This is meant to be a one-stop shop for discussing the works of Grant Morrison. There’s just a few things I wanted to try on a new thread, as well as bring everything under the one roof. This isn’t a complete list, but I’m hoping to add other stuff as we get to them. (Click on the hyper-links to go to discussions of the different books.) Let’s see how many of these stories we can get through…

 

1985-88 Secret Origins

Captain Granbretan - text story Captain Britain #13 (January 1986, Marvel UK),

• "The Stalking" (text story with illustrations by Garry Leach, UK 1986 Batman Annual)

• "Osgood Peabody's Big Green Dream Machine" (text story with illustrations by Barry Kitson and Jeff Anderson, UK Superman Annual, 1986)

Zoids Marvel UK - March 1986 - February 1987 Part 1 Part 2

• Dr Who Magazine Marvel UK - Changes (issue #118-9), The World Shapers (#127-9), Shock! (#139)

 

1988-90 Animal Patrol

St Swithin's Day  (with Paul Grist) Trident 1989

JLA: Ghosts of Stone Secret Origins #46

Arkham Asylum 1989 (See attachment below)

Animal Man (DC, #1-26, 1988-1990): Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3.

Doom Patrol (DC, #19-63, 1989-1993): Vol 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

• "Flash of Two Worlds" (Secret Origins #50, 1990)

Gothic (with Klaus Janson, in Legends of the Dark Knight #6-10) 1990 (Also, see attachment)

• Hellblazer: "Early Warning" #25-26, Vertigo, 1990.

 

1991-94 Odds and Sods

Kid Eternity, with Duncan Fegredo, DC, 3-issue mini-series, 1991

Sebastian O with Steve Yeowell, Vertigo, 3-issue mini-series, 1993

• The Mystery Play with Jon J. Muth, Vertigo, graphic novel, 1994

• Swamp Thing: "Bad Gumbo" (with co-writer Mark Millar and artist Philip Hester,) Vertigo, #140-143, 1994

 

1994-2000 JLInvisible

The Invisibles (Vertigo, 1994-2000): Vol I, Vol II, Vol III.

• Skrull Kill Krew (with co-writer Mark Millar) Marvel, 5 issues, 1995

Kill Your Boyfriend (with Philip Bond and D'Israeli, Vertigo) 1995

• Flex Mentallo (with Frank Quitely) Vertigo 1996

New Toys from Weird War Tales #3 (with Frank Quitely, Vertigo), 1997

 

Aztek, the Ultimate Man #1-10 (with co-writer Mark Millar) 1996

• The Flash: (with co-writer Mark Millar), Emergency Stop / The Human Race 1997

JLA 1997-2000

JLA/WildC.A.T.s one-shot crossover, 1997

DC One Million, 1998 Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Interlude, Week 4, Week 5, Epilogue I, Epilogue II

JLA: Earth 2, 1999

 

2000 - 2004 Marvellous Filth

• Marvel Boy, 6 issues Marvel 2000

• Fantastic Four: 1234 (Marvel Knights) 2001-2

New X-men, #114-156, Marvel, July 2001 - June 2004  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

The Filth, Vertigo, 13-issues, 2002

 

2004 – 2013

• WE3 (with Frank Quitely, Vertigo, 3-issue mini-series, 2004

• Seaguy, Vertigo Book 1 2004, Book 2 2009

• Vimanarama (with Philip Bond) Vertigo 3-issue mini-series 2005

Joe the Barbarian, DC 8-issue series. 2009

 

• DC Comics Presents: Mystery in Space (tribute to Julie Scwartz) 2004

All Star Superman, 12 issues, 2005 - 2008

 

The Infinite Book

JLA: Ultramarine Corps JLA Classified #1-3 (with Ed McGuiness) DC 2004 (+ dedicated thread here)

Seven Soldiers 2005 -6 (+ dedicated thread here)

• 52 (with co-authors Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid), DC, #1-52, 2006-2007

Batman & Son (includes issues from #655-666), 2006-07

The Club of Heroes Batman #667-669, 2007

The Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul with var writers, inc Batman #670-671, Oct-Nov 2007

• The Black Glove Batman #672-675, 2007-08

Batman R.I.P., Batman #676-681, 2008

• Batman RIP - The Missing Chapter 2010 Part 1 Batman #701 (also here)

Final Crisis, May 2008-January 2009

Batman and Robin, June 2009 onwards

• Batman 700 2010

Return of Bruce Wayne 2010

 

2012 - End of the world!

