THE MULTIVERSITY #1 by Grant Morrison, Ivan Reis, and Joe Prado
Grant Morrison is, without a doubt, one of my favorite comic book writers. I can honestly say that he has the Midas Touch. He’s had definitive, character defining – and redefining – runs on Batman, All-Star Superman, JLA, New X-Men – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! His latest opus is the long gestating The Multiversity. This kick-off issue introduces the grand scheme and serves as a bookend to the series. Six one-shots will follow, each exploring a different Earth occupying the DC Multiverse. I can only assume that the finale will be titled The Multiversity #2 and ship sometime in early 2015. Not only that, a new artist will undertake each issue. This one in particular is penciled by Ivan Reis and inked by Joe Prado, one of my favorite one-two punches in all of comics.
This book gets a bit “meta”: it begins with Monitor Nix Uotan (whom you should remember from Final Crisis) reading a comic book rather similar to the one in your hands. In fact, YOU are one of the main characters in The Multiversity, in a manner of speaking. The narration speaks directly to you and I mean that quite literally. Nix senses that something foul is afoot and ventures to a mostly desolate Earth 7 to find malevolent beings known as The Gentry. He tasks one of that world’s surviving heroes, Thunderer, with the mission of rounding up the greatest heroes of 52 universes. The most prominently featured include: Superman of Earth 23 (yes, the Obama-Superman), who is growing on me and happens to have an awesome costume; Captain Carrot in all his cartoon physics obeying glory; and Aquawoman of Earth 11. Another nice touch is that several heroes have read about each other in comics; it appears that one Earth’s reality is another’s fiction.
The ragtag group of heroes mistakenly ends up on Earth 8, which is populated by characters from “Major Comics” that serve as analogues for Marvel characters. We have Lord Havok (Dr. Doom), the Retaliators (Avengers), and Future Family (Fantastic Four). The issue ends with the hatching of a villain that I can’t spoil, but will undoubtedly be a major game changer.
It’s kind of hard to tell what Morrison is cooking up here, though I have no doubt that it will be good. It’s not exactly like Final Crisis, but if I had to compare it to any other works of his, it would have to be that. Though I must say that The Multiversity seems to be even more grandiose in scale, if that could even be possible. The $4.99 price tag may intimidate you, but I promise it’s worth it. I also recommend that you give it more than one read to process everything. From what I can gather, this looks to be a masterpiece in progress. Score: 9/10
I’ve decided to throw in some added bonuses. Enjoy this must see bonus clip of DC All Access explaining the DC Multiverse and an official map of it.
Images and video appear courtesy of DC Entertainment.