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Seven Soldiers of Victory: v. 1 [Paperback]

Grant Morrison , J. H. Williams III
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

24 Feb 2006
Grant Morrison's most ambitious project to date is a genre-blending tale of seven unusual characters who find themselves in a new army for a dark age - with a surprising twist: they will never meet! This first volume features Klarion the Witch-Boy, a Puritan from a lost, underground American colony; the Manhattan Guardian, an ex-cop turned superhero headline-maker; Zatanna, famed Justice League member and burnt-out spellcaster; and Shining Knight, a swordsman from the Camelot-era flung into present day LA! Morrison is joined by top artists JH Williams III (Promethea), Ryan Sook (Buffy), and Cameron Stewart (Seaguy) to create an unmissable, time-spanning epic of the ages!


Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd (24 Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845762363
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845762360
  • Product Dimensions: 25.6 x 16.6 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 488,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"'Reminds a new generation of readers that you should never underestimate the profundity of a trash medium.' - Spin 'The Invisibles is that rare thing, a smart, spooky, exciting comic. Grant Morrison is a master of smart comics.' - Time Out"

About the Author

Grant Morrison is one of comics' most innovative writers. His long list of credits includes JLA, Animal Man, Doom Patrol, New X-Men, The Invisibles and The Filth. He has recently completed his epic Seven Soldiers and is working on the forthcoming All-Star Superman. JH Williams III is notable for his outstanding contribution to the Eisner and Harvey Award Winning Promethea, with acclaimed writer Alan Moore.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Yes, more dense than a supermassive black hole, Grant Morrison destroys the universe of comics yet again with Seven Soldiers of Victory, an epic story about what it really means to be a real superhero. For those not-completely-obsessive comics fans who fear that a series that focuses on seven fairly old and/or obscure characters from the hitherto forgotten corners of the DC Universe might come across as being just another attempt to relaunch some old and slighty daft-looking costumes, throw aside those preconceptions - this is way more.

Morrison himself has described the concept of Seven Soldiers as being essentially a superhero version of a celebrity reality TV show, with various long-ignored and slightly useless costumed adventurers from yesteryear suddenly being dragged back into the limelight after years away and finally being given a chance to shine. And shine indeed they do, as Morrison begins to weave a typically complex web of a story that plays out across seven separate and interconnected character arcs. In descending order, this first volume introduces us to Shining Knight, a Tolkien-esque fairy-battling warrior accompanied by his talking horse Vanguard (and no, somehow this isn't at all silly) - The Manhattan Guardian, basically a new character in an old costume, whose name becomes fairly self-explanatory - Klarion the Witch-Boy, a sinister turquoise-skinned Puritan living in strange nether-kingdom - and Zatanna, a washed-up stage magician and former JLA-er, in therapy trying to cure her spell addiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Total Morrison Satisfaction 12 Mar 2008
Format:Paperback
I'm a fan of the Invisibles, The Filth, Animal Man and Morrison's X-Men, but I'm always prepared to be disappointed by favourite authors. That made it all the more satisfying to receive this graphic novel for Christmas and to read it with great enjoyment and "Morrison-type" satisfaction. Seven Soldiers is almost a new and "smoothed-out" Invisibles. Many who may have been put off by the almost Burroughs-type behaviour of the Invisibles plotting will not have such a problem with Seven Soldiers. I think it can be enjoyed both by the Invisibles-wierdo type reader (like me!) and the more traditional comic reader.

It just makes me so happy to pick up and read a comic like this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four soldiers 14 April 2012
By Noel TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
What does a comics writer do when he's written stories about the biggest characters in comics - Superman, Batman, X-Men? He goes after the barely remember kind of course, the Z-list superheroes! Grant Morrison resurrects characters from DC's past (some going back literally 60-70 years) in "Seven Soldiers of Victory".

In this first volume he introduces Shining Knight, an Arthurian Knight sent from his medieval-esque realm along with his winged horse into our own world via a magical cauldron (I know, who hasn't heard that story a million times before, right?); Manhattan Guardian, an ordinary guy given the job of protecting Manhattan and reporting the news at the same time; Klarion the witch boy, a blue skinned teen living in a Puritan netherworld populated with Grundys (think Solomon Grundy from Batman); and Zatanna a magician who can cast real magic while wearing skimpy outfits (and also the only character I recognised thanks to Paul Dini including her in a number of Batman stories).