 

2013 Beyond Batman

 

Happy (with Darrick Robertson), Image, 4-issue mini-series, 2012-13

 

(682 - 20/03/12)

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The Filth Issue 11: A very English nervous breakdown.

The title adds weight to the idea that much of the preceding events have been part of Greg Feely’s mental collapse. The action at the start of this issue supports that reading too. Whereas Ned cold-heartedly neutralised his friend and fellow ‘freedom-fighter’ Max Thunderstone in the previous issue, here he has had a sudden and total change of heart. He’s back at his little house, mourning his betrayal of Max and raging against the Hand while threatening his tied up ‘evil double’. As ever the cut between Ned Slade’s lurid day-glo world and Greg’s run-down little flat is jarring. It is like the sudden changes in mental state of someone who is on drugs, or having a powerful breakdown.

In a confirmation of his paranoic state, he finds the walls are listening to him, and the TV is watching him.

Weston’s depiction of the old tenement houses is spot on, by the way. I’ve lived in rented houses exactly like these. The scene where Errol Twine tries to get his partner to stop spying on Feely recreates just about all of them, with the shelves in the cavity beside the fireplace. The TV would be on the other side of that fireplace, guaranteed!

Notice the streets are laid out like a giant maze, with tiny or no gardens and the two story houses making for the high walls of the labyrinth. At the end of Feely’s street is another street running at right angles to it, adding to the claustrophobic feel. Very common in Victorian housing like this.

The scenes with Dmitri-9 are a great set piece, from his arrival to his death. Dmitri’s comment that “of all the animals, only human assholes ever needed stairs” is probably significant in this tale of movement up and down different planes of reality.

Morrison mentions viruses and antibodies and the mechanisms our body uses to protect itself, and in the neighbours attack on Dmitri, we see society similarily attacking the outsider and ejecting it most brutally. Having done that, his neighbours suddenly seem kinder to Greg. Before the chimp came along they had projected all their fears and hatred onto Greg himself, but having temporarily ‘cleansed’ their system of the perceived threat, they can now be more humane for a while.

“Is there a Hell for Monkeys, Dad?”

“I hope so, son. God help us all, I hope so.”


This hilarious exchange is a strange inverted parody of the whole Darwinian debate.

Chief Constable Mandrill, coincidently named after a type of ape, is in the next scene, talking to Miami Nil. We learn that Max Thunderstone has been taken over by the Spartacus Hughes para-personality and he now works for the Hand. So the hand has co-opted two powerful enemies at a single stroke. Again we see poor Miami being forced to perform sex with someone she’d rather not…

Finally, we have Greg’s raid on the chemist shop, which is actually a Hand holding bank for all their parapersonas. Greg says that he’d broken in there earlier, but this is the first we’ve heard of this. Was it as Greg or as Ned? If by Greg, its further evidence that he is a very unstable man!

I’ve now read the last few issues a couple of times and have to admit to ‘cheating’ a little bit, because I went and had a look at what the heads at www.barbelith.com had to say about it. Some of the stuff they see in Morrison’s work was obviously put there deliberately by him as part of his message, but I don’t know if I’d have ever got it, no matter how many times I read the book. It’s a conundrum, or maybe I’m just not smart enough.

Some of it just needs careful observation. I discovered that the funky scorpion-tailed atomic gun that Dmitri uses was brought back from the comicsverse by Moog Mercury in issue 3. The Secret Original recognised it at the time as “Atomic-Avenger’s Thermovolver.” It’s amazing how Grant underplays these things.

As handy as they are for quick summaries, those wiki paragraphs can be well off the mark sometimes. It’s a Chemist’s not a Newspaper shop that the Hand uses to store their parapersonas. The Hand doesn’t randomly pick innocent bystanders to implant the parapersonas into, but pick anti-persons that somehow present a threat to the “Status Q”. It’s an important point, because just as the body’s immune system does, they co-opt threatening invaders to become part of the cure. Look what they did with Max Thunderstone in the end. We learn too that Greg feely conspired against the Hand with Max, which is why they have been trying to implant one of their parapersonas in him.

Regarding the wonderful Cameron Spector dialogue, Barbelith linked to a site where the Italian translator of The Filth uploaded the notes Grant sent him regarding the difficult language and colloquial UK speech.

