As announced earlier today, Grant Morrison has signed a two-year exclusive contract with DC Comics and will be launching some very different material from the company that made him famous. Morrison spoke at length about a variety of subjects in a jam-packed panel at the Comic-Con International in San Diego.
The first topic discussed was the idea of the self-aware universe he'd be developing in DC. Morrison said that the DCU is so complex and vast, with rules that dictate how things must happen that it's like computing- things will and must happen regardless of a writer's whims. Characters also have their own rules- Batman doesn't kill for example- so the characters dictate what is done with them: they're alive to a certain degree. This "self awareness" will be part of Morrison's work in DC. "I'm going to wake up the DC universe," Morrison said.
When asked about how retcons might hurt or kill the self aware universe, Morrison says he believes they add depth, by offering new takes, and he noted that readers can always read their old issues if they don't like the new perspectives.
The topic of "The Filth," his maxi series at DC Comics, came up and Morrison said it was a story that wrote itself. "It's a scary thing ... had me in it's grip... it's a hymn to immune system."
Morrison's made a name for himself also with his political remarks and believes that the cynical attitude of many fans after the new millennium began is due to one reason. "They're upset because aliens didn't turn up," laughed Morrison.
In terms of the current war against terrorism, Morrison says, "The only way we can make a difference is to make a difference in ourselves."
The conversation inevitably shifted to "New X-Men," which Morrison will be leaving as of #154 and will be destroying the Marvel Universe in issue #150 and #151! He also says that his final issue can be seen as the end of the X-Men if one so wishes.
While Morrison saw "JLA" as a series about gods and archetypal characters with little personality, who were best suited for big tales, the "New X-Men" series is different. He sees X-Men as a book about relationships, where character is more important than plot, whereas the opposite was true in "JLA." The X-Men are to challenge the status quo in Morrison's mind and must always be sexy, while representing the teen years, the harsh trials of adolescence and the tribulations with it.
The character of Beak was also slated to die much earlier but Morrison says that Beak became too special and wrote himself into his current situation. The Scottish scribe added that no X-Men will die in his run but that they will all evolve in some way.
In terms of DC's projects with DC, one of the six will be with Frank Quitely and Morrison admits to having an idea for Captain Marvel Junior, the guy he calls the "blue guy." He wants to do less cerebral work and do more "heartbreaking" work, such as his "Animal Man," which Morrison read recently and said brought him to tears. One of these will be an Islamic sci-fi series and another called "Indestructible Man," a Kirby-esque series. Another series was called "We3," though CBR News must admit to the language barrier potentially causing a mangling of that title.
A fan asked if the JLA could beat the X-Men and Morrison said the JLA would win by Batman telling the X-Men they have problems... And then they would, causing them to loose.
Morrison also offered his cure for a hangover. "Don't drink or live in Scotland all the time and drink."