What I thought of Annihilator #5

Thoughts about #1#2#3 and #4.

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I’m a bit late with this review mainly because I totally forgot all about it. This isn’t that memorable a series though as I’ve said, had this come out in the early or mid 1990’s, this would have been a fantastic series rather than going over the same ground that Morrison’s trodden into a trench by by now.

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It’s not that Annihilator isn’t an engaging story, it is, but it’s so tired in it’s characterisations with the moody anti-hero, the Hollywood druggie writer and the sassy female lead that could have appeared in any mainstream comic over the last couple of decades.

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Even Fraser Irving’s art makes it look like a product of the 90’s, and his art is good, but again, it’s like a 90’s band dragging itself out for one more album and tour to pay off a tax bill. This however could me being entirely cynical.

This isn’t a bad comic, just uninspiring which is a huge pity as you expect better from these creators.

What I thought of Annihilator #4

Thoughts about #1#2 and #3

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Annihilator with each issues really is the sort of comic that would have made a serious impact, but now it’s going over old ground, and with the splendid Rick Spears comic, The Auteur, covering some of the same ground in an angrier, wittier way, this seems somewhat old and frankly, a bit tired in place, though it is still fun in places and at least tries to move along at a fair old pace.

annihilator7For all it’s flaws though, Annihilator is a very readable action/adventure comic that does tell a nice wee story, but by no means is this the best thing you’ll read this month.

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If however you like Frazer Irving’s art, then this comic is a must. It’s some of his best work on display here, which is really the main reason people should pick this comic up for some lovely stuff.

What I thought of Annihilator #3

Thoughts about #1 and #2.

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I’m sort of enjoying Annihilator in the same way I sometimes listen to Iron Maiden and pretend I’m still 13 and learning what my willy is for. When I think about it afterwards I feel remorse and guilt but a little frisson of joy at reliving something from my youth and this is the case with Annihilator.

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This comic is the equivalent of Blondie playing at Glastonbury. It’s fantastic at the time and will live in the memory as something you enjoyed, but you can’t help but think that you saw them when they were at their pomp rather than reliving past glories at the twilight of their career.

We’re still finding out more about Max Nomax and the ‘data bullet’ he implanted in Ray Spass’s head which has to be downloaded as a script for the film Ray is writing. I do get the feeling this is Morrison trying to give a little of himself to the reader but it seems all so forced while the soap opera Ray is trying to tell is in itself a fun read. There’s a sense of comfortable middle aged rebellion here from a writer who’s made himself wealthy through his talent telling a story of a failed writer trying to find a spark of creativity through his creation which has come to life. Doctors would have a field day trying to unravel the potential problems being thrown out here.

We do find out more about Ray this issue, we see how Max Nomax has influenced culture on Earth and we see a more pressing threat arrive on planet Earth to find Nomax, and it is all fun. But it’s light on originality.

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Of course another word has to be said for Fraser Irving’s art which is splendid, if somewhat 90’s in feel at times but then again it’s 2014, we’re allowed to wallow in the past.

What I thought of Annihilator #2

Thoughts about #1.

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Issue two of Grant Morrison’s Annihilator tends to confirm my thoughts about the first issue that this would have been better published say, 20 years ago as this is more of Morrison going over old ground, however it’s not all bloated cover versions of his own work Morrison is doing here as he’s happily pilfering again from the likes of Michael Moorcock and Alan Moore.

This issue opens with screenwriter Ray Spass facing his creation Max Nomax as Spass is trying to kill himself. Again this is Morrison playing with the real and the fictional as both worlds collide, but it feels lumpy and leaden as Spass threatens to kill Nomax who he assumes is a hallucination brought on by his terminal condition.

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So we the reader aren’t sure whether Nomax is actually real, or as Spass thinks, a figment of his imagination brought on by his brain tumour, however Noamx prompts Spass to write and continue telling the story of Max Nomax which throws us back into a actually quite wonderfully overblown and pompous space opera.

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For all the cliches and feelings that Morrison hasn’t only just been down this road before, Annihilator isn’t a bad comic at all. In fact, it’s bloody good but it feels like something from the 1990’s more in this issue than the previous. It doesn’t feel like it’s doing or saying anything new apart from telling a pretty good story well with some fantastic Fraser Irving art.

It just feels like lumpy soup that warms you up on a winter’s night but you forget about before you go to bed.

What I thought of Annihilator #1

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Annihilator is the new comic from writer Grant Morrison which is described by it’s publisher Legendary Comics as:

Washed-up Hollywood screenwriter Ray Spass is caught in a downward spiral of broken relationships, wild parties and self-destruction. Out of luck and out of chances, he’s one failed script away from fading into obscurity. Little does he know he’s about to write the story of his life. As his imagination runs rampant, Ray must join forces with his own fictional character Max Nomax on a reality-bending race to stop the entire universe from imploding – without blowing his own mind in the process.

If it sounds a bit familiar it’s because the idea of an ordinary, ‘real’ person meeting their fictional creation, or vice-versa, is something Morrison has used over and over again in works like Animal Man. Morrison has throughout his career explored this idea to the point where it’s become ‘his’ thing, which is fine as long as the work is good, but I’ve a feeling Morrison is in second gear cruising a lot of the time. Now Morrison’s cruising in second gear is most mainstream comic writers turbo power, but this isn’t to say that Morrison is excused from, frankly, being really fucking complacent.

This isn’t to say Annihilator is complacent. It isn’t and for a start, something this beautifully drawn could never be complacent. Fraser Irving’s art is wonderful.

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I think there’s something Morrison is trying to tell us in this story of a failed Hollywood writer trying to make it big. From the moment we’re introduced to the writer Ray Spass, he’s looking at a new home in Hollywood that’s going cheap because of it’s dubious past, it feels that Morrison, is well, telling us something about himself. After all he’s tried and failed to get his work into film while his protege Mark Millar has had three of his comics adapted for film and a fourth is on it’s way next year, while Alan Moore doesn’t want anything to do with his works Hollywood adapts which is something which must drive Morrison barmy.

Spass is your very typically egocentric Hollywood writer, and his creation Max Nomax has a touch of the Gideon Stargrave about him, but it is the story of Spass and his dealings with Hollywood that’s treading water. In fact it reads like a conservative version of The Auteur, a wonderfully sharp satire on Hollywood that didn’t treat itself as important as Annihilator does at times. It’s the world of Nomax that’s more interesting, even if it’s just a space opera.

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As the first issue of a six issue series it would be unfair to put too much into the one issue but it’s trying to feel young and exciting while it reads at times like a 50 year old buying a red Ferrari and wearing tight jeans. It feels a tad middle aged and weary. This said, it is worth getting for Irving’s lovely art but this might be one to sit back and wait for the collected edition.