Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Comics Review: Kid Eternity by Grant Morrison

The problem is that I wanted to like Kid Eternity.
I really did.
I read it when it first came out in 1991.
Hell, I even had a comic with an original Kid Eternity story in it.
So I wanted to like this.
The art by Duncan Fegredo reminds me of Dave McKean. The story was written by Grant Morrison.
So I wanted to like this.
It talks about Big Things, Primal Things.
Well, you get the point.
The story follows Kid Eternity, an ancient, minor-at-best character as he discovers who and what his purpose really is. It follows a comedian as he discovers his role in the bigger picture It talks about the coming change as heaven and hell ascend, with humanity, to the great oneness.
The problem is that I didn't like it.
It was disjointed and confusing.
The art, though beautiful and expressive, didn't convey a narrative.
The story, though it tried hard enough, was choppy at best.
And I know I liked it when I first read.
But that was a great time for comics.
DC was taking every chance, every risk, because they were still getting crushed by the X-titles.
This was part of a wave of books that just went into the realm of the weird, laying the Vertigo groundwork.
Sandman, Animal Man (also by Morrison), Swamp Thing, Shade, The Changing Man.
They talked about the foundations of the universe, about heaven and hell, the nature of reality and who we are.
It was a time of learning and trying things and just going insane.
And, for the most part, it worked. K-E was just not part of 'the most part'.
And that’s OK.
Breaking format is always dangerous, especially when sales are measured month by month.
The failures are to be expected.
Hell, they are to be encouraged!
Failures like this are the result of trying something new. And that’s a good thing.
It means things are growing and changing and I love that.
DC took a lot from that era, though it also left a lot behind, and part of that was an understanding of their own universe.
They keep that in the background, and it pops up randomly, especially with their magic characters.
But even the more 'mainstream' characters grew from it.
Heroes became expressions of the forces of nature; the red, the green, speed.
They became archetypes, neither the first nor the last ones of their line.
You couldn't have had Kingdom Comewithout that sense of God-ness.
Not in my opinion.


No comments: