have had Colan art, but I didn't recognise the writer at all.

J'emm was only hinted at as the 7th mysterious member of the Injustice Gang in Secret Files and Origins #1, so they must have thought his big reveal would be special...

We found out more about J'emm's race in Ostrander's excellent Martian Manhunter series.

Morrison had the best handle of anyone on Superman's new powers -- he absorbs the heat & force from the explosion, but not the light. That's a John Broome-worthy trick!

Also Wally, also Kyle, also arguably Batman...

I regret dropping Aztek after the first couple of issues, so I've never been privy to his whole story.

Worth it if you get the chance. A bold experiment in many ways. Millar adds a certain gross factor. It intertwines with JLA quite a bit, as happens when the same writer is involved in several books at once. There's a strong sense that they were only beginning, however. It also prefigures in some ways what Morrison would do with Batman

I'd been pronouncing it Kweeg, but shows what I know. If the 'W' is pronounced 'oo' then that's very Welsh, but there's no Q in Welsh... I've noted elsewhere that the spelling looks like someone starting to use all the letters in order on the Qwerty keyboard and then reversing early on and going back to the start. That ties into the 'infant universe' thing, of unrealised potential.

That "Koowee.. What?" line of Kyle's is another example of great dialogue. Grant is showing us Kyle's confusion and bewilderment, rather than telling us.

I guess when you replace a hero, it makes you replaceable, too.

Very true that, as many a mistress who has managed to steal a man from someone has found out...

I still don't understand Darkseid's motivation. Does he really want to rule an universe populated with mindless drones? How does the Anti-Life Equation benefit him? He's already the total ruler of Apokolips and he seems not to enjoy being around sycophants. Does he want the battle with those who oppose him? Is all he looking for is a challenge?

Stupungously germane questions. We'll add them to the pile for now...
JLA #15 Rock of Ages Pt 6 Stone of Destiny


image from www.comicvine.com

In the double-size wrap-up, Batman, Superman and J’onn confront Lex and the Injustice Gang and they are just about to destroy the source of Lex’s power – the Worlogog/Philosopher’s Stone, when Flash, GL and Aquaman return from the future to let them know that this mightn’t be a great idea.

Then they find out that the Joker has switched the Stone earlier and he’s about to do something really terrible with it. J’onn takes over his mind to temporarily bring some order there. Being rational for the first time in years, the Joker is overcome with remorse, and Lex urges him to use the Stone to reverse all the deaths caused during the Hard Light Revenge Squad’s attack on Star City in the first part. This does mean that the Injustice Gang haven’t actually committed any crime and the JLA has to let them go.

That’s the bones of the main narrative of the story, but this being a double-sized wrap-up, we also get about a dozen pages discussing some of the concepts and plot elements this storyline has introduced.

Superman is a little shocked to learn that Batman has had the inside track on Luthor’s plans by paying off Mirror Master. It’s the same Scottish guy as Animal Man faced, and his acting on his conscience here is consistent with that appearance. Given that Batman had brought him onside by offering him more than Luthor was paying him, I was amused to see that one of the meanings for ‘Rock of Ages’ was as rhyming slang for ‘Wages’!

The heaps of philosophy and metaphysics stuffed into this story are great, but at the end of the day you’ve got to have the Dough-Ray-Me!

(The other Scottish connection here is in the title of this chapter. The Stone of Destiny is an important artefact in Scottish history and mythology. The Kings of Scotland can only be crowned while sitting on it, for one thing, which is why the British kept it safely in London for many centuries!)

As usual there is stuff here that you only pick up on on closer readings. Plastic Man, in the guise of the Joker, is consistently shown trying to evoke a reaction from J’emm, and lift him out of his catatonic state, even telling him about ventriloquists and dummies to get him thinking. Plastic Man’s participation is a masterstroke on Batman’s/Grant’s part. A shape-shifter is an obvious choice to impersonate a member of the other side and acting the Joker comes easily to him. (Hard to imagine J’onn pulling it off!)

