At New York Comic Con, io9 met up with famed comic scribe Grant Morrison. We picked his brain about such topics as the RZA, Batman and Superman's S&M games, and that time Wonder Woman built a sneaky sculpture of herself out of cured ham.
Grant Morrison: For me, it's just that when I was a kid, the first comic I really picked up on as fan was Len Wein's Justice League #100 with the Justice Society. It really introduced me to alternate realities. Suff like the Anti-Matter Man and JLA,/JSA team-ups. For me, comics have always been about alternate versions of characters you've seen before. There's a whole bunch of artists we're trying to secure for Multiversity. Frank Quitely's doing the first one. He's halfway through — we've got a bunch of other people, but I can't say names yet. The only other name we ever mentioned was Cameron Stewart who we hope will be doing Captain Marvel. We'll just have to negotiate that and Seaguy with him.
Also, your run on Batman Incorporated is coming to a close soon. What do you have planned for your final Batman stories?
Grant Morrison: We're basically putting together all the stories from the past six years, specifically those about [Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul's son] Damian Wayne, because it's really about him. We're tying together every single stray story strand.
Some other big news this week was the RZA-directed movie adaptation of Happy, which has just seen a single issue released so far. How did you get the Wu-Tang Clan frontman onboard for this project about a hitman (maybe) hallucinating a blue pegasus?
Grant Morrison: The comic came out, and we got a call from the RZA, who was really keen on it. We met up in Los Angeles and really got along. It was fantastic! The first thing we talked about was UFOs, magic, and really esoteric stuff. We really got along, so it seemed like a great idea.
Did he teach you the secrets of the 36 Chambers?
Grant Morrison: We haven't gotten to that, but I'm sure that's part of the initiation!
RZA has composed crackerjack scores for such films as Ghost Dog and Kill Bill. Do you see him doing the score for Happy?
Grant Morrison: Obviously, he's got the skills to do it. I'd love to see what he'd do with it, but I don't know if that's in the plan right now.
In my bag, I have a stack of Silver Age comic books with deranged covers. On the cover image alone, please explain immediately how YOU would write this story. [io9 pulls out an issue of World's Finest #150, at left.]
Grant Morrison: I would take the balloons out of the whole thing and get started on what's going on down there. [Points to Batman.] There's severe Batman bondage happening! That's worse than what Wonder Woman ever had to put up with! For me, the balloons are just a diversion. It's really just about Superman and Batman in some really strange yellow and green bondage room. What I'd like to do is see them left there for 200 years.
Would you consider your just announced Legendary Comics miniseries Annihilator* — which is about a writer going on an unintended road trip with a pulp character he created — in the tradition of your other metatextual work like Flex Mentallo and Animal Man?
Grant Morrison: I've done a lot of that, particularly in Happy. This one's more about a guy writing what he thinks is a fictional character and the guy comes up knocking at his door. It's not so much that other people can't see him and isn't real. He is real and it's about how we explain this. It's six issues, and I'm at the second one [As for the pulp aspect,] I was looking at the antihero tradition that goes back to Fantômas, and the various versions of him, also antiheroes like Diabolik.
You also signed on for a Wonder Woman: Earth One graphic novel with Yanick Paquette. What are your plans for that?
Grant Morrison: It's all about trying the reconnect with [Wonder Woman creators'] William Marston's ideas. He was all obsessed with this bondage thing, the idea of men being submissive to women. And I think Wonder Woman lost a lot of her charge when Marston died. The sales went down and never really recovered, even though there have been a lot of great versions of her. I just wanted to do my take on her, and see what happens when you brought back some of that stuff, but do it in a contemporary way. You can't really get way with [bondage] anymore — it's not 50 Shades of Wonder Woman. But it involves a lot of that stuff in a modern way, such as her relationship with Steve Trevor and why he's a bit of a boring character. It's about how men see women, women see men, and all of the mistakes we make.
Will you have Wonder Woman make a decoy mannequin out of ham and cheese?
Grant Morrison: The ham and cheese has been done. I might do something else. Maybe pickles or gherkins! There are all kinds of mannequins that can be made!