Grant Morrison has a reputation for going all spacey and avant-garde with his books and, while there is a bit of that here (like in all his books), it's only in small doses and most of the book is accessible to the first time reader. I particularly liked Zatanna's storyline which reminded me of Neil Gaiman's Sandman inspired spinoff "Death" series. None of the four characters meet either but their storylines are intertwined and there are still three more books for the overall story arc of saving the universe to fill out.

Oh and each character's story is illustrated by a different artist so you see the talents of JH Williams III, Cameron Stewart, Ryan Sook, and Frazer Irving provide amazing art throughout.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another ambitious morrison project 13 Dec 2006
Format:Paperback
I picked this up having read a few other grant morrison books. Whilst i love his style and delivery and the complex nature of his storylines, there is a slight problem after a while.....

you get used to them.

Thankfully this series is a bit fresher and brings somethign new to the table.

It arrived yesterday and i sat down meaning to get a quick sample read in, only to stand up a couple of hours later, having ploughed my way through it.

Like all morrison stuff its not immediately accessible, but if you persevere its worth it.
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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars HEAVY LIFTING BUT WORTH IT 10 July 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
There is a literary term called "heavy lifting" that applies when an author requires the reader to do a lot of work to appreciate the story -- this "heavy lifting" almost always comes at the beginning of the story. You might also call it "labor-intensive exposition." There is considerable heavy lifting here, so much so that I almost didn't pick up the second book. But, as luck would have it, I left my bag at the comic shop and had to swing by the next day to pick it up. Glad I did. Things really start to get GOOD in the second book, so much so that moments that seemed lame or irrelevant in the first trade are illuminated in hindsight -- the whole world expands! Now I cannot wait to get three and four! But, all that being said, as one previous reviewer noted there is a great deal in the first book that feels stuttering if not downright incomprehensible. Moreover, the order that the issues have been collected -- randomly, it feels like -- did none of the stories justice and served to add to the confusion. So BOOK 1 (by itself) deserves 2 STARS. BOOK 2 (by itself) deserves 4 STARS. And the sum of the two (the hindsight effect) bumps this book up to 3 STARS. So, my final word, DO NOT BUY THIS UNLESS YOU PLAN TO READ THEM ALL. OTHERWISE, YOU'LL BE WASTING YOUR TIME & MONEY.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Returning the sense of wonder to comics. 5 Mar 2006
By J.J. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The transition from single issues to a collected trade was always going to be tough for Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers of Victory project.

The series as a whole is intended to be seven miniseries, each about a particular character, and two bookend issues. Every mini can be read independently but if you read them all you get the whole overarching story.

This story is about people who have powers but aren't ready or even willing to be superheroes. By the end of their respective miniseries, these characters will be ready to be true superheroes, with all the craziness that implies.

Morrison has said in interviews that his goal was to create not realism within comics, but emotional realism within the most far out situations.

The titular seven are:

The Shining Knight

Zatanna

The Manhattan Guardian

Klarion the Witchboy

The Bulleteer

Mister Miracle

and Frankenstein

Not the most well known characters, but where is the fun of trotting out the Supermans and Batmans of the world for yet another re-imagining? Because the characters are virtual unknowns Morrison can get away with making drastic changes to them, making them relevant to today's audience.

The great accomplishment of Seven Soldiers is not that the titular characters are so well done, but that the supporting cast is so fantastic as well. There were several characters aside from the Seven that were so interesting that I wished they would get their own miniseries.

What Seven Soldiers does, like Warren Ellis' comic, Planetary, is to give you a sense of wonder. It's been a while since comics did that. Comics have been stuck in the "grim and gritty realism" for far too long. These are heroes you can get behind.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid, if not misguided. 27 Mar 2006
By Mark Geary - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
First, I wanted to address the previous reviews who think Morrison is untalented. Simply put, Morrison is an incredibly talented writer, who has maintained the concept of character driven work over the schlock of multi-issue crossovers or Xtra features Xhuming dead characters for "Xciting" movie tie-ins.

Okay, that's about the most I'm going on a soapbox in reference to another company.

The focus should be on the Seven Soldiers of victory, the footnote supergroup of the silver age, which Morrison attempts to dutifully recreate with characters that he himself selected. The idea of pacing out the characters in their own arcs prior to the beginning of the main story is ambitious, but much like 'Infinite Crisis', the problem here is that unless you have access to the material, you will feel a little overwhelmed, and if you are an fan of the characters in question, then you might feel somewhat cheated.

