TR Comic Review: Grant Morrison’s Annihilator #1


For a bunch of guys who basically sit in our rooms in front of a computer all day, we writers sure do like to think we’re fascinating people. Why, we create whole worlds in our heads and such!

The actual process of doing that – lest anybody’s unclear – is both uninteresting and visually dull. Grant Morrison, however, is determined to make it look motherfucking cool. His writer protagonist, Ray Spass (pronounced “space,” as he reminds people constantly and foreshadowingly) is basically a rock star with a cool haircut, good physique, bisexual proclivities and a fondness for drugs and alcohol that seems romantic as shit in fiction but would probably make him sick to his stomach constantly in real life.

Ray’s writing a sci-fi blockbuster script about a giant black hole. Metaphor alert.

In the real world, Ray just moved into a house that has a history of murder and death to it, plus what appears to be a bottomless pit in the front yard. This all gets incoporated into the space epic he’s writing, in which protagonist Max Nomax moves into a space station by a black hole, where he seeks to find a cure for death. Meanwhile, Ray gets diagnosed with an inpoerable brain tumor, which may explain why he sees shadows of ghosts, hands coming out of the pit…oh, and his protagonist, Max Nomax, now a very real person somehow, sitting in his house. Wanted by the cops.

The Singing Detective (original TV version) is the watermark to which all this kind of stuff aspires, and thus far the parallel realities are working well – it’s a 6-issue miniseries, and a lot will depend on how well Morrison sinks the landing. I’m amused by the way he depicts a writer’s life more as something we all wish we had rather than what we actually do – will non-writers find this as entertaining? I can’t answer that. I can only say I’ll stick around for #2.

Included in the back is a preview for another Legendary comic called Epochalypse, which looks like it might be lighter, more fun fare. At what appears to be a ’50s diner, a cook and a waitress head to the back for what seems to be a romantic tryst, but it turns out that they’re making secret use of a microwave oven. This attracts the attention of some space-armored cops with gun, who demand to have the anachronism – a fight ensues, which ends with the cook whipping out a huge-ass sci-fi blaster.

It’s no “writer with tumor imagines multiple realities,” but sometimes it’s nice when the stakes are just about a microwave.

Annihilator #1 comes out tomorrow.