Final Crisis and Batman R.I.P. (and annotations)

October 22nd, 2008 by

I’ve finally caught up on the main Final Crisis books, which shouldn’t have been hard since there are only three out right now, as well as Batman R.I.P., which is still in progress as well. Ah, Grant Morrison. You kooky, wacky Grant Morrison. I love reading you, I really do. But man, I still think you’re leaving out some of the words. Maybe some of the word balloons. Perhaps even some panels or even pages. Grant, when you read the comic, are there extra panels in your mind that we don’t see? Do you write a page, keep a page in your head, and then write another page? I mean, I understand what’s going on–for the most part–but it just seems like the story jumps a few times. Jumps like Batman jumping from rooftop to rooftop. And sometimes those jumps are really long jumps, which Batman is able to clear a lot better than I am.

Grant Morrison gets spoken about on a lot of podcasts, he gets a lot of press, and feelings about him run pretty strong. There are videos of him, including one of him speaking at Disinfocon, available to view on YouTube. I think the man is a great writer, but I have to be honest. Sometimes I’m unsure about his “storytelling” ability. I also think there’s a bit of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” going on with him. I really do think that there are a lot of people who have a difficult time following Morrison’s writing, but are afraid of admitting it for fear that they’ll be considered dumb, or at the very least, not discerning readers. And some of his stuff is easier to follow than other things. His run on X-Men seemed a bit more straight forward. I haven’t read his Animal Man or Doom Patrol in years, but I know he got a bit out there in those titles.

For Final Crisis and Batman RIP, we now live in the age of the Internet, and fortunately we have resources. Douglas Wolk and Gary Greenwood, who both have sites up annotating Final Crisis, and Timothy Callahan, who is annotating Batman RIP, do a lot of the legwork for us. All three sites go page by page and panel by panel, noting who characters are, what their historical significance is, what their relevance is to the current plotline. Readers guides for these somewhat convoluted stories, if you will. These guys have all gone above and beyond, helping us, the gentle reader, keep from pulling our hair out trying to keep track of everything, especially through delays in releases. Maybe that’s Grant’s diabolical plan–to induce baldness among comics readers around the world, and thus make his audience over in his own image. One of these days, someone is going to collect all of these annotations together into a comprehensive tome: The Annotated Grant Morrison. It’ll be a bestseller.

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4 Responses to “Final Crisis and Batman R.I.P. (and annotations)”

  1. Charles Raymond Says:

    thank you for the annotation links and letting me know that I am not the only one who sometimes has to shake his head and go “huh” when trying to follow Mr. Morrison’s stories.

  2. Martin Says:

    I listened to the DisinfoCon talk last night, (on youtube, but it was mostly open in another tab while I played a game on kongregate), and he’s got some interesting things to say. Clearly totally crazy, but interesting none the less.

  3. Gary Greenwood Says:

    Thanks for the mention about my annotations website – might want to change the link in the article, though, as it points to my other blog which is more to do with my writing.

    The annotations can be found at


  4. Chad Says:

    Jason, you are right on the mark with Morrison’s Final Crisis. I was doing alright though issue one but issue two just started to become a jummbled mess. That is the point that I became furstrated enough to quit picking it up as it came out and wait till I could find the issues at half price books or in cheap bins. It disappoints me that this is supposed to be DC’s must read universe altering, chacter changing event and it ends up being so hideously disjointed that they may need another “Crisis” series to fix this “Crisis”.
    I have been picking up Morrison’s back issues of Batman and it does seem as though he is more concentrated on storytelling in that (at least in the start of his run). Maybe it is the Editor’s work on the New X-Men and Batman that make those an enjoyable read.
    Thanks for the review Jason.