The Green Lantern #3 and #4 Annotations

posted 7 Feb 2019, 01:19 by Ben Hansom

Annotations for issues #3 and #4 of Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp's The Green Lantern are here!  The annotations for #3 have actually been here for a month but I forgot to link them from the front page!  Any corrections, comments, condemnations, celebrations, send 'em my way either here or via Twitter!

This time around, Sun-Eaters!  Starbreakers!  Space Dolphins?!

Click on the pictures for the annotations for each issue, or here to go straight through to the newest ones.

The Green Lantern #3 Annotations

Hey! You've Got To Clyde Your Love Away - The Annotated Captain Clyde Part Two

posted 26 Jan 2019, 18:05 by Ben Hansom   [ updated 26 Jan 2019, 18:06 ]

Continuing with the second part of the annotations for Grant Morrison's long-lost Captain Clyde comic strip, now up *in its entirety* at  What a time to be alive!

This time around, the Deros move to centre stage as Captain Clyde uncovers an insidious plot by a four thousand year old amorphous blob from Atlantis to rule the world, and has his first encounter with the brain-baffling Belphegor.  All this and the destruction of one of Scottish football's most beloved landmarks awaits...

The link to the relevant Global Variables page is at the top of the annotations and the strips are numbered as per the pics on that site.  Thanks once again to the man behind the mask for sharing this with the rest of us.

Click here for hot annotation action!

Clyde and Seek - The Annotated Captain Clyde Part One

posted 16 Jan 2019, 09:44 by Ben Hansom   [ updated 16 Jan 2019, 14:20 ]

Incredible scenes over the past couple of days, as the heretofore unknown (to me at least) website started posting huge chunks of Grant Morrison's long-lost Captain Clyde comic strip, originally printed in Glasgow local newspaper The Govan Press from 1979 to 1982.  As of this writing, we're at strip 66, so just over a third of the way through the 150 page run, with plans - it seems - to put the lot up.

Morrison was 19 and, like his hero Chris Melville, terminally unemployed when the strip began.  The Govan Press paid Morrison £4 a strip initially (about £20 or $26 in today's money), rising to £6 (basically the exact same amount of money, accounting for inflation) by the time the run ended.  When that end came - 3 years almost to the day since the strip began - it was in the middle of an epic saga of Captain Clyde versus Satan, truncated to just 11 installments from the original 30, and cruelly replaced by a syndicated Tom & Jerry strip, with extreme prejudice.

It struck me reading through the first few chapters that there's a lot of Scotland-centric and/or extremely dated contemporary references in there, so as someone who was barely born when the strip started, isn't Scottish and has literally never been to Glasgow I thought I'd be the best person to walk you through it...  Yeah, actually, feel free to help me out with that as much as possible please.

Captain Clyde Annotations - Part 1

The Green Lantern #2 Annotations

posted 10 Dec 2018, 05:52 by Ben Hansom

Who are the Blackstars?  Why does that guy have an exploding volcano for a face?  The annotations for The Green Lantern #2 by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp are here, all dressed-up and ready to go.

As ever, please do get in touch if you've any comments or corrections.

The Green Lantern #1 Annotations

posted 7 Nov 2018, 15:16 by Ben Hansom

The annotations for The Green Lantern #1 by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp are here, large and in charge,and - holy shit! - done on the same day the comic came out rather than, err two and a half years later or whatever.  Aim is to keep up the schedule so you keep coming back to read 3,000+ words of my witterings rather than three or four tweets by Liam Sharp that give you basically the same info.  Here's hoping!

Such a great comic, even better than I hoped it would be to be honest, am super psyched for what's to come.

Get in touch if you've any comments or corrections, or hell, if you just fancy shooting the shit about this stuff.

Is This A Page From Grant Morrison's 'Hypercrisis' pitch?

posted 22 Oct 2018, 15:34 by Ben Hansom   [ updated 22 Oct 2018, 15:37 ]

At various points over the past twenty years, Grant Morrison has teased snippets of what might have happened in his proposed (and ultimately rejected) Hypercrisis crossover, a slam-bang DC universe-wide sequel to Crisis on Infinite Earths that was initially pitched in the late 90's - possibly with Mark Waid onboard as co-conspirator - back when Morrison was still writing JLA.  From a 2002 interview with Sequential Tart -

"My one regret about my brief falling out with DC after the 'Superman Incident' is that I didn't get to do my Hypercrisis series at DC to explain all this stuff and set up a whole new playground. It's the one thing I could still be arsed doing with classical superheroes. If I ever go back, I'll explain the whole Hypertime thing and recreate the Challengers of the Unknown as Challengers: Beyond the Unknown.