Given how much effort fanboys like ourselves have put into discussing which God each hero corresponds to, it’s nice to see another indicator in the story itself that its a relevant thing to do. In this case we get Circe, a Greek Goddess herself, declare that Plastic Man is somehow Dionysos! Certainly, a pantheon like this would be incomplete without an avatar of a god often placed in direct opposition to Apollo. A problem with making a superteam from your seven finest heroes is that they tend to be a rather straight-laced bunch, whereas a proper pantheon needs to represent a broad spectrum of qualities. Morrison is justifying Plastic Man’s membership from the very outset. He no longer has to work so hard at justifying Aztek and Green Arrow II, however, as they elect to leave the JLA at the end of this story.

A lot of this issue sets up DC One Million, with Hourman and a glimpse of the Superman of the 85th millenium. Of course, readers back then didn’t know anything about DC One Million, not having Dan DiDio around to spoil everything months in advance, so it all just seemed like more of Grant’s “weirdness for weirdness’ sake.” I myself remember being absolutely boggled by it all at the end of Rock of Ages, but I liked being in the middle of something that seemed to be bigger than my own understanding.

Speaking of which we also get Metron’s travels - New Gods-style - beyond the realms of human understanding. I think Morrison’s use of the New Gods in this storyline deserves a post or two of its own and I’ll return to it.

Incredibly, after all that wrapping up, the issue still ends on something of a cliff-hanger. The three 'senior partners' all announce they are going to disband the team!
The "Let's Make the Joker Sane" ploy was an original one and the one trick Batman can't pull off.

When it first came out, I thought Plastic Man was just a guest star but here were the first clues that he was more than the crazy, stretchy guy.

And I was genuinely shocked that GA II left. He was growing on me!
I wonder was GA II included by editorial fiat after all? Killing Ollie and substituting GA II was a brave move on some editor's part and perhaps strings were pulled to get him some exposure on the high selling book? Although I guess someone trying to join up and finding he's not up to it adds texture to the series, and emphasises at what level these guys play. GA's only contribution to the battle in part 1 was to hit the hard light Flash in the knee. He helps defeat both the Key and Luthor because both under-estimated him.

Editorial fiat or not, Morrison does a good job of making his brief tenure seem a natural part of the story.

I didn't mention the art. It was great to see Gary Frank's big and noble depiction of these heroes. He would have been doing Supergirl back then, but didn't really get his teeth into the big red S properly until the recent Geoff Johns origin. Greg Land's Joker owed quite a bit to Bolland's depiction of him. I'm torn between admiring a nod to one of the best Jokers ever, or tut-tutting Land's habit of 'lifting' images.

Land does get Metron's expression just right when he realises that the Worlogog in his hand is a sophisticated copy. Although it means they are all in terrible trouble, endlessly curious Metron is depicted as just being interested in this new well-crafted thing in his hand.

As a fan of his Hulk comics, I get a kick out of seeing Frank do these characters, but the added artists here make me glad again that Porter was the artist for most of the run. He did a sterling job on the remainder of Rock of Ages. I'm sure the scripts would have been quite challenging!
Now that you bring up the art, Luthor does look "Bryne-ish" in some panels!
A few comments on parts 3, 4 and 5 before I probably go and read the conclusion:

-- Kyle is encountering the same flower from "For the Man Who Has Everything," right? Good observations on the Arthurian quest.

-- The infant universe Qwewq reappears, as I think we all know, in Morrison's All Star Superman. In that book, it's meant to represent our universe. I had pronounced it kweck in my head.

-- JLA was my first exposure to the '90s bad-ass Aquaman, but I loved this frightened reaction to the Flash's plan for getting them back to Earth.

-- I didn't read JLA as it was published, so thanks for Figs for pointing out that these issues came out in 1997 and Darkseid's future would have been set in 2012, even though I only saw it rendered as 15 years in the future. 2012 is the end date of Mayan calendar, and I think it's associated with other world-ending prophecies (something to look forward to). I assume this was intentional.

