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The Mystery Play Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo (August 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563891891
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563891892
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 6.6 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,181,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Ross Binder on July 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
THE MYSTERY PLAY, written by the pheonomenally talented Grant Morrison and painted by the equally brilliant Jon J Muth, opens with the murder of God, or, rather, the murder of an actor playing the part of God in "The Mystery Play," the titular play performed annually in a small town. An eccentric detective from the city comes to investigate the murder, only to find that the answers he seeks lie far deeper than he may be willing to dig.
It's not hyperbole to say that Grant Morrison is one of the finest, most brilliant minds to ever write comics. His work on DOOM PATROL, ANIMAL MAN, and THE INVISIBLES is extraordinary and so far ahead of the majority of comics in terms of intelligence, originality, innovation, and pure storytelling genius that it's almost pathetic to read most non-Morrison-written comics. Hell, even some of his "lesser" masterpieces like FLEX MENTALLO, KILL YOUR BOYFRIEND, and, yes, THE MYSTERY PLAY blow most other comics out of the water. Simply put, Morrison is great.
And THE MYSTERY PLAY just so happens to be one of his finest short works (the aforementioned DOOM PATROL, ANIMAL MAN, and THE INVISIBLES being some of his excellent longer works) and one of the best graphic novels in the medium's history. On the surface, it appears to be a fairly complicated but not terribly deep murder mystery -- a man is killed in a small town and a detective comes out to investigate. However, the brilliance of THE MYSTERY PLAY lies in what is under this somewhat mundane surface. Beneath the "simple" murder mystery veneer lay dozens of clevor allegories, symbols, allusions, and metaphors.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
I wanted to like this book a lot. I do like the artwork, watercolors of exceptional skill. I showed a page to a friend and her first reaction was "Oh, photography." The book is well printed, so all of Muth's artistic care comes through.
If the story had lived up to the visuals, this comic would have been among my all-time favorites. It centers on a murder in a church play, giving a paradoxical "God is Dead" message. Although clues are scattered throughout the story (as a crossword junkie, the crossword puzzle stood out for me), I just never caught a real sense of suspense.
This book may help round out a collection of comics, but probably won't be a center-piece. I recommend it to Muth fans and to people who value a comic's art over its story. On the whole, though, "Mystery Play" doesn't rise much above the ordinary.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mauricio Hernández on January 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
This, like Arkham Asylum, is not Morrisson's best. It still is good though, though it is not very clear what happened, why the murder. Mabye inferring and guessing are parts of his intentions but that is simply nothing for me. The story has fantastic high points... and parts impossible to understand. I know people tend to get all excited about not understanding, thinking that the writer is very clever and that that is the reason we do not underdstand, but no I don't think that is an ablity I think it is very easy to write something no one can understand and give it an aura of mistery. Some people, like with Arkham Asylum, are blown away by the art, which is fantastic. But great art does not make a great story, never has and never will. Still, the characters are well created and the atmosphere and dialogues some times are very good.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a rare example of Morrison being concise and to the point, while still remaining existential and amazing. There was no lack of subtext, foreshadowing, and a little call about our own psyche and mortality.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By N. Durham HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 17, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Comic writer extraordinairre Grant Morrison (The Filth, Doom Patrol, New X-Men, JLA; come on, you know the list by now) weaves an interesting, often thought provoking tale with The Mystery Play; in which an actor playing God in a town play is murdered, and the investigation led by a mysterious detective which follows. Without giving too much away, Morrison presents a setting and characters which are not what any of them seem to be, and the final result ends up being a twisty thriller that may not rank up there with Morrison's best work for DC/Vertigo, but is a worthwhile read nevertheless. The real star of The Mystery Play is the starkly painted artwork by Jon J. Muth, which helps make this graphic novel all the more haunting. All in all, The Mystery Play is a dark and somewhat moving excursion from the great Grant Morrison, and even though it doesn't come close to the amazing works he's crafted in the past, it is still definitely worth a look for Morrison and/or Vertigo fans.
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