One of the major players in the realm of comic books has been the United Kingdom, and one of its most important periods occurred in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s with the British Invasion of American comics. This period saw the influx of British creators, most of whom initially worked for DC Comics, creators such as Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Warren Ellis, Simon Bisley, Dave McKean, Peter Milligan, and Scottish writer Grant Morrison.
It is Morrison and his work that we will be sampling in this post, specifically, the brilliant and explosive introduction of Mr. Nobody – “the spirit of the twenty-first century” – which occurred in Doom Patrol #26. The issue was published in 1989 during the beginning stages of Morrison’s epic run in the series (#19-63).
The significance of Mr. Nobody in the DC Universe is minimal. He is a secondary player, a supervillain created by Grant Morrison, the only writer to really make use of the chaos unleashed by his nihilist ideology, motivating him to create the ‘Brotherhood of Dada’, a supervillain group with the core principles of Dadaism.
“Dada was born out of negative reaction to the horrors of World War I… Dada rejected reason and logic, prizing nonsense, irrationality and intuition…. Dada was an informal international movement, with participants in Europe and North America. The beginnings of Dada correspond to the outbreak of World War I. For many participants, the movement was a protest against the bourgeois nationalist and colonialist interests, which many Dadaists believed were the root cause of the war, and against the cultural and intellectual conformity—in art and more broadly in society—that corresponded to the war.
“Many Dadaists believed that the ‘reason’ and ‘logic’ of bourgeois capitalist society had led people into war. They expressed their rejection of that ideology in artistic expression that appeared to reject logic and embrace chaos and irrationality…. A reviewer from the American Art News stated at the time that ‘Dada philosophy is the sickest, most paralyzing and most destructive thing that has ever originated from the brain of man.’ Art historians have described Dada as being, in large part, a ‘reaction to what many of these artists saw as nothing more than an insane spectacle of collective homicide.’
“Years later, Dada artists described the movement as ‘a phenomenon bursting forth in the midst of the postwar economic and moral crisis, a savior, a monster, which would lay waste to everything in its path… [It was] a systematic work of destruction and demoralization… In the end it became nothing but an act of sacrilege.’”
continued at chycho