-- Even though this is my favorite Morrison JLA arc, somewhere in Part 4, my suspension of disbelief began wavering. I think it had to do with Batman impersonating Desaad for an unknown period of time.* Why did he allow the torturing to continue? Why wait until the past incarnations of three teammates showed up to execute his master plan? Too much dramatic coincidence keeps happening to keep setting it aside.

(* - OK, same complaint with Morrison's New X-Men, and the whole Xorn/Magneto thing. But I mostly enjoyed that run, too.)

-- Batman and Atom's solution to defeating Darkseid was ingenuous, but it made me wonder, Why hadn't anyone thought of doing that before to penetrate the force field. No story otherwise, I suppose!

-- Part 5, the old "This Issue, Everyone Dies" motif. I loved it. It was executed so well. Hard to believe it was simply a subplot, though. That's what makes this arc a great one.

Back to reading! I'm getting caught up with you guys!
Great to have you on board B_dog!

Darkseid's future would have been set in 2012, even though I only saw it rendered as 15 years in the future. 2012 is the end date of Mayan calendar, and I think it's associated with other world-ending prophecies (something to look forward to). I assume this was intentional.

You can bet it was intentional! All of Morrison’s Invisibles works towards the end of the world on 31 Dec 2012, which we’ve touched on in the Invisibles discussion. (We’ve also talked about 2012 quite recently on this board.)

JLA and Invisibles were published side-by-side and they cross-pollinate their ideas in surprising ways. Both worked towards a millennial apocalypse linked to their late-nineties publishing schedule. To some extent each comments on the other, enriching both. JLA is set very squarely in the DCU, where the superheroes are always able to deal and find a way. There’s a character called Tom O’Bedlam in The Invisibles who gets to experience things at the very edge of human understanding, converse with beings from the higher planes and visit the future, just as Kyle does in chapter 4. However, even though he becomes the greatest magician of his generation, he also becomes a mad homeless vagrant, who passes away in a sewer having left his friends and loved ones behind long before.

Kyle in the DCU gets a bit agitated but eventually just shrugs his shoulders and moves on to the next mind-blowing adventure. Rock of Ages in particular is like a miniature superhero version of the Invisibles. It covers a lot of the same ground. Aquaman’s shock at finding himself in the body of his older self, the battle with an oppressive inhuman all-controlling global power, the escalation of mundane struggles towards cosmic revelations, Kyle’s journeys of self-discovery through despair; all have their parallels in The Invisibles. Even Wonderworld, which Metron tells us is outside the limits of Space-Time, corresponds to the Supercontext in The Invisibles, from where godlike beings can look into our known universe and see it laid out as a complete whole.

Whereas the characters in The Invisibles are fundamentally human and do often break under the strain, the JLA are made of simpler, stronger stuff and the world they move in is a simpler, more positive one. The Invisibles were only human, but the JLA are our finer selves personified, and the DCU is the stage where they strive and survive.

Ultimately, though, Morrison was using both stories to explore the same issues. Concepts that in The Invisibles are heavy and contradictory, only hinted at and skirted around, can pop up fully formed in bright colours in JLA. The Worlogog, for instance corresponds to the Hand of Glory in The Invisibles: an object of great reality-bending power that is discovered by humans and eventually reclaimed by the gods. In Rock of Ages it is only another plaything in the war between superheroes and supervillains, like many other objects of power before and since.

Other difficult concepts in The Invisibles have been breezed over in the issues before Rock of Ages too, like Morrison’s concepts of time-travel, and the intrusion of angelic beings into our world. There’s probably a lot to say about the parallels between the two, but I’ll leave it at that for now. The Invisibles is a great sci-fi adventure saga and well worth anyone’s time if they haven’t read it yet. If you’ve enjoyed the JLA, then you’ve already digested the Coles Notes version…

Kyle is encountering the same flower from "For the Man Who Has Everything," right?

