Grant Morrison’s “ANNIHILATOR” (Comic Review)Book and Comic Reviews,Books/Art/Culture,News Svetlana Fedotov
Grant Morrison has long been the industry go-to for a taste of the bizarre and unsettling. From monumental moments in the Batman universe, to the re-vamping of forgotten characters, whenever he graces the author nameplate, big things are sure to follow. With Legendary Entertainment now firmly in the comic book game, Morrison’s stepped away from his superhero duties to create an original work titled ANNIHILATOR. A sci-fi book of epic proportions, ANNIHILATOR treats its readers to a tour-de-force of unfiltered, Morrison-inspired madness.
Spass (pronounced “space, as in outer”) is your standard washed up script-writer floating through the city of angels while fighting a bad case of writers block. He decides the only way to finally finish his sci-fi epic , “Annihilator,” is to move into a haunted house and raise the devil, offering the traditional Satanic gift of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll. As he attempts to find some semblance of his former fame, the comic hops back and forth to his script: the story of man named Max Nomax who lives in the farthest reaches of space. Obsessed with reversing and ultimately defeating death, Nomax and Spass run parallel courses filled with existential crisis, and even more so when Spass receives life-changing news. Suddenly, Ol’ Scratch becomes the least of his worries, especially when the very fabric of reality begins to break down around him.
ANNIHILATOR is as much of a comic as it is a statement on the human condition. Morrison plays with the idea that we are a desperate and lonely species; that, despite our evolutionary advantages, we are still slaves to our basic desires. Companionship, love, and death propel us through our lives and when those things are taken away—or in the case of death, arrive—we revert to our primordial state of sacrificing virgins to the gods in attempt to keep the fire burning a little longer.
With Max Nomax, who’s traveled galaxies to a find a cure for the “final exit,” there is an overwhelming sadness. Given all of our technology and progression, we still fear whatever lies beyond the veil ,to the point where we’ll travel millions of miles to outrun it. Interweaving Max’s story with his creator, Spass, only expands on this premise and idea, creating a panorama of our race against time.
Accompanying Morrison’s words is psychedelic art from Frazer Irving. Having done everything from covers to interior work to board game design, Irving pours years of experience into ANNIHILATOR, creating something beautiful and atmospheric. Not only has he perfected cinematic movement and action, but his unique style is perfect for this ‘70s-inspired title. Though the comic may not intentionally harken to the old HEAVY METAL vibe, it definitely screams it with the thick lines and vibrant, French style coloring. Irving’s encompassing digital paint work is a familiar sight to fans of vintage sci-fi, spaghetti westerns and oversized magazines. It pops into your head upon the very first look.