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CSBG Archive

I Can’t Cover What I Am – Morrison Inspiration

In this feature, I spotlight comic book covers that follow a specific theme. Here is an archive of all the cover themes we’ve spotlighted so far.

As you may or may not know, Grant Morrison’s current runs on both Batman and All Star Superman are heavily influenced by Silver Age comics starring Batman and Superman, so I thought a fun gallery would be a few of these influences, so here are ten cool covers that (at least somewhat) inspired Morrison (and Quitely)’s current Superman and Batman runs (and yes, one of these is from 1978, so 9/10 Silver Age)…


Which cover do you dig the most? Can you think of a Silver Age cover that inspired Morrison’s current runs that I didn’t feature? What future themes do you think I should do? Let me know!


Great gallery Brian! This is somewhat tangential (but somewhat not, so I thought I’d ask): Do you know if the Lois Lane/ Jimmy Olsen scene in JLA: Earth 2 was inspired at all by Mad’s classic “Superduperman” story? I just randomly happened to read them back-to-back and that similarity jumped out at me.

See, not completely tangential.

Grant Morrison is going through the least creative phase of his career. I know it’s anathematic to criticize ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, but all this Silver Age regurgitation makes me long for Morrison’s days of wholly original Vertigo books.

Whatever happened to the iconoclast who wrote THE INVISIBLES?

Great selection! There’s only one other that I can think of, the infamous Superman’s Brand New Power issue, with the rainbows shooting out of his hands. Applies to the issue 10 of All-Star Superman.

I’d say that Action Comics #320 (http://image.milehighcomics.com/istore/images/fullsize/01062288700.320.GIF) and #387 (http://image.milehighcomics.com/istore/images/fullsize/01062288700.387.GIF) also fit the criteria. The formers got a nice Superman/Atlas/Hercules moment and the later’s got a crazy million-year old Superman trying to be saved and the tiitle “Even A Superman Dies!”.

God I love the Silver Age.

Whatever happened to the iconoclast who wrote THE INVISIBLES?

He cut back on the drugs.

On a side note, I’d love to see a gallery of all the covers inspired by ROBIN DIES AT DAWN. You could probably find a dozen of them in the BAT titles alone, incl. of course the actual — make that, technical, given the Juddovision — death of Jason Todd.

To say that drugs equal creativity is a pretty strong endorsement for LSD.

Could Bill Hicks have been right all along?

There were people who thought Bill Hicks was wrong?

Robin Dies at Dawn is the first comic book I have a vivid memory of reading. I was five.

What about the Superman comic with the little supermen flying out of his fingers?

How could anyone be an iconoclast and a comic book writer at the same time? Comics is all about icons. The Invisibles was Grant’s magical sigil and he formed it from the archetypes within him. Now he’s tapping into creative archetypes instead. He said at NYCC this weekend, Superman is his siginl now. He’s already done Invisibles. He’s already given us the most personal kind of work we could ask for from any creator… and for my money the Invisibles is one of the best 3 series ever written. But I’m glad he’s doing the pop thing too, and contributing to the collective mythology, because for one he does it better than most, and he’s also able to embed a lot of big ideas into these very basic symbols and stories everyone can understand.

sleeper, Seven Soldiers was a great example of how Morrison can use existing comics properties to spark his own creativity.

What about All Star Superman #4 and its homage to Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen? I know that there are 2 decades worth of that series, but I’m sure one of the covers could be related to that issue.

Wow, this is the era wants to bring back? I know the Silver Age was all about silliness and cute, but damn…the only one of those I’d be interested in reading based on the cover is the Robin issue. Granted, had I been around then, i may have loved them…or thought it was crap and moved on to Marvel. Ah well.

Whether or not Morrison is slumming would be a nice debate…and as creative as he is, he can’t come with something as out there as Doom Patrol or Invisibles every time. Maybe this is something he needs to get out of his system the same way Moore worked at Image…

The point Morrison is trying to make is that this era, while silly on the surface, can be intense if you read between the lines. The best example of this is how weird and disturbing it is to have Superman’s face wrapped in bandages. Also, how weird would it be for Superman if the two girls of his life cast him off for lame copies of him. Morrison treats each of these concepts as if it were REAL and Superman has to deal with that. I don’t see how you can get more psychologically deep than that and it makes for the best work of Morrison’s career.

“Whatever happened to the iconoclast who wrote THE INVISIBLES?”

I know it’s anathematic to criticize ‘The Invisibles’, but I find that shit unreadable.

Do the people who criticize All-Star Superman for being too Silver Age actually read the book, or do they just like to bitch? That book is the best in comics today.

But Jesse, some of us don’t see it that way…we just see it as silly. Like Superman with a lion’s face…or an ant-head. Interesting maybe, but intense? Not so much.