It may have similar effects, but I don’t think it’s the same plant. Even if Grant intended it to be the same kind of plant, the artist has drawn them as non-chest-hugging poppies. They are from a long tradition preceding Moore’s great Superman story, which Moore himself no doubt was drawing on. The Lotus Eaters chapter of The Odyssey springs to mind, followed by the poppy fields in The Wizard of Oz. The red flowers also bring the poppy-fields of France to mind, which commemorate the dead of World War One. GL is a warrior, dreaming of putting down his struggles in this sequence. Just poppies on their own have all kinds of druggie associations. In all of the above, including Moore’s story, , dreaming escape and death are all intertwined.

I guess the sweep of the story deflected me from thinking about Batman’s strategies too much. The ‘when’ of a strategy is just as important as the ‘how’. And to be fair, I don’t think any comic writer in the decades before JLA#14 thought of the ‘light entering a force-field’ thing, and they are paid to come up with that stuff… In any case, the hyper-compressed storytelling here means that a few elements of the narrative are going to give under the strain...
A lot of Morrison’s long-form comics series tend to follow the same pattern of peaking quite early on, cruising for a while after that and then bringing it together for the big finish.

Doom Patrol and Invisibles certainly did. The Orqwith Saga in the former and Arcadia in the latter both managed to gather together most of the themes and ideas of the whole series. Both were positioned early in the runs and lot of what followed in each series developed and expanded on what was in those two storylines. Virtually all of the multi-part stories in Doom Patrol followed the Orqwith template of ‘freaky alternate dimension almost breaks into the DCU, but is stopped’. Arcadia gathered together the themes and concepts of Invisibles in a very literary and sophisticated way. It included a philosophical discussion between the poets Byron and Shelley that had little to do with the actual plot of the story, and was hugely ambitious. Actually it was a bit too sophisticated for the readership at the time, who fled the series in droves at this point!

Wisely, Morrison made Animal Man a shorter series than the others, so most of it does follow the arc of the story he wants to tell. It is not without ‘filler’ episodes though, and in keeping with my argument, the Coyote Gospel story in the 5th issue gives us a summary of the whole series, even though no-one knew it at the time.

I think Morrison followed much the same pattern with JLA. Just as the storylines above presented the contents of the whole series in miniature, Rock of Ages does much the same thing here. He crams so much into these 6 issues. The structure of the story is like an onion with different layers of possible JLA stories each enclosing the others. The encounter with the hard light revenge squad counts as the mundane ‘business as usual’ for the Justice League, and then the New Gods bring in the more serious and epic forces, but even this is escalated further. First to the Wonderworld level of cosmic importance where the heroes are literally like motes of dust in comparison to the ‘Gods’ and then the heroes are faced with the absolute victory of despair and oppression and the death of all things.

I think Morrison was trying to write something that crammed all the good stuff into one story, so it’s not surprising that Rock of Ages stands out in the whole series. Everything they face are the extremes of what can be done in a superhero comic, including the flash-forwards to the 85th millennium.

We even get mentions of 5th dimensional imps, the apocalyptic Mageddon and Justice Legion A, which all would be developed further in later arcs. The hard light duplicates are another manifestation of the various ‘alternate JLAs’ that litter the whole series, from the Hyperclan at the start to the planet full of superheroes at the end.

The Hard Light Revenge Squad also bring to life an philosophical position that occurs again and again in Grant’s work – that the enemy is us!

The story resonates with other pointers to Morrison’s comics beyond JLA. I’ve already covered some of the parallels with the Invisibles, and we’ve mentioned Qwewq. There is the resemblance of parts 4 & 5 to Final Crisis. In Final Crisis we’ll also see a version of Adam One’s great iron suit, but worn by Superman, and we’ll see Batman’s showdown with Darkseid again. The page at the end of Rock of Ages where Superman visits Luthor and looks for good qualities in him will get expanded into a whole issue of All-Star Superman.

