Grant Morrison Writes ... (Part 4)

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Itís ... more important to have a guy like
[Animal Man] in a super-hero universe than it is
to have him in a Vertigo universe where ... everyone
stands for animal rights or somebodyís rights.

So—one of the most popular rumors ... around is that the twelfth member is Buddy Baker. Are you really interested in writing Animal Man again after so many years and all the changes the characterís gone through since you handled him?

Ah, Iím interested in it just to take him back. And Iíd like to do this as Animal Man after the issue that I finished with. Because I think once it crossed over into Vertigo, it became a completely different type [of] comic, and I donít think it bore much relation to the super-hero stuff that Iíd been doing. And I kind of felt it lost something.

As much as the comic was well-written, I think it was wrong to take that character out of his costume and turn him into something like Swamp Thing for animals.

But I kind of want—I want to see him back in the costume, but standing for animal rights. Itís always more important to have a guy like that in a super-hero universe than it is to have him in a Vertigo universe where, you know [laughs], everyone stands for animal rights or somebodyís rights.

Very good point.

And I think he works better as a costumed character. Heís a lot more credible.

And also, "Animal Man" is another good name. Itís a great concept. You know, other companies donít have Ďem, and itís at the nature level. The thing I like about those core characters, particularly in the Justice League, are that each one is representative of something simple—and particularly the older ones, obviously, like Superman and Batman. So even someone like Animal Man, he represents something. Heís kind of the animal kingdomís representative in humanity. And so heís destined to model as a super-hero. I think heís got to meet with other super-heroes.

Thatís interesting.

But I won't tell you who the twelfth member is. [Both laugh.]

Well, Iím not even going to ask.

[Laugh.]

I donít want to ruin the fun of guessing for a couple of months. As long as Previews doesnít tell us, Iíll be perfectly happy.

I hope not.

Many people have said that there are two versions of all the DC characters whoíve "gone over" to Vertigo, that there are two Swamp Things, two Constantines, two Animal Mans—

What do you think about that? Do you think thereís a Vertigo Animal Man and a DC Universe Animal Man?

Well, I think thatís obviously happened now. I mean, I donít think it was a good idea to let it happen, but it has happened, and weíll just have to deal with it.

And I think characters like Swamp Thing (who still kind of crosses over) are complete ones—and also, Constantine should be in the DC Universe. In fact, when Alan Moore created John Constantine, it was that character—without being changed. He still wore the trenchcoat, he still was running in a different crowd, but he also met super-heroes. And I like that stuff. I think itís there.

Iíd rather ... be forced to write [that] those Vertigo characters are in the DC Universe.

A lot of people have sort of forgotten how firmly Neil Gaiman entrenched Sandman in the DCU.

Oh, again, yeah! I mean, theyíve forgotten that he met the Justice League. And Neil also included words to that effect in a lot of it, and even in "The Wake," with, you know, the Martian Manhunter and Batman and Clark Kent.

Well, let me ask you this—

And if I can convince Neil, Iím hoping to get the Sandman in Justice League.

Oh, really?

Yeah.

Now that would be interesting.

Yeah? Yeah, Iíve got so many people [who] think thatís great, but weíll still have to clear it all with Neil, so itís still, ah—itís still a dream.

That would do a lot to tear down the wall thatís been unofficially erected.

Yeah, well, I think it should be done, Ďcause I think— And, also, just to kind of reply to Neilís Justice League in Sandman, Iíd do a Sandman in Justice League.

So if you were to handle Animal Man again, would you attempt to reconcile all the Vertigo stories with what you would want Buddy to be now?

No.

Or at least give a nod to those [stories]?

No, no. Iíd start as if my last issue was the last time we saw Animal Man. Or wherever—even the last issue that he had the costume and everything. Iím permitted to do anything ... .

That would be very interesting to see.

But personally, because I wrote Animal Man in the way that it was written—the way that I came out and said, "This guy can change. Whoever writes him will change him"—thatís almost got about it a failsafe that I can come back and everyone knows in the back of their mind again that I donít mind going back if itíll come down their way.

I still think in Animal Man you managed to create the perfect "out" to explain continuity.

Yeah.

Actually, Iím rather impressed with that.

Well, Iíd like to see more people use it, and not just Alan Moore. [I]tís an idea just to say every book in the DC Universe is like a committee. The people who run those universes donít know whatís happening [everywhere], but they do have partial responsibility.

How did you feel about John Ostrander following up on your continued existence in the DCU by tossing you into the mix in Suicide Squad?

I was thoroughly amused by it. [Laugh.]

[Laugh.] I was as well.

Yeah, Iím waiting for them to bring back the Dark Writer as well.

[Laugh.] I thought it would have been quite a surprise, though, to have you running about through the DCU, sort of amok [Morrison chuckles], the real person trapped in a fictional universe.

Yeah, well, itís almost happened to our universe. Iím in there, and Iím running amok.

[Laugh.]

continue ...


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