by Donald Powell
Anyone who has followed Grant Morrison knows that he loves to get his myth in.
No comics creator since Jack Kirby has pushed the transformational power of the super hero archetype, how it can serve as a metaphor to live by, and how it can be used as an empowering tool for the disenfranchised and marginalized more than Morrison. From his more edgy fare like The Invisibles and Doom Patrol to his award- winning and bestselling takes on Batman and Superman, Morrison has always managed to make the old feel invigorating and new; suffusing weird occult ideas and cosmic fisticuffs into a unique world view that is copied often but never duplicated. The Grant Morrison and Graphic India: Myth & Legends panel at SDCC served as testament to the comic legend’s body of work and unique world view.
Teaming up with Graphic India and continuing from his critically acclaimed 18 Days with artist Mukesh Singh, inspired by the The Mahabharata, Morrison pitched Avaterex: Destroyer of Darkness. It’s another series inspired by Indian tales which will serve as a launching point for other related titles linking a cohesive, stand-alone super hero universe just as Kirby and Lee created back in the 1960s. The major difference is that Morrison plans on making these super heroes not beholden to the ‘military entertainment complex’ like Batman and Superman.
In addition to drawing inspiration from India for his new tales, Morrison spoke to his belief on how the Eastern worldview offers a unique spiritual sensibility that is not easily accessible in the Westeven cultures. In Morrison’s most audacious move, Avaterex: Destroyer of Darkness will be marketed in India, where he and Graphic India hope the tales are aspirational to some aspects of the Indian populace that have traditionally been socially marginalized.
It’s a bold idea, but one perfectly in keeping with the Glaswegian shaman’s constant urge to push the comics medium forward from adolescent power fantasies to transformational devices capable of changing the world.