It's one thing I still want to do. It had a monster eating the first few years of the 21st century and Superman building a bridge across this gaping hole in time. A bridge made of events. The Guardians of The Multiverse and a new Green Lantern Corps made up of parallel reality Green Lanterns, the Superman Squad and the mystery of the Unknown Superman of 2150 etc, etc. There's a huge synopsis filled with outrageous stuff."

One thing we do know for sure is that when Morrison re-signed with DC in 2003, one of the first things he pitched was a rejigged version of Hypercrisis, now titled Crisis in Hypertime.  Though newly installed executive editor Dan Didio was sold on the idea, president and publisher Paul Levitz ultimately rejected the series once again, believing that the Hypercrisis concept was not strong enough to hang a company-wide crossover on.  The big event slot for 2004 was ultimately filled by the moribund Identity Crisis, while the plan for a direct sequel to the original Crisis was picked up with Geoff Johns' Infinite Crisis the following year.

As you might imagine, despite the rejection, a bunch of this stuff ended up getting used elsewhere - the Unknown Superman and the Superman Squad appeared in All-Star Superman, a bastardized version of the Challengers Beyond the Unknown appeared in Countdown (ughhh), and the whole 'Guardians of the Multiverse' thing fits pretty neatly with Operation: Justice Incarnate from The Multiversity.  Other elements from Hypercrisis that Morrison has mentioned elsewhere also got put to good use - the series was intended to open with a major character's shocking death, originally Captain Marvel but changed to J'onn J'onzz for the later Final Crisis; and, to goose the sales figures, every issue was going to be a #1, a tactic later employed with The Multiversity.

Today, whilst trawling the ancient comics internet #content mines for nuggets just like those, I found this 2015 Facebook post from Dan Didio, reminiscing on the road to Infinite Crisis and accompanied by a single page from "The Land of Busted Pitches" showing "the first serious attempt at pulling the continuity together during my tenure" -

Is this a page from the 2004 version of the Hypercrisis pitch, renamed as "CRISIS II or CRISIS IN INFINITE FUTURES"?

A chronovore (the 'Hyper Time Drive'-powered Infinite Man, from Paul Levitz's Legion of Super-Heroes run) is devouring time, necessitating a bridge made of events be built to reconnect the future and the past?  Hell yeah, that *really* sounds like Morrison's pitch from his interview quote up top there, eh?  But, whilst the idea itself is a dead on match, some of the details - trying to make Kingdom Come villain Gog happen yet again as some sort of major threat; including extremely obscure early 80's Superman backup strip 'Superman 2020' as one of the headline possible futures of the DC Universe - sound waaay more like a Mark Waid joint, while some of the other stuff sounds suspiciously like what Geoff Johns would go on to do in his post-Infinite Crisis JSA run (Gog, again), Flashpoint and Doomsday Clock

Indulging Didio's irrational hatred of Dick Grayson is something I reckon DC writers of that period (and beyond) just had to get on board with tbh, and it seems fairly obvious that by 2004 the higher-ups had long since decided that Clark and Lois's marriage was a mistake - undoing it is also a major story beat in Morrison/Waid/Millar and Peyer's Superman 2000 pitch from 1999.  Could Crisis II / Crisis In Infinite Futures have been pitched as an editorially driven group effort, much like 52 which followed maybe a year or less after this? 

Maybe, who knows?..

Not me, that's for sure.  But I'll bet Chris Roberson does...

Panel from 2011's Superman #708 by Chris Roberson, art by Eddy Barrows

DC Publishes Grant Morrison's Pitch For 'The Green Lantern'

posted 1 Aug 2018, 11:48 by Ben Hansom

Headline kind of speaks for itself really doesn't it?  From this week's DC Nation #3, the (heavily redacted) original pitch for Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp's upcoming The Green Lantern, launching this November.

Green Lantern as a cosmic police procedural sounds... kind of a boring and obvious take to be honest, but I'm sure Morrison and Sharp will absolutely kill it in the execution.  And of course the prospect of a bunch of cosmic callbacks to DC's past is, as you might imagine, right up my alley.  I absolutely will be doing annotations for it, and if you're very good, I might even get them done on time/finish them.  A tantalising prospect, no doubt...