The choices of the Guardian, Zatanna, Klarion the Witchboy, Frankenstein, Mister Miracle, the Bulleteer, and the Shining Knight were interesting. Volume one shows a real decision to make the concept of both the SSoV and the secret war to be something that could both stand on its own and play within the restructured DC Universe. What you have is perhaps Morrison writing at his best since 'Animal Man', but in my opinion below his initial stint on 'JLA'. I think that the concept is a solid and unique idea, but it fails slightly in the execution: Outside of Zatanna, Klarion, and the Bulleteer, I really don't feel the characters gel. I'm more interested in the resurrected Spider in later works, and I feel that the stand-alone arc storylines which are connected, represented in volume one, are more interesting if you can identify with the characters.

Morrison is one of the better writers who can direct the story to both affect the character and entice the reader to care. I think that if he (Morrison) had managed to use the original Mister Miracle or Shining Knight, I think that it would have worked more.

Still, in an era of comics which are sold purely on name recognition, the SSoV strives to tell a solid story without the devotion to featuring a crossover with a known character. The choice to redevelop existing characters is one I do not agree with, but I think that if you want to read a comic that is different than the standard fair, SSoV is a start, and this collection is one to start with.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 Ways to Read SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY 28 Aug 2010
By Boy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In his intro to this volume, writer Grant Morrison (DOOM PATROL, THE FILTH, WE3) mentions that the entire 30-issue SEVEN SOLDIERS series was intended to be "modular," or capable of being read in a variety of different ways. I initially dismissed this "modular comic series" idea as the sort of pseudo-intellectual gobbledygook that Morrison is occasionally prone to spouting, but now I freely admit it - I was wrong!

I actually found this to be one of Morrison's best works - complex, mysterious, and rich with cool surprises. But more than anything this is a series that begs to be reread at least twice, and even becomes more appealing each time. And this somewhat unique effect is made possible by - you guessed it - the series' aforementioned "modular" quality.

So here's my advice for how to best tackle this unruly beast called SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY. The first time around, simply read the series as it is presented in these four paperback editions. Like this:

SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY VOLUMES 1-4.

Simple enough. But next time, read each of the seven four-issue mini-series in their entirety, bookended by issues #0 and #1. I found it worked well to read each series in the order in which they first appeared in the graphic novel format. So here is the order of the individual issues - not the book volumes - to reread the series in:

SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY #0
THE SHINING KNIGHT #1-4
THE MANHATTAN GUARDIAN #1-4
ZATANNA #1-4
KLARION THE WITCHBOY #1-4
MISTER MIRACLE #1-4
THE BULLETEER #1-4
FRANKENSTEIN #1-4
SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY #1

I think you'll find this to be a much less disorienting reading experience than the first way, due to the fact that you follow each characters' individual stories in complete chunks. But if you were to try to read the series this way the first time around, I think you would have much more difficulty making some of the overarching stories' subtle, yet important, connections.

And finally, the third time around, try it this way:

SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY #0
THE SHINING KNIGHT #1
THE MANHATTAN GUARDIAN #1
ZATANNA #1
KLARION THE WITCHBOY #1
MISTER MIRACLE #1
THE BULLETEER #1
FRANKENSTEIN #1
THE SHINING KNIGHT #2
THE MANHATTAN GUARDIAN #2
ZATANNA #2
KLARION THE WITCHBOY #2
MISTER MIRACLE #2
THE BULLETEER #2
FRANKENSTEIN #2
THE SHINING KNIGHT #3
THE MANHATTAN GUARDIAN #3
ZATANNA #3
KLARION THE WITCHBOY #3
MISTER MIRACLE #3
THE BULLETEER #3
FRANKENSTEIN #3
THE SHINING KNIGHT #4
THE MANHATTAN GUARDIAN #4
ZATANNA #4
KLARION THE WITCHBOY #4
MISTER MIRACLE #4
THE BULLETEER #4
FRANKENSTEIN #4
SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY #1

This final way is the trickiest, but it won't be a problem if it's your third time around. In fact, the increased complexity is what makes this such a great way to go if you're already familiar with the story. And I pretty much guarantee that you'll still be picking up on all kinds of interesting stuff that you missed the first two times.

And as for a fourth time around? Come up with your own technique...and let me know how it went.

Enjoy.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Morrison 27 Feb 2006
By Dreggor Gade - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I picked these up in original issue form. If you like Morrison's work, then you likely will appreciate this series. The structure and characters are interesting to say the least. While not groundbreaking or as deep Morrison's best works, the storyline is entertaining, and the writing is tight. It is an enjoyable ride that helps to reinvent and revitalize what I consider to be the rather stagnant DC Universe, and that's not such an easy task. I have no idea why the other reviewers here are blind to the kind of talent and intelligence this kind of effort requires.
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