Here’s an exchange regarding one of Spector’s best lines:

Issue nine (p204 of my collection)

Text: “yuv loast yir tits it least.”
Translators attempt: “you have lost your tits at least.” ??? (“lost your tits”=”got annoyed/pissed off”?)
GM’s correction: no. it just means what it says – Slade’s healthier and fitter and has lost his man-breasts.
Some of it just needs careful observation. I discovered that the funky scorpion-tailed atomic gun that Dmitri uses was brought back from the comicsverse by Moog Mercury in issue 3. The Secret Original recognised it at the time as “Atomic-Avenger’s Thermovolver.” It’s amazing how Grant underplays these things.


Yeah, I missed this too. It shows how much he's thinking about the details, as well as how underplayed they often are.

As handy as they are for quick summaries, those wiki paragraphs can be well off the mark sometimes. It’s a Chemist’s not a Newspaper shop that the Hand uses to store their parapersonas. The Hand doesn’t randomly pick innocent bystanders to implant the parapersonas into, but pick anti-persons that somehow present a threat to the “Status Q”. It’s an important point, because just as the body’s immune system does, they co-opt threatening invaders to become part of the cure. Look what they did with Max Thunderstone in the end. We learn too that Greg feely conspired against the Hand with Max, which is why they have been trying to implant one of their parapersonas in him.

I have been doing a lot of correcting on these as I used them, but I let this slide by. You're right, the fact that the Hand uses anti-persons is a very significant point. I should have fixed that one. Love that translation note. I interpreted it like the Italian translator had, even though I got the words right. Just assumed it was Scottish slang I didn't know!
For consistency, here's issue # 13, but I'm looking forward to Figs' usual essay.

At the beginning of the final chapter, Feely, breaks into Hand Headquarters carrying the Thermovolver. The storytelling here is non-linear and takes place before Feely's attempted suicide. He kills several people, including those who mix the Parapersonas, reveals to Miami that he never had any feelings for her, and unmasks LaPen, an African woman who was raped and immolated in Chad. At the center of the Hand base, Feely confronts Mother Dirt, who is a super-intelligent pile of compost-like material. She tells him that the selection process for her agents is ruthless but necessary to maintain the Status Q. He was always meant to have a special role within The Hand, just not what he had been led to believe at first. She offers him a part of herself, claiming that she must be spread upon his flowers.

Surviving the suicide attempt back in his real life, Feely refuses offers to rejoin a new version of The Hand. However, Feely continues to work for the Hand. He reveals that the I-Life saved him from suicide after Sharon Jones died. He now serves in a benign role, using the I-Life (who have further evolved into intelligent beings vaguely resembling Vulcans) to heal people he comes into contact with.


Interesting that the Hand "recycles" damaged people of all sorts. Spector had cancer, and LaPen was a victim who was physically and psychically hurt. Another circle is completed as Feely heals a man who was injured through contact with some of Dmitri's things. This final issue covers the gamut, from Feely in action against the Hand to back in his "real" life. I like his new healing angel status, and the final I-Life message as they heal Feely's wound: "We have love." In addition to looking Vulcan, the new evolved I-Life also resemble the Hand in their costuming. Perhaps a positive, healing force to counteract the negative, cleansing aspect of the Hand?
One other thing I meant to comment on: nice symmetry between the title of issue #1 (Us vs Them) and issue #13 (Them vs Us). If the Hand is "them" and humanity is "us," maybe it implies a power shift. Humanity now has the I-Life on its side, to oppose the rigid conformance to StatusQ enforced by the Filth.
The Filth Issue 12 – Schizotype

I suppose the most problematic thing about the start of issue 12 is how one of the central subplots stretching back to issue 1 reaches its climax off-panel. As I read and posted on the issues one-by-one, it looked like I-life and Bioship Sharon Jones were important elements in illustrating some kind of purpose and grace emerging from the traumatic subversion of Dr Soong’s nano-world. At the start of this issue, however, they have been seemingly killed off by Spartacus Hughes. Spartacus talks a lot, so it’s hard to say what happened to them in the end, but Sharon Jones’ neck was broken at any rate.

This whole book has been an exploration of the darkest states that people have to live through – or don’t live through, as the case may be. Greg’s loneliness and victimisation, his struggles not to be part of a system he hates, endless cruelties. Again and again he is faced with meaningless deaths. It’s like a clichéd country song where Greg loses his job, his house, his cat and maybe his mind too.