The Unseen Grant Morrison - How To Become A Werewolf

posted 12 Jul 2018, 10:59 by Ben Hansom

A rarely seen cut-up comic from the back page of Bombs Away Batman!!!, a fanzine put together by Grant Morrison and his bandmates in The Mixers back in 1983.  The panels that make up the bulk of the strip were most likely cut from various Marvel UK reprint titles from the mid to late 1970's, and give a good idea of what teenage Morrison might've been reading around then (lots of Starlin Captain Marvel, clearly).  It's mildly amusing to me that all of these are almost certainly taken from flimsy British reprint books - take a pair of scissors to a *proper* comic??  Never!!

A full list of what comes from where follows after the strip itself, Strictly For The Heads.

Title - "HOW TO BECOME A WEREWOLF!” from WORLDS OF FEAR #10 (Fawcett, 1953).  UK reprint in SPELLBOUND #63, published by L. Miller & Son, ~1965 - Panel 1 – “IT BEGAN WITH ATOMIC WAR!” from ‘Machine Age!’ in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #17 (Marvel, August 1954) by Stan Lee (probably) and Sid Check.  UK reprint in PLANET OF THE APES #23 (March 28th 1975) - Panel 2 – “NOW ALL THAT REMAINS IS THE… RAVAGERS!” From CAPTAIN MARVEL #29 (November 1973) by Jim Starlin.  UK reprint in MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL #227 (January 26th 1977) - Panel 3 – “ONCE AGAIN THE DEAD VOID OF SPACE LIES ALONE AND QUIET…”, from CAPTAIN MARVEL #29 (November 1973) by Jim Starlin.  UK reprint in MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL #227 (January 26th 1977) - Panel 4 – “…A LAND OF DARKNESS… AND DEEP NIGHT!” from CONAN THE BARBARIAN #23 (February 1973) by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor Smith.  UK reprint in AVENGERS #102 (August 8th 1975) - Panel 5 – “…AND PERHAPS THAT WAS ALL I NEEDED!” from CAPTAIN MARVEL #29 (November 1973) by Jim Starlin.  UK reprint in MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL #227 (January 26th 1977) - Panel 6 – “END” from CAPTAIN MARVEL #29 (November 1973) by Jim Starlin.  UK reprint in MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL #227 (January 26th 1977) - Panel 7 – Electro at the Pyramids, Electro figure by Steve Ditko.  Panel from a Marvel UK recycling competition, appears in AVENGERS #102 (August 8th 1975) - Panel 8 – “KONG! HE SAID HIS NAME WAS KONG!  I KNEW THEY’D DO A REMAKE OF THAT FLICK SOMEDAY – BUT THIS IS TOO MUCH!!” art from CONAN THE BARBARIAN #23 (February 1973), by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor Smith.  UK reprint in AVENGERS #102 (August 8th 1975), “KONG!” dialogue from AVENGERS #70 (November 1969) by Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema.  UK reprint in AVENGERS #104 (September 13th 1975) - Panel 9 – “THE TRUTH WILL DISPEL ALL CONFUSION.  THE TRUTH WILL SHOW THE ENEMY” from CAPTAIN MARVEL #29 (November 1973) by Jim Starlin.  UK reprint in MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL #226 (January 26th 1977) - Panel 10 – “WITH THE WISH COMES THE REALITY!” from CAPTAIN MARVEL #29 (November 1973) by Jim Starlin.  UK reprint in MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL #227 (January 26th 1977) - Panel 11 – “THE MENTAL CHANGE HAS TO COME FROM WITHIN!” from CAPTAIN MARVEL #29 (November 1973) by Jim Starlin.  UK reprint in MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL #227 (January 26th 1977) - Panel 12 – “THE APES -- THEY’RE HERE!” from AMAZING ADVENTURES #18 (May 1973) by Gerry Conway, Neal Adams and Howard Chaykin.  UK reprint (with Killraven renamed Apeslayer and dialogue altered from ‘Martians’ to ‘Apes’) in PLANET OF THE APES #23 (March 28th 1975) - Panel 13/14 - “DEATH TO DOCTOR DEATH!”  “BUT IS IT DEATH TO THIS ARCH CRIMINAL?” from DETECTIVE COMICS #29 (July 1939), reprinted in BATMAN: FROM THE 30’S TO THE 70’S (UK version published by Spring Books, 1972) - Panel 15 – “FAREWELL!” from CAPTAIN MARVEL #29 (November 1973) by Jim Starlin.  UK reprint in MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL #227 (January 26th 1977)

