Sunday, July 24, 2011
Grant Morrison's SUPERGODS, a swift, personal, and very funny history of comic book superheroes (well, that's what it seems like at first), including perceptive and hilarious asides on such old "blog" "faves" as Jimmy Olsen and The Red Bee: "for Rick Raleigh, only one thing guaranteed his crucial edge over the violent underbelly of society: the hive of trained crime-fighting bees he kept confined in the buckle of his belt... the lead bee and chief offensive weapon in Raleigh's apian arsenal was somewhat endearingly named Michael." But Morrison isn't content merely to poke fun at The Red Bee. He finds it sweet how the Golden Age of comics rediscovered that "Bees could be special, just as they were in medieval illuminated texts and mysteries." There was an early passing reference to George Adamski in the book and I thought, "Hmm, where did I just hear that name?" And then I remembered: JIM MOSELEY'S BOOK OF SAUCER NEWS! Uh-oh! I put the coincidence out of my mind. But about 250 pages in, Morrison suddenly starts going all John Dee on me, laying out autobiographical details about "the darker magical operations I was undertaking" (!) and throwing around sentences worthy of HOW TO CONTACT SPACE PEOPLE, like "Now there were what I can describe only as 'presences' emerging from the walls and furniture. Perhaps someone else would call these rippling, dribbling blobs of pure holographic meta-material angels or extraterrestrials." Perhaps! Can't I get away from this stuff? Remember, he's not talking about comic books anymore. THIS IS HIS REGULAR LIFE. He meets some aliens who seem to be made of neon tubes, then his "silvery blob" friends show him "the secret of the universe," which I don't feel is my place to spoil for you here. Later - in an episode very similar to one that Barry Hannah wrote and talked about a great deal - Morrison gets very sick and goes to the hospital and has a mystical vision of Christ! Anyway, I didn't see that coming. Did you?