And stealthwise, is it all right if some of us think of All-Star Superman as being a good comic but not the Greatest. Comic. EVER! There’s nothing wrong with us if we don’t get on that particular party line…

Some people see everything in a comic book as silly. I find the Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Millar writing styles that a lot of people around here adore as absolutely risible in its silliness.

Still, people will like what they like, and explaining your tastes probably won’t change anyone else’s unless you’ve got a persuasive argument backing it up.

To be honest, I neither want to nor care if I change people’s minds…just stating my opinion on the subject. And not wanting to be seen as some schlub for not liking or appreciating certain works.

Maybe you need to widen your scope a little then. I’m not defending silver age stories here. I can’t really get into them either but my point is Morrison’s presents a view of them in All Star Superman that is really interesting and has made me re-evaluate my feelings. Superman with a lion’s head or an ant face? Think about it. That’s some Kafka-esque shit right there.

Or just plain shit. Actually, my scope is pretty wide, thank you very much. I have read a lot of Silver Age DC stuff, it’s just not my thing. You see it as widely amazing or whatnot, i see much of it as silly. I can sit through the silver age sillyness of possibly the LSH, and that’s prob more out of my affection for the characters and nice artwork they had on the title during that era than for the actual content of the stories themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy All Star Superman, I just don’t think it’s the greatest thing printed since Action Comics #1. And Morrison hasn’t made me re-evaluate my feelings. My point is, if i want to reread some Silver Age stories, I’ll be in the Marvel section, that’s all.

I will say, the Lana/Lois cover is somewhat refreshing…at least they’re not having a bitch-slapping catfight over Superman.

You’re not getting my point or really listening. As I said before, “I’m not defending silver age stories here. I can’t really get into them either. ” They are stupid and silly I agree. What I am saying is that Morrison does takes them seriously and that says as much about him being insane then the stories being good. What he presents is: ‘imagine if these were real.’ And that is really nuts, which makes it interesting. He has the same affection for Superman as you do for the Legion of Super Heroes, and as a kid was probably completely freaked out by these stories.

One of the things he’s doing with All Star Superman is daring you to look at the silver age through his eyes. He’s also saying that comics should have a little silliness in them and that doesn’t have to diminish what is going on in the story. The world isn’t always super serious and art reflects the world so why should comics always be completely serious? By that I don’t mean that they shouldn’t always deal with real issues but they should have a balance. All Star Superman deals with the death of out greatest modern hero while still showing the lighter side of things. What makes All Star Superman great is that it gives us these complexities. I find that very refreshing.

And you’re not getting mine…even through Morrison’s eyes, I still don’t care for them. He can try as much as he likes, but I just don’t for Silver Age sillyness. I don’t mind the odd Silver Age view, storyline, homage, whatever you want to call it – it works in some Astro City stories – but all it does in All Star Superman is make me groan. Morrison has these tics, just like Claremont has these days, that annoy me. Comics can be silly, yes, but I prefer some good humor the way Peter David or in the Giffen JLA, to name a couple of examples, mix into their comics, which also do not diminish the seriousness of the stories.

Let just agree to disagree, and keep it at that, ok? :)

I agree completely.

I don’t see how people could POSSIBLY think that stories involving impossibly muscled (or chest-area endowed) juvenile power fantasies mincing around in primary colored acrobat uniforms derived from twenties-era circus costumes and shooting lasers out of their bottoms are suited for anything BUT serious drama.

It is if it is done well.

The problem, wwk5d, is that you keep mixing in between subjective and objective points. You keep making objective points like “If it is done well,” but when folks disagree, you go to the subjective, “Everyone can like what they like!”

Everyone can like or dislike whatever they wish, there’s no argument there – there IS an argument when you make objective statements such as “it is not done well.”

So if you really don’t want to continue the discussion, just stick to the subjective.

I don’t see a distinction between the 2, as all comments were made with regards to my own opinions. I guess I should have said “If it is done well, in my opinion”. Sorry if that wasn’t made clear from the start…

grant morrison is one of the greatest comics minds of our time, and you are just a guy with a badly conceived comments alias, wwk5d

What the hell does that mean?

I loved the cover with superwoman bursting in…. so many underlying social truths in that one…kind of prophetic…. I think

“but all this Silver Age regurgitation”
which isnt the case – he is looking cursory with a modern lens over these decades old gems.

and Invisibles might be his weakest effort yet….
what a total mess of “edgy” 90ies Vertigo.

Is it fair to say, that long ago, comicbooks became about REcreation rather than creation? Just a suggestion…


mummy superman is the best cover.

shut up and take my 10 cents.

nice pics for now fans know what silver age batman and supes stuff grant was looking at for ideas at least some of them.

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