Instead of a lost girl in his past which country songs usually mourn, there are just the mountains of pornography and manipulative sex with Miami Nil.

This book is possibly Morrison’s most existentialialist and nihilist, in the style of Camus or Sartre*. This is bleak stuff, especially from the pen of such an optimistic writer. And issue 12 is the lowest point of it. Max’s destruction of the I-life, Cameron’s death, Secret Original’s tragic final act and Greg’s suicide attempt are all thematically connected, even though they may seem like illogical narrative jumps.

The final outworking of the Secret Original subplot couldn’t be bleaker. Adam and Eve’s love that spanned galaxies is as nothing when reality comes calling. The Superman-analogue in the wheelchair is meant to remind us of Christopher Reeve. The handsome young actor who made the world believe a man can fly, and risked his life standing up for his colleagues in South America did end up paralysed from the neck down and dependant on others to attend his most basic needs.

Life is that shit! There’s no getting away from it.

Morrison plays the horrible trick of holding out the I-life sub-plot as a possible thread of hope leading out of the maze towards a positive outcome after all, only to snatch it from us (and from Greg). Sharon and Tony the cat are killed not only between panels, but between issues. It’s a fait accompli when we see it. There could have been drama in Sharon and Tony’s last hours, but Morrison isn’t interested in that. Just the fact that: “Shit happens. As they say.”

Cameron’s sudden plight, which truncates the drama of a death by cancer into 6 panels, is extremely affecting. It’s all the more cutting when her admission comes after Greg says that a few years won’t hurt them. 6 months is plenty of time for cancer. I’d be scoffing at any other writer who pulled a stunt like this with a character I’ve warmed to, but it works in the harsh, surreal world of The Filth.

Around this time, Grant was dealing with his own father's death by cancer, which might be why this scene is so painful. I wonder is the Crab symbol on the doorway that Eve takes a reference to cancer also, given how tragic and awful the results of her passage through it are.

The sudden jump from Cameron's death to Greg's suicide attempt is a logical one. The wiki explanation for how Greg’s arm stretched out on the floor amongst the garbage relates to the giant Hand of God in ‘the Crack’ is a little bit literal for me.

I do like the idea that all the action of the book happens in the few seconds at the end of issue 12 where Greg lies possibly dying, and its ‘all in his mind’. There are little clues, like Moog saying that he’s not even as real as the Secret Original. It is the main interpretation that I got from Barbelith that I can't say I’d have worked out for myself…

In any case issue 12 is where Greg and the reader reach the lowest point in this exploration of despair. Nowhere to go but up, surely?

*Camus can do, but Sartre is smarter. Photobucket
The sudden jump from Cameron's death to Greg's suicide attempt is a logical one. The wiki explanation for how Greg’s arm stretched out on the floor amongst the garbage relates to the giant Hand of God in ‘the Crack’ is a little bit literal for me.

I do like the idea that all the action of the book happens in the few seconds at the end of issue 12 where Greg lies possibly dying, and its ‘all in his mind’. There are little clues, like Moog saying that he’s not even as real as the Secret Original. It is the main interpretation that I got from Barbelith that I can't say I’d have worked out for myself…


I hadn't thought of that either, but it's possible. The storytelling has seemed linear up til the end, but that may have been an illusion. Greg's invasion of Hand headquarters at the beginning of issue #13 has to be out of sequence, but it's hard to place where it could have happened chronologically.
The Filth – Issue 13 Them Vs Us

I guess the opening pages of this issue – Greg visits payback on the hand – can only fit between Cameron’s death and Greg's suicide attempt. It’s also a follow-up on Greg’s promise that he’s “not having it, and not stopping now” in his mission against The Filth at the end of issue 11. Still we are given no solid corroboration of this, so I have trouble with the authoritive way wiki asserts it. It's just the way I try to read books like these, and I’m very mindful of Grant’s appeal in the foreword against literal readings.

Mother Dirt seems to identify Greg as “An anti-person become not-self detector”. Anti-persons are to society what anti-bodies are to the living organism. I’ll have to look it all up, but perhaps the human body has some way to convert anti-bodies into a mechanism that can identify other invading antibodies? The language of germs and the body’s resistance to them – often by co-opting and converting them just like the I-life were designed to do with cancer cells – pervades this book and ties in very closely with the philosophy we are seeing of systems becoming stronger and more humane by interacting with ‘the other’, the not-self.

