GN Comics: So if you'd go so far as to say the DC Multiverse is as real and as organic as anything, would you say that the story of Superman is its heart?A bit further on:
Morrison: Yeah, totally. Because it all derived from Superman. I mean, I love all the characters, but Superman is just this perfect human pop-culture distillation of a really basic idea. He's a good guy. He loves us. He will not stop in defending us. How beautiful is that? He's like a sci-fi Jesus. He'll never let you down. And only in fiction can that guy actually exist, because real guys will always let you down one way or another. We actually made up an idea that beautiful. That's just cool to me. We made a little paper universe where all of the above is true.
IGN Comics: I want to get to the Monitors and their overall role in Crisis and Beyond, especially the role played by Nix Uotan - am I saying that right?Morrison goes on to talk about dualities (or symmetries) and unity:
Morrison: It's pronounced "Wotan." Every one of them is named after writer gods from different cultures. So Uotan is named after Odin or Wotan from the Norse/Germanic tradition. Ogama is Ogma from the Celtic gods. Hermuz is after Hermes the Greek god. Tahoteh is after Thoth the Egyptian god. Novu is after Nabu from the Babylonian pantheon…there's a ton of them. The women's names, Weeja Dell, Zillo Valla, were inspired by the greatest lost love of them all, Shalla-Bal from Stan Lee's Silver Surfer.
IGN Comics: So that kind of answers my question, which is that the Monitors all seem like analogs for storytellers. There seems to be this never-ending cycle of the stories affecting the storytellers and the storytellers affecting the stories and on and on.
Morrison: Yeah, it's a bit of that. It's also the idea that they're like angels as well. For me, the cool, essential idea of all stories being real creates this great cosmology to play with. It's the notion that the white page itself is a void, and in the context of the DC Universe, well that's God or The Source. In the white page, or the void, anything can happen, everything is possible. As I dug down closer to the very root of the activity I find myself engaged in as a career, I was thinking "what is the basis of the comic book story? What actually is it?"
In the case of comic book stories, it's the war between white page and ink. And who's to say that the page might want that particular story drawn on it? [laughs] What happens if the page is a bit pissed off at the story that's drawn on it? So I thought of the page as God. The idea being that the Overvoid – as we called it in Final Crisis - of the white page as a space is sort of God. And it's condensing stories out of itself because it finds inside its own gigantic white space, self-absorbed pristine consciousness, it finds this little stain or mark, this DC Multiverse somebody has 'drawn'. And it starts investigating, and it's just shocked with what it sees, with all the crazy activity and signifying going on in there. It then tries to protect itself from the seething contact with 'story' and imagines a race of beings, 'angels' or 'monitors' (another word for angel, of course) to function as an interface between its own giant eternal magnificence and this tiny, weird crawling anthill of life and significance that is the DC Multiverse.
IGN Comics: You get into that in Superman Beyond #2 with the Superman and Ultraman dynamic.It's well worth reading - after you read the comics, of course!
Morrison: Yeah. Again, on the very edge of the art and the edge of the mind of God there are these two big concepts fighting – Superman and Mandrakk, Predation and Protection, Greed and Preservation, Ugly and Beautiful, Youth and Age, Good and Evil, Black and White, Is and Isn't and all the others. Beyond that crumbling ledge in Monitor-World, those concepts don't exist and it's all non-dual Monitor mind, or God, or Kirby's Source, in which all contradictions are resolved into unity. It's funny, the more I talk about it, the more I'm getting into it!