So far I’ve read 3 out of the 4 volumes that make up Grant Morrison‘s maxi-series Seven Soldiers of Victory, and I can say that I like Volume 2 the best. The first volume had some excellent artwork (including J.H. Williams III), but I’m having a hard time even remembering much of the story. I think part of its weakness was that Morrison had the task of reintroducing us to a group of characters like Shining Knight, Klarion the Witch-Boy, the Bulleteer, and a handful of other superheroes from decades ago who rarely appear in regular comics anymore. In Volume 2, Morrison hits his stride, taking his stories into far-out and abstract territories and forms the story into something memorable.
Volume 2 contains artwork by Simone Bianchi, Cameron Stewart, Frazer Irving, Ryan Sook and Mick Gray (for examples of their work, check out the Comic Art Community). Most of the artists listed do a fair amount of artwork for DC and Marvel, but Simone Bianchi I have only seen here. Bianchi has a very timestaking approach–it looks like he did it all more or less by hand, including layered watercolor work.
The Shining Knight issue with art by Bianchi is definitely the standout here. Not only is the artwork endlessly impressive, but Morrison loosens up and lets a huge amount of philosophy–traditional and new-age–flow onto the page. There’s a female detective character who has my favorite line “I don’t use drugs. I see things from a high altitude, metaphorically speaking.” She then goes on to say, “I make structured cognitive leaps based on on long-range pattern recognition.” Where else but in a Morrison book would you hear dialogue like that? Okay, maybe in an Allan Moore comic.
There’s also a creative issue where a theme park that’s meant to be a microcosm of the world (except with robots) erupts into real terrorism, and it’s up to Guardian to save everyone.
Read my review of Seven Soldiers of Victory Volume 1.
Coming soon: Review of Volume 3.
Read other Graphic Novel Reviews.
Check out my book of short stories.