Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I Dream of a Multiversity

I've been following Grant Morrison's Multiversity project for DC and I have been amazed at the quality of the writing and the art on these books. Maybe it helps that instead of over extending a writer and an artist on an 7 issue event series and stretching concepts and ideas past the breaking point, Grant's stories of DC's Multiverse have told in stand alone comics. 

There is the connective tissue of worlds bleeding into other worlds as well as the comic book that keeps popping in each different reality. It's the comic book that can destroy everything. It's the comic book you're reading right now! Stop reading! Damn it! You've turned the page! Now everything dies! Hope you're happy now, fanboy!  

But for the most part, the individual issues have stood on their own. Instead of creating an event where I'm wondering how much longer can this go on, Multiversity has me wishing we could spend more time exploring these worlds that Grant has uncovered out there amongst DC's multiplying universes. 

I would happily buy an ongoing series based on the S.O.S. (Society of Superheroes) or the Pax Americana. Hell, I would buy a series about Nazi Superman



The most recent edition of Multiversity, Mastermen, has Grant Morrison exploring Earth 10, also known as Earth X, a world where the Nazis won World War II because an infant star child's rocket landed near Hitler's Germany and not in a wheat field in Kansas. Such a quirk of fate changes the world. Most of the issue follows Nazi Superman (called Overman here) many years after the war's end as he begins to challenge the ways of this world and his influence on it. Overman is forced to contend with a band of radical terrorists, a group known as Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters. Overman is not sure he doesn't disagree with them. But he gets no support from his fellow super heroes or other people in his life. The sins of the past are in the past and Overman and his compatriots must preserve the world purchased with blood.  

Jim Lee draws the hell out of this issue. When Jim Lee is clicking on all cylinders, no one is better at what Lee does. And props to drawing Adolf Hitler sitting on a toilet right there on page 1. Which I think beats Doctor Who putting Hitler in a cupboard.  

But the Multiversity title I would really like to see more of is Thunderworld Adventures, a classic yet modern take on the original Capt. Marvel



At the core of this story is a concept that could've played out in a classic tale from Otto Binder and CC Beck. The evil Dr. Sivana has created an extra day, a day where the rules of the universe bend to his will. It is a day where Dr. Sivana cannot lose and Capt. Marvel cannot win. 

Bringing this story to life is Cameron Stewart who captures perfectly the essence of a classic Marvel Family adventure. There's a page where Mary Marvel and Capt. Marvel Jr fly in to the rescue. Stewart's art conveys power, grace and sheer unadulterated joy from these two young heroes. It's a single image that reflects the spirit of the entire comic. 
  • So I want a new Capt. Marvel series by Grant Morrison.  
  • I want an Overman series by Grant Morrison.  
  • I want to see more of S.O.S. in action in a new series by Grant Morrison.  
  • I want to see freakin' Capt. Carrot in a series by Grant Morrison.  

And the Multiversity Guidebook just adds more fuel to the fire of seeing more of these other worlds.

Of course none of that is going to happen. Not only can Grant not write everything, he is clearly following a path out of the DC landscape and into creator owned books and other media like television and film. Multiversity is likely Grant's final hurrah in the DC Universe. But if it is, so far Grant is going out on one hell of a note. 

I hope that the amazing concepts that flit about the various pages of Multiversity won't be forgotten when Grant moves on. There is some seriously amazing worlds out there in the DC Multiverse and I hope we get a chance to explore them. 

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