The Best Grant Morrison Comic of 2018, 'Nuff Said

posted 11 Jul 2018, 04:58 by Ben Hansom   [ updated 22 Oct 2018, 15:45 ]

WildCATS #2 by JP Gluteaux, adapted from Grant Morrison's original script in the Wildstorm: A Celebration of 25 Years hardcover.  Available now from all good Dark Web retailers, where all them drugs and guns are sold,  Verwirrung! 👍🏻

Promoerotic - JLA

posted 10 Jul 2018, 02:47 by Ben Hansom   [ updated 10 Jul 2018, 02:49 ]

Deep Space Transmissions is back from the dead baby!  Gearing up for the rumoured (cough cough) Grant Morrison/Liam Sharp Green Lantern announcement at SDCC, I thought it would be wise to stretch the old blogging muscles again (it's been awhile) before launching headlong into another monthly annotations-fest.  Nothing too strenuous though, so here for your viewing pleasure is a gallery of promotional items for Grant and Howard Porter's JLA run back in the late 90's / early 00's.

All of these items were only available via giveaways or sent directly to retailers for the purposes of promoting the JLA series that began in 1996.  Nothing here was available to buy directly at the time, though all of it has since surfaced on eBay of course (some of it significantly more often than others).  I've tried to restrict myself to stuff that's explicitly tied to the Morrison/Porter JLA run, though there were of course other Justice League promotional items that came out in this period.  As a rule of thumb anything drawn by Barry Kitson is out (as the intention there would be to promote the Kitson-drawn JLA: Year One mini-series), as is anything painted by Alex Ross (who reportedly hated Kyle Rayner with a rare passion and, I think, barely if ever painted anything with the Morrison/Porter Big Seven line-up).  And this Tom Mandrake JLA poster from '98 is actually a page from Martian Manhunter #0, with a JLA logo slapped on it, so that's pretty weird and definitely not what we're looking at here.

For a more comprehensive look at the bigger Justice League merch picture, both around this time and either side of it, head on over to the late lamented Cosmic Teams site here.

Interesting to see that, despite it being DC's biggest selling title at the time, once One Million was over and done with DC basically didn't bother promoting the core JLA title again until Earth 2 came out after Morrison's run had finished.  Is no wonder he jumped ship to go and do X-Men eh?

1" JLA Button given away at the 1996 San Diego Comic Con

B&W uncorrected preview of JLA #2, sent to retailers and letter writers/reviewers.  Similar proofs of #1, #3 and #16 also exist

JLA retailer-only mobile, 1996.  There was also apparently a roll of wallpaper border available, though I can't think I've ever seen a picture of it.

JLA Month promo t-shirt, 1997

JLA #16, "What Does It Take To Join Their Ranks?" Promo poster, 1998

17x22" DC One Million promo poster, from the retailer promo pack, 1998

JLA Earth 2 promo poster, 2000

B&W uncorrected preview of JLA #1, given away to attendees of the JLA panel at the 1996 San Diego Comic Con

JLA counter stand/book bin, sent to retailers to display JLA #1, 1996

JLA / WildCATS promo poster, 1997

JLA Month "Strength In Numbers!" poster, 1997

DC One Million promo pack - contained a t-shirt, an ad slick, 1x black and white poster, 2x colour posters, a laminated "As Me About the 853rd Century" card and a bundle of "Passport to the 853rd century" fold-ups, 1998

DC One Million promo poster, from the retailer promo pack, 1998

JLA Earth 2 4pg preview giveaway, 2000

Diamond PREVIEWS catalogue cover, September 1996.  Apparently the background colour of issue #1 was changed from red to green so as to not give away where the Pantheon were really from too early

'The World's Greatest Heroes Together Again!"  Retailer promo poster for JLA #1, 1996

JLA Month retailer promo pack, July 1997.  Includes t-shirt, mini-folders, poster and second printings of JLA #10 and #11

JLA Month promo folders.  These are very small, probably only 5x3" or thereabouts, 1997

DC One Million promo t-shirt, 1998

34x22" Large DC One Million promo poster including checklist, 1998

JLA Earth 2 promo bookmark, 2000

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