All in all, Rock of Ages is an important staging post in Grant’s work.
Morrison's New Gods

I’d like to say a few words about how the New Gods are handled in Rock of Ages. Hopefully I’m not labouring things too much. I’ll try to keep it brief!

My guess is that Grant is trying to reproduce the feeling that readers would have got reading Kirby’s Fourth World comics for the first time in the 70s. (To simulate, not replicate, as they say!) He was well aware that many readers had long ago started to find the New Gods and their assorted concepts and paraphernalia hackneyed and jaded. (Fans like Travis, perhaps!)

Funnily enough, Kirby was conscious of the same issues when he created the New Gods. Think about what Kirby did with the New Gods when they were first published. Over a decade after Star Trek began, sci-fi fans had become jaded with ‘transporters’ and intelligent ‘computers’. Kirby wanted his readers to feel the same wonder and awe he would have felt reading about those things in the 30s. So he shifted everything up a gear. Computers were replaced with Mother Boxes, that could feel and nurture and console, whilst transporters were replaced with the wonderfully named ‘Boom Tubes’.

The first few times they are used in his comics, you can almost feel the ground shake at the explosive, unearthly sound the Boom Tubes make. Considering they are used to pulverise the laws of physics and rupture the integrity of space-time itself, the ridiculously detonative gateways seem somehow right, as well as suitably awe-inspiring. (Kirby was probably inspired by the very topical supersonic Concorde planes that had first flown in 1969. They famously caused a sky-shaking ‘boom’ as they broke another of nature’s barriers - the sound barrier. They didn’t start flying commercially until 1976, so Kirby is riffing on up-to-the-minute scientific breakthroughs, just as we’re seeing Morrison do in JLA. Topical science is one way out of the trap of writing comics that are just about other comics...)

The New Gods themselves were Kirby’s attempts to bring the old pantheons of Gods he’d been working on right up to the minute. They all embody more 20th Century forces and obsessions. Such as Metron’s dangerous obsession with knowledge at all costs and Orion’s conflicted self-loathing warrior. They were fresh and new in the 70s, and we saw them acting out the ethical conflicts of their times in a more relevant way than the Greek and Norse Gods had been doing at Marvel.

Alas! By the time Byrne came to write Genesis, and Morrison, Rock of Ages, the novelty had long-since worn off. Byrne’s story does nothing to make up for this. The Mother Boxes Metron dispenses are merely high-end sat-navs to get the heroes to the scene of the drama. Rather than looking forward as Kirby had, the only innovation in the story is the introduction of ‘First World’ Gods from millenia before, who are truly hackneyed, embodying ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’ respectively, but only as labels, like characters in the simplest stories for children. Darkseid’s fate at the end echoes previous storylines - swollen and stuck fast to the Source Wall – identical to when I first read about the character in Swamp Thing. (There’s something fitting in that though. It echoes the eventual fate of Blake’s Demi-urgic Father Gods in his poems.)

Morrison however, is deliberate in pushing the New Gods concepts even further in the directions Kirby had begun. Baby Boxes and Grandmother Boxes appear, building on how Kirby had used the Mother Boxes. Hyperwheels permit travel beyond the barrier of Space-Time itself.

Where Kirby gave us a race of Gods who embody purer states and exist on a higher plane than us, Morrison imagines a race of Super-Gods who are the same remove again from the New Gods, and intimates that there are higher levels than those, too!

In particular, Grant dusts down the New Gods themselves, wipes away the soap-opera elements that had brought them down to our level and hones them to their most basic qualities. Metron can only offer the heroes a quest through the unknown, as science itself does. Orion, the rebellious warrior son, can only bring total destruction to his father’s kingdom, and the Black Racer is only there to bring utter termination to each of the characters in turn. He is death (small ‘d’). Grant’s take is that these characters are what they represent, rather than just affecting a persona while they act out roles in a superhero soap-opera.