This in turn is a refinement of the final messages of The Invisibles regarding identifying with your enemy, and how supposed opposites may in fact be working together towards a higher purpose.

I’d really like to hear any thoughts on what the multiple Tonys are doing entranced in front of the screens here. Any ideas?

Again I’m going to disagree with the wiki just to bring out an important point. Greg tells Miami “I don’t fancy you”, not that he doesn’t love her. The difference is that he’s saying he isn’t physically attracted to her, which is a different thing to ‘love’. It’s important because this is the final chapter of Greg’s story before he takes the overdose. This is where everything is stripped off him, including in this Hand section, his self-righteous anger and macho mission to bring payback to his enemies.

With the phrase “I don’t fancy you”, Greg is similarly stripping Miami of her function and the only thing she can take a twisted pride in herself about. We’ve already seen that Miami often hates performing her duty as sexual operative for The Hand's agenda, but perhaps she had an image of herself as a glamorous exotic Bondgirl seductress. To hear now that she doesn’t even incite interest in a loser like Greg would be a harsh blow. Miami, like Greg is facing harsh truths and having her illusions stripped away. Finally Miami Nil learns that My-I-Me=Nothing.


Greg’s final illusion is that he has a righteous mission here and that too is stripped away. He isn’t even allowed the consolation of seeing the world with Rambo’s simplistic sense of right and wrong. Finally there are no illusions and no roles to hide behind, and he faces the truth.

“And I wanted an explanation and I wanted it all to make sense, but it’s just shit.”

The living pile of shit is what Greg has to work with, the most basic understanding of what we are all about.

Once this final truth is faced, only then can Greg begin to move on. Just as manure can be used to grow flowers, his utterly nihilistic realisation is the necessary starting point for Greg to build a meaningful life, tentative and insecure as that is.

Morrison manages to fit a lot into our final scenes with Greg. Having lost everything, he now lives on the margins, but seems to be contributing a lot. As grim as this whole book has been, there has been plenty of black comedy. Exhibit A is the stoner climbing into a garbage compactor thinking it was a stretch limo. It’s also an illustration of the perils that await those who haven’t had their illusions stripped away, as Greg has…

With the video images of Greg’s meeting with Miami Nil we revisit the idea of modern Britain being under permanent surveillance. It’s worth pointing out that much of what we’ve seen has been an exploration of modern life as it comes across in popular tabloid culture. ‘Hoodie’ kids terrorising neighbourhoods, paedophiles everywhere, police brutality, couch potatoes dreaming of winning fortunes while their life passes them by. These things are very mucgh part of teh fabric of modern life in the UK and of the internal mindscape of its people. Grant’s attitude to all this is a big part of where a lot of The Filth’s despair comes from.

I’m having trouble making sense of the beehive in the pram and the nonsense verbiage of the advertisements on P310, but I do love the following, final, two pages.

Some of the descriptions of what’s going on with the I-life, the Next Generation is tricky. Why is there a man and a cat in the final viewscreens? What ‘docking’ are they on about, if they are just healing his hand? Perhaps the ‘docking’ is over time rather than the usual connecting things physically. The I-life in Tony or Sharon has united with Greg and thence to the paralysed stoner.

There is something about how Morrison builds these complex, disjointed, non-linear, non-sequiter laden stories, but they have an accumulative affect once you allow them to work their way into your mind. Whatever alchemy is at work, the accumulation pays off in the final pages with an emotional gut-punch. The Invisibles stunned me with King Mob’s final ‘rescue’ of Ragged Robin, and Jack’s final moments with his friend. Similarly, all the despair of The Filth leads to that one tentative, fragile little truth, buried in the shit:

“We have love.”

Coming after so much pain, and in the context of the fragile I-life bioship, which has come through incredible trauma to this positive mission, that little sentence has a lot of power.

13 is an unusual number for a limited series. 12 is more common. A full year’s worth of standard comics. 12 is traditionally seen as a stable number: 2X 6, 3 X4, a dozen. Everything in life is totted up in the first 12 issues; in turn, everything is stripped away until we are left with Greg’s death amongst the garbage on his kitchen floor at the end of issue 12.

This added issue covers the tiny extra bit of grace we are given. It’s the “but, still…” of the argument. Interdependancy, compassion, love.

