Grant Morrison Writes ... (Part 3)
O.K., let me ask you another question about continuity. In the past, youíve done a lot of work with DCís continuity. In Animal Man, you pulled a lot of it together and made it work. In Justice League every month youíre busy balancing the continuity of the characters with where theyíre appearing, and youíre trying to balance the Leagueís history with its present. In Doom Patrol, you brought back Mr. Morden.
So—do you actually enjoy playing with all that continuity?
Oh, yeah, I do. Itís kind of an jazzy thing. In your head, there would be no jazz gauge or blues gauge. But in reality, youíve got the twelve-bar blues—and the six-, or whatever you want to use to play it—but within that framework, you can go creative. Thatís kind of what Jimi Hendrix did for me. And itís kind of approaching a comic in the same way.
Thatís a refreshing thing to hear when so many people are talking about continuity as a necessary evil.
Yeah, well, you know, I have a lot of problems with it. But thereís also lots you can do with it. I think it should be a lot more flexible in a sense. For some things, I feel.
You know, someone was talking to me about Justice League 5, and I had Metamorphoís funeral in there. You know Java, whoís the old manservant of Simon Stagg from the first series in the Ď60s? I had him at the funeral, but someone said to me, "You know, Javaís dead." No, I didnít know it at all.
Continuity can be difficult because itís just impossible to know everything when youíre working for a company that spins 800 books a month. So I canít. Iím winging it a lot of the time, hoping it works out.
You were talking about playing the blues—
—and youíve talked a lot over the past couple of years about the punk musicians and their influence on rock-and-roll.
This an arguably comics-related question: Do you consider yourself a punk writer? It seems to show a lot—
Ah, yeah, I guess I do. [Laugh.] Yeah, I mean I grew up in that period. ... [T]hereís no nostalgia in it to me when I look back on it or when I hear the idea of the Sex Pistols reforming, but those attitudes kind of formed me when I was a teen-ager, so I guess itís still there. In things like The Invisibles and even Justice League, you can see it. You know, thereís all this gung-ho, but at the same time I think, hanging around, thereís paranoia.
Since youíre talking about both The Invisibles and Justice League, hereís a question Iíve been wanting to ask you for quite a while: Between the two books, it seems like youíre tackling the whole idea of the team book from two completely different directions.
And youíre doing it at the same company, which is a nice thing to see.
Ten years ago I donít know if that would have been possible. What are the similarities and the differences that you can see between the two books?
Ahhh. The similarities are that thereís a team, and both teams are pretty much super-heroes, as such. The Invisibles is set in something like the real world. I donít know anyone who can do that level of magic or telepathic stuff to that degree, so obviously theyíre super-heroes.
The Invisibles is a comic book aimed at adults but pertaining to young people. But in actual fact—maybe youíve asked me this question before, now I think of it—Iím actually telling the same story in both books, you know.
The same ideas and the same responses to the world are going into both books, even though the Justice League kind of represents order and the Invisibles represent chaos. ... But beyond that, I canít know anymore. Obviously thereís less similarities that differences, but from where I am, you know, Iím writing one one day and then one the next day.
I was just wondering if that was intentional when you began Justice League, since you are planning to bring both books to their climax[es] in 2000, or thereabouts.
Yeah, I donít think it was intentional, but itís almost as if itís psychologically intentional, because somewhere deep down part of your brain is saying, "Do this, do this."
End everything when everything else [ends], I guess.
Yeah. If I can, I kind of trust in that. [Laugh.]
I didnít really make plans for it, and obviously I didnít think when I sat down, "Iíll do Justice League like The Invisibles" because the two just arenít the same. But there is a certain spirit from The Invisibles thatís crossing over to Justice League. Also, some of the weirder speculations of Invisibles are coming up in Justice League—in a lot more simplified form.
Thatís interesting. It reminds me of when Gerard Jones was doing the Justice League Europe book at the same time he was writing [Green Lantern:] Mosaic. I donít know if you read either of those books—
—but there were similar themes handled differently in both books. It was quite a thrill to see how he juggled both of those at the same time.
Yeah, well, now thatís something that I do like to see, but most writers (and particularly in America) will—you know, theyíll either stay in the mainstream or theyíll do the undergrounds. And never the twain shall meet. And I kind of like to see someone doing both.
Let me get back to Justice League for just a moment.
Thereís been a lot of talk about the "mysterious twelfth member." When are we going to see him or her [Morrison laughs] finally joining the League?
So thatís going to come at the conclusion of the big epic?
Well, no, itís actually—sorry, issue 15 is the one thatís following the epic. And thatís going to essentially start off a story called "Camelot," and itís going to involve the team dealing with a new big villain. (Weíre going to introduce him.) And itís the first time weíve seen the big, bad twelve.
Well, Mark Waid recently told us that the twelfth member had indeed been a member of the League in a previous incarnation.
Yeah, it turns out he has—after me, I made such a point that he hasnít.
O.K. I just wanted to make sure there was some truth to that.
Well, I can say that this is one of those things [where] youíve got to know your Justice League from the top.
[Laugh.] Which has everyone around here running back and forth looking for old issues of the Justice League and making guesses.