This answers Philip’s questions about Darkseid. He isn’t just a despot. He is despotism itself. The urge to totally control others, to totally control everything. The power of life and death over everyone. And where control is total there is no life, only anti-life or - the true opposite of life - death. Darkseid isn’t a person; he’s a force of nature. Check out what Kirby intended him to be:
Photobucket

In an earlier discussion, Luke made the very valid point that this isn’t quite how Kirby envisioned the New Gods, or made them act. The point is that Kirby didn’t need to, as their personas were innovative enough and his story was an original up-to-the-minute take on old sagas of the relationships between gods and men. Kirby didn’t have to worry that the characters had lost their punch. They had plenty of punch in his early Fourth World comics!

Grant, however, had to figure out a way to make them wild and dangerous again, and this is how he did it. It’s another example of how much thought and calculation go into his comics, rather than just throwing down ‘whacky, drug-fueled nonsense’ on the page.

The only problem with this approach is that it can only be used a couple of times before it too would get stale, but that isn’t Grant’s problem. He has done his service to Kirby’s vision by making the characters and concepts sing one more time. More, he has produced another bunch of comics that bring our beloved superheroes another step forward on their often repetitive, often hackneyed march towards their first century of existence!

This negation of the line between what the characters represent and what they are addresses my earlier question as to why it isn't the sexy Goth Death (big 'D') of the Endless that arrives when the Universe is ending. Grant's work is all about the symbolism. He gets cranky when readers can't see the symbolic and metaphoric purpose of his work. The curse of literalism.

If I can get Zen for a moment - Morrison wants us to understand the symbolism and metaphor in his work, because they don't matter!

What matters is what they stand for.

Thus in one story the Black Racer represents Death and in another its the sexy Goth chick. They are both merely metaphors for something real. (Death is as real as it gets, baby!) The two personifications of death in the DCU are a very simple illustration of this principle, but it applies elsewhere too. Animal Man, Seven Soldiers and Final Crisis all present quite different cosmologies and 'founding myths' of the DCU. It would be hard to make them join up, but we don't have to. In each of them he is using different metaphors to examine creativity and authorial responsibility in a shared fictional universe. Its those real issues that are the point of those kinds of storylines.

So much for keeping it brief!

Thoughts?
What matters is what they stand for.

Thus in one story the Black Racer represents Death and in another its the sexy Goth chick. They are both merely metaphors for something real. (Death is as real as it gets, baby!) The two personifications of death in the DCU are a very simple illustration of this principle, but it applies elsewhere too. Animal Man, Seven Soldiers and Final Crisis all present quite different cosmologies and 'founding myths' of the DCU. It would be hard to make them join up, but we don't have to. In each of them he is using different metaphors to examine creativity and authorial responsibility in a shared fictional universe. Its those real issues that are the point of those kinds of storylines.


I agree. But sometimes Morrison seems to intend those metaphors to extend to the real world, not just the fictional universe. It's easier to read them that way in the non-superhero stories like The Invisibles, and there are definitely some readers that do. I doubt there are many readers of the superhero stories that take them that way, even though Morrison explores similar concepts, as you pointed out. Reading this for the first time, I was more struck by its similarity to the JLA: Ultramarines story than to The Invisibles, or even Seven Soldiers.

Superhero stories require such a huge suspension of disbelief to start with that it's hard for them to carry the weight of some of the aesthetic or philosophical concepts that Morrison explores in them, I think. If I don't really accept the "reality" of the characters or the world they inhabit, why should I take the conceptual baggage seriously? This may be a large part of why some readers have trouble with Morrison's work, apart from the complexity and density of it. I certainly found it hard to keep track of the various threads in Rock of Ages, and I've read most of his more experimental work. Still, I'd rather have a rich story that makes me work to keep up than a simple one that I could breeze through.
I've been working my way through thes trades recently(didn't read them originally) one thing I'm struglling a bit with is Wonder Woman,it seems at one stage she's dead(I didnt see the death) and Hippolyta takes over then I'm not sure if it's Diana back and Hyp gone or still Hyp or someone new.anyone give me a quick overview

FWIW I've just finished the Justice For All trade

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