The Filth is good shit, my friends.
Mark Sullivan said:
One other thing I meant to comment on: nice symmetry between the title of issue #1 (Us vs Them) and issue #13 (Them vs Us). If the Hand is "them" and humanity is "us," maybe it implies a power shift. Humanity now has the I-Life on its side, to oppose the rigid conformance to StatusQ enforced by the Filth.

I would say there isn't much difference between Us vs Them and Them vs Us. That there was little difference between Them and Us was one of the central messages of The Invisibles. Here we see the idea developed even more. We see how the best tactic in trying to defeat 'the other' is to take on their attributes, to infiltrate them while pretending to be them as Greg does, to allow yourself to be defeated so that your enemy absorbs your characteristics. All those immune system analogies. All of them also involve becoming the enemy too, and finally there is the chance that both groups will become an interdependent stronger whole and progress forward from the encounter.

I think Miami's argument to stop Greg's vengeful rampage at the end is significant.

"The system is perfect Ned. It has to be its all there is.

Attacking the Hand is like fighting your own immune system."


That all this death and misery is part of the perfection process isn't much consolation to those doing the suffering and dying. Which is why the argument doesn't hold much water with Greg in his anger.

Still, the final pages of the book show she might be right...
Don't you think the way the I-Life are presented in the end is significant, though? Showing them in a craft with costumes like the Hand really implies a positive force in opposition to the Hand to me. Or at least dealing with the shit of existence in a different way. I agree that “We have love” is very powerful in context: it's a bright glimmer of hope in all of this darkness.
Certainly, they seem to operate from compassion and love, whereas the Hand's highest value was what it perceived as the Status Quo. They are obviously infinitely more positive than the Hand as we saw them operate up to chapter 12.

As you pointed out earlier, they now look and operate technologically very like the Hand (combined with the Utopian Star Trek: TNG), while the Hand too, might have changed their ways to be more like the I-life. During Greg's rampage they tell him he was now a 'negotiator', just like the I-life were at the beginning. It seems from his last meeting with Miami that Greg understands the Hand aren't as destructive and restrictive anymore. He says he's doing their work but as a freelancer.

It's ambiguous how much the Hand has changed, but that's my reading of it.

And who are Them and Us anyway? It may have been Greg vs the Hand half the time (NB when he wasn't actually doing their work efficiently), but he was also up against his own suspicious close-minded and often offensive neighbours and policemen most of the time too. And the Hand is on our side as often as not insofar as, like the crippled Secret Original, we don't want things to change too much.
Figs, early in this thread you recommended Seven Soldiers of Victory. I'm in the mood for a little Morrisonian superheroics, plus reading the new Madame Xanadu series has put Zatanna back in mind for the first time since The Books of Magic. So I plan to read the TPB collections, one a week, starting this weekend. The trades interleave the various miniseries in publication order. I don't plan to go into these in the detail we've employed with The Invisibles and The Filth, but I'd welcome some discussion.
Sounds good to me. Grant's SSoV is a one-of-a-kind and well worth your time. I can't promise not to start typing and see where it takes me, as I've been doing, but I never expect anyone else to churn out essays or anything. It'll be interesting to see what you make of it, coming to it all fresh.

You'll notice that I've grouped it together in my list above with the other DCU stuff Grant's done since 2004. That's because they all do interlink and build on each other. Members of the 'Ultramarine Corps' in the series that came out in 2004 have just appeared in the latest complete Batman and Robin arc, for instance. SSoV is self-contained (perhaps with one strange exception, as you'll see), but the Ultramarine Corps story is a prologue to it, perhaps written by Grant to bring more mainstream DC fans and fans of his JLA run into the Seven Soldiers storyline.

The Ultramarine Corps miniseries in turn does pick up a few threads from his JLA run, but I'm sure you don't want to hear that. They aren't really important to the story he starts in 2004. I was hoping to cover some of the JLA run before starting to look at Grant's latest stint in the DCU, but it's looking like it'll take me forever to get around to that extended project, so I'll gladly take this chance to look at SSoV.

I've read it at least twice in this trade form, and I was hoping to read the maxi-series one character at a time on this readthrough, but I'm happy to have an excuse to read it in any form. I'll do my best to keep my commentary limited to what you've read so far.

I will say that there are a couple of BIG stories going on in the background, that you can piece to together by gleaning small details from the main stories. That's one of the most innovative storytelling techniques in this most innovative of series.

If I have time, I might reread the Ultramarines Corps 'Prologue' before the weekend.

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