Franco “Bifo” Berardi – The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance

More thoughts on time and money, after the cut!

Okay so I’m four issues late to say it, but it’s still worth noting that somehow, in the middle of a run of spectacularly unspectacular comics, THIS happened:

THIS being, for what it’s worth, the 2012 superhero comic most acutely tuned in to the concerns of its moment. Oh, sure, there are a  few other enjoyable superhero comics out there right – Hawkeye, Batman Incorporated, uh… Journey Into Mystery, if that counts? [1] -  but none of them feel like an inescapable product of their moment in the way that Action Comics #9 does. [2]

You might well ask yourself how worthwhile this is, and if you told me that you preferred the focus on individual action beats that you get with Matt Fraction and David Aja’s work on Hawkeye…

…then I’d have to concede that you might well have a point.  What’s particularly interesting here is that the other twelve issues of Morrison’s Action Comics run can be seen as a generally unsuccessful attempt to transition Morrison’s recent  hall-of-mirrors scripting style into something more rhythmic and less meaning-intensive [3]. Something a bit more like what Fraction and Aja’s are attempting in Hawkeye, in other words, only done less well, almost a year earlier.

ART PARAGRAPH: UNFORTUNATELY, A LACK OF TRUE ARTISTIC SYNTHESIS HAS ENSURED THAT THIS PARTICULAR MACHINE (ACTION! COMICS!) HAS RARELY LOOKED LIKE IT WAS READY FOR  THE COMICS MARKETPLACE. THIS PARTICULAR ISSUE WAS DRAWN BY GENE HA, WHO PREVIOUSLY GRACED THE SERIES WITH GUEST ART FOR AN APOCALYPTIC SCENE SET ON KRYPTON IN ISSUE #3. HIS RIGID, RETRO-FUTURISTIC ARTWORK MAKES FOR A PURPOSEFUL CONTRAST TO THE RUGGED MALLEABILITY OF REGULAR ARTIST RAGS MORALES’ LINE, AND WHILE HIS DEPICTION OF SUPERMAN LACKS THE EASYGOING GRACE OF FRANK QUITELY’S VERSION, THE RELATIVE STRENGTH AND CLARITY OF HIS HAND IS STILL VERY MUCH APPRECIATED HERE.

As flagged by the inclusion of the Obama-riffic Superman from Final Crisis, issue #9 of Action Comics is an unashamed example of Morrison’s recent obsession with viewing the whole universe through the lens of superheroic fiction, a throwback to an era that’s not quite ended.

Click here for more about Superman, Siegel and Shuster, drones, Obama and all that!

It was the end…but the moment had been prepared for.


Far more than The Tenth Planet, The War Games was the end not just of a Doctor, but of Doctor Who itself as it had been known up to that point.

I’m back after an extended Christmas and not-being-arsed break! Only one photo this time though as my hard drive is knackered and I’m busy recovering all my files (have you any idea how difficult it is to recover a 2TB hard drive with about ten thousand non-contiguous bad sectors? Thank heaven for ddrescue). I could only get the one image before catastrophic failure.

Which is appropriate really…

Contrary to what you might have read in some Paul Cornell comic, it’s not all about cosy moderation in modern Britain. In fact, anyone with a functioning TV internet connection set of eyeballs could tell you that the citizenry have spent much of the last year very loudly rejecting the actions of their current government.

See:

New Statesman columnist and freelance journalist Laurie Penny has provided the most incisive ground level commentary on these events. She also pisses all the right people off, so you can imagine how thrilled I was when I got the chance to interview her about geek culture and politics for this very site!

Click here to read all my Mindless questions, answered!

Being: a speculative essay on the self-regulating limits of reality/a celebration of impurity/ a demonstration of the many sickening uses of human waste/ a manifesto for kinder, gentler wank fantasies/a failed attempt to write a feminist critique of The Filth/ and, finally, an embarrassed declaration that it’s time for something great …

1. In The End, Everybody Wins

There’s a moment in the last issue of Grant Morrison and Chris Weston’s scatological sci-fi horror comedy, The Filth, which seems to me to perfectly capture the panic of the moment. Greg Feely/Ned Slade, negotiator for the covert organisation known as The Hand and weird, porno-drenched bachelor, has finally snapped. After twelve issues of black comedy and painful existential eruptions, Feely has had enough. His pet cat Tony has died, depriving him of the only love he knew, and now he’s taking his protest right to the very heart of things, to his superior officer Mother Dirt.

As he storms through The Crack, Greg is confronted by his fellow Hand agent, Miami, who reminds him that he has been recycled into the very system he’s rebelling against. Before he was Hand negotiator Ned Slade, she claims that Greg “wouldn’t want to know” what he was:

You, Thunderstone, Bemmer… the whole crazy gang of social activists… You were all gonna destroy the foundation stone of the world.

The system is perfect, Ned. It has to be perfect; it’s all there is. Attacking The Hand is like attacking your own immune system. [1]

Does this seem familiar to anyone else? As the foundations are shaken and explosions go off all around, a wide-eyed Miami tries to stop Greg by telling him, what… that there aren’t any other options? It’s a statement that would seem perfectly at home in our current political climate. Don’t like the way things are going? Think that terrible acts are being carried out in your name? Feel a bottomless pit open up inside you whenever you even think about Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron or Nick Clegg? Find yourself choking on your own sick when you hear Chancellor/arch bastard George Osborne give a speech to the Tory party conference in which he lays the blame for Moneygeddon (© Charlie Brooker & co 2009) purely on the (admittedly very guilty) Labour party, as though Blair and the boys weren’t just following Thatcher’s lead?

What about when he goes on to tell the poorest UK citizens that they’re going to have to pull their socks up, or claims that he “believes” in public services – does that make you feel like punching your own face off?  Well, tough! This is the way the world works now, history has ended and there are no alternatives, so suck it up or go home. If you’ve still got one, that is.

Vote Labour or Vote Tory, hell you can even Vote Lib Dem if you like. This is what you’re getting, this half-cut shadow life.  All other options have been deemed non-mutual, incompatible with life as we know it! And may the gods help you if you want to make any bigger changes – under the current system, your proposals cannot be countenanced!

And what’s Greg’s response to all of this? How does he react to this bold statement?

Well, he storms out, eyes blazing like a fucking demon:

You and me both pal.

But hey, wouldn’t you? [2]

Immerse yourself in Morrison and Weston’s Filth after the jump!