Grant Morrison’s The Multiversity #1 finally hits stands today!
The Multiversity appears to be part of a broader plan by DC Comics building to some interesting things in 2015. As we’ve noted before:
However, these books could also be leading into writer Geoff Johns upcoming Darkseid War event (which may be a prelude to this 2015 crisis or be its actual name).
In terms of The Multiversity, if you haven’t seen Grant Morrison’s massive map of the multiverse as a lead in to The Multiversity, you really should as it is really impressive and informative.
Spoilers and capsule review for Grant Morrison’s The Multiversity #1 follow.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
The free preview by DC Comics for the issue revealed who the last Multiversal Monitor is/was and identified the threat(s) he is facing (spoilers here).
This book opens directly after the last page of that aforementioned preview on Earth 7 where we meet who Grant Morrison has describe as the multiverse’s aboriginal Thor, the Thunderer! Nix Uotan, the last Monitor, sacrifices himself against the threat of the one-eyed flying “Gentry” so that the Thunderer can find the best heroes from 52 earths to combat the threat to the multiverse.
We then move to Earth 23 and the black Superman who is President of the United States and head of the black Justice League. He is pulled by a cosmic device into crumbling orb headquarters of the last, and possibly now dead, Multiversal Monitor.
On the watchtower orb of the last Multiversal Monitor Nix Uotan, the Thunderer has summoned several heroes from across several Earths to work together to free Nix. Earth 23’s black Superman uses his Brainiac powered belt buckle to activate the orb’s Artificial Intelligence who is…. the Harbinger! A nice throw back to the 1980’s Crisis on Infinite Earths (Who’s Who page is below for the old school humanoid not A.I. Harbinger).
And, after the Harbinger Artificial Intelligence convinces the heroes to take on the mission of finding one heroes from each known Earth across the multiverse to save it, and Nix, we have the core team emerge:
They figure out how to pilot Nix Uotan’s multiversal ship to start their quest to visit (I’m assuming) each Earth to find a hero to accompany them on their mission to save the multiverse and Nix.
The ship is attacking between universes, but they still get to Earth 8, another multiversal Earth with a Marvel flavor. They confront the Retaliators who are this world’s Avengers Now inspired
Avengers super-hero team.
On this world, Lord Havok (an analogue of Marvel’s Doctor Doom who also seen pre-New 52) has stolen powerful trinkets including something called the Genesis Egg (I have no idea if this is a net new idea or an intentional analogue of some trinket in Marvel Comics lore). In Lord Havok’s battle with this world’s Retaliators and its version of the Fantastic Four, the Genesis Egg hatches and Lord Havok crumples over onto it after being presumably killed by the Retaliator’s archer. What emerges from the Genesis Egg is surprising and seemingly one of the main foes of our multiversal heroes…
…an evil, undead Nix Uotan; the very Monitor the multiversal heroes are intending to save along with the rest of the multiverse!
That’s where the book ends.
There was a lot of action in this book as well what I can assume are scientific technobabble molded within the DC Comics context. Ultimately, it was an engaging yarn that felt epic. If you are a long-time DC Comics reader you’ll love the Easter eggs throughout the book. If you’re a Marvel fan, I’m not sure how you’ll take the “homages”. There’s also one Image Comics related homage as well. Let’s go through some of these.
When we first meet the Thunderer’ on Earth 7, he is standing among the corpse of his super-team that looks to have had a Captain America looking team member. The team was felled by the Gentry.
On Earth 8, the Retaliators team of Avengers analogues also have a blue Hulk analogue called Behemoth who fights in… diapers; I guess solves the Hulk’s shredded pants problem. That same Earth also has a Fantastic Four team as I mentioned.
While on the Multiversal Monitor’s abandoned orb watchtower, we saw a few old DC characters like Bloodwynd, Lady Quark and others, we also had the debut of Dino-Cop from Earth 41; a clear analogue of Erik Larsen of Image Comics’ Savage Dragon!
Now, I know Image Comics have used DC Comics hero archetypes in their comics, so has Marvel; most prominently with the Squadron Supreme. I’ve never seen DC do some many homages in one book before. I generally don’t like this sort of thing, but these little things didn’t distract from the overall story and I am quite pleased with how diverse the first few members of this new multiversal super-team are with this new aboriginal Thunderer taking a lead position with the Black President Superman.
Overall, despite the cover price of $4.99, I enjoyed this beefy issue and am curious how this mini-series will be on its own and as part of the broader events-building of DC Comics.
The book ends with a look at the next issue of Multiversity’s cover.
Thanks for reading. All feedback welcome.