The Multiversity: Society Of Super-Heroes: Conquerors Of The Counter-World #1 Review
“Conquerors from the Counter-World” (40 pages)
Story by: Grant Morrison
Art by: Chris Sprouse, Karl Story & Walden Wong
Colors by: Dave McCaig
Letters by: Carlos M. Mangual
Covers by: Sprouse w/ McCaig; Frazier Irving; Kevin Maguire & Terry Austin; Guillem March; Mike Sekowsky & Murphy Anderson; Grant Morrison
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Biggest challenge yet! How to review the mind-blowing mishmash that is MULTIVERSITY? After all, this book is double-sized (40 pages). You definitely get more bang for your buck with the two-dollar increase from the standard low price.
I will simplify matters and then go the reverse route. It all boils down to this: five separate battles. As an analog to the Justice Society of America, this reality a.k.a. Earth-20 has a nascent group — the S.O.S. (it’s on the cover, duh!). SPOILERS AHEAD!!! The quintet of adventurers each face off against a worthy and appropriate opponent: Immortal Man vs. Vandal Savage; Doc Fate vs. Felix Doctor Faust; Atom vs. Blockbuster; Lady Blackhawk vs. Lady Shiva. An honorable mention goes to Green Lantern Abin Sur vs. Parallax and Count Sinestro but since that happened off-panel with a sudden reappearance and victory, I won’t really count it. Earth-20 vs. Earth-40 where the vile villains hail from. Each hero emerges victorious but there is a price to pay for one of them.
This is a one-shot but by the same token it is the second of eight issues. The only real connecting thread is the cursed comic book (coincidentally named Multiversity) found in every reality!!! Doc Fate considers it the most dangerous artifact in all his dealings with the arcane. Even he believes that it is haunted and should remain untouched. Vandal Savage gets the idea to invade a parallel universe thanks to the mention of said book by Faust and aspires to be a space-faring pirate.
- Doc Fate acknowledging his rep as a “devil worshipper” and Abin Sur expertly stating that his appearance evokes fear in most cultures. Irony in its most blatant form.
- Zombies walk the Earth!! Quelle surprise!
- Lady Shiva saying she’ll wear Fate’s balls as earrings. *chuckle*
- Fate using guns to take down the necro-men (zombies).
- Fate kicking Faust where it hurts after the cliché but variation phrase “Abrahadabra”.
- Master assassin Shiva being shot down by the Blackhawks. Smart move. She who unnecessarily uses exposition…
- Parallax the pterodactyl.
- Niczhuotan looks eerily like something out of Apokolips (major nod to Jack Kirby ;-))
TONS of this!!
• Professor Rival • Anthro (page 1)
• Man-Eating Men of Ghulistan • Eye of the Giaour (page 4)
• Iron Munro • Herr Hex (page 5)
• Ibn Al Ghul (page 6)
• Novu, the Proto-Monitor (page 16)
• Nix Uotan • Niczhuotan [I just realized the similarity in names!] (page 17)
• Buddhakh-Amun • Ra-Amida (page 19)
• Killah, Pixie, Red, Monkey, Princess [the Blackhawks] (page 21)
• the Unspeakable Ones (page 26)
• the Multiversity comic book (pages 6, 10, 15)
• Guardian metascopes • Bleed space(page 8)
• opposite/parallel universe • mirror image • multiverse (page 11)
• the Music of the Spheres a.k.a. Musica Universalis (page 16)
• the Makara • the Monitor-Mind (page 16)
• multiverse (page 17)
• the Gate of Fate (page 19)
• the Transmatter Engine $ the Makara Plasma (page 37)
I can’t help but notice that Atom’s tragedy regarding the disfiguring of this face is exactly like what happened to the young hero Damage (pre-New 52). I’m sure it’s no coincidence as in that reality, Al Pratt fathered Grant Emerson. Like son, like father??
Chris Sprouse is best known for being a modern legend. His most famous work would be TOM STRONG from the defunct America’s Best Comic, spearheaded by the infamous Alan Moore. Chris’ pencils certainly do justice (pun intended!) to the pulp feel that is purposefully pervasive in this issue. The cover alone is evocative of that era. The bodies and costumes/uniforms are perfectly presented. He is versatile with all layouts since the action scenes shift locales for each major fight.
Karl Story and Walden Wong fill in the contours nicely focusing on lines and shading where necessary. Dave McCaig enhances each ‘spoke’ of the chromatic wheel and beautifully brings out Doc Fate’s non-superhero costume by making it stand out instead of it being drab given the more ‘monotone’ colours. Major props to Carlos M. Mangual. He did outstanding work on the trade dress, the title of the story, the ‘square bubble’ for Doc Fate’s speech, Lady Shiva screaming ‘DIE!” and the utterance of “Green Lantern’s light” by Abin Sur.
Was there someone else narrating this besides the Immortal Man? Who exactly announced the coming of Blockbuster on pages 17-18? It’s safe to say that this is a story-within-a-story-within-a-story-within-a-story (you get the idea!).
No one will dispute the hare-brained hijinks that have made Grant Morrison the subject of many a scholar. However, the issue here employs a pretty simple plot device: defeat the bad guys even if they come from another universe for a prolonged period of time. The story is too straightforward. Despite all the aforementioned name-dropping and concepts, and fast-paced sequences, there’s nothing that really grabs me here. It’s not like the first issue where I actually exclaimed “WHOA!” and reread it at least three times to absorb it all.
I would land this book on Earth-31 out of 52 Earths (61.5%).
Tags: Chris Sprouse, DC Comics, Grant Morrison, Karl Story, multiverse, Multiversity, New 52 (DC Comics)