Grant Morrison’s long gestating Multiversity finally hits shelves this week. Are you ready for multiple Earths, crazy concepts and meta statements? Are you ready to be confused? More importantly, are you ready for Captain Carrot? Your Major Spoilers review awaits!
Previously in Multiversity: Grant Morrison wrote Final Crises which entertained while irritating and baffling others. This is kind of the sequel to that.
THE MOST GRANT MORRISON COMIC EVER
Actually, saying this is the most Grant Morrison comic ever is a bit of an overstatement. That would still be Invisibles just because he did more drugs back then. Multiversity #1 is up there, and while it is littered with Morrison’s trademark metatextual and over the top concepts, it’s insanely good.
We meet Nix Uotan, the last of the Monitors, who was introduced in Countdown to Final Crises and ended up on New Earth after Final Crises as a normal human comic book fan. As he reads the same issue we do, he gets a message that the universe is in peril and travels to Earth-7. From there things get crazier as Nix is trapped by the Gentry, the Superman of Earth-23 is sent to the House of Heroes where he meets other characters such as Captain Carrot. The Harbinger program in the House of Heroes warns that the Multiverse is in danger and the heroes set off. That’s the simple version.
As anyone who has seen the poster of the Multiversity “map” knows, it’s clear Grant Morrison has thought this out thoroughly. Readers who disliked Final Crises are going to hate this as many of the concepts and ideas return and are expanded upon. They’re wonderfully unique but difficult to grasp, making this a book that requires multiple readings. The fact that each Earth is vibrating at its own pitch is carried over and Nix’s ship powered by a musical engine is pure wacky Morrison. All of it is fun and Morrison is undoubtedly having fun as well, referencing Marvel characters with the Retaliators and making the reader as much a part of the story as the heroes. Morrison’s idea that fiction is just another reality is prominent and looks to play a large part in the ongoing narrative. Narration at the beginning tells us to not to read to the end and asks just whose voice is speaking in our heads. It’s very “meta” and by the end we’re to feel as if we’ve brought on the end by reading the book (I’m sure some will wish they didn’t read to the end for a different reason). Readers looking for a quick story are not going to get that here, but at $4.99, I feel like I got my money’s worth. It’s rare that a single comic issue needs multiple reads and this was a nice change of pace. I enjoy delving into stories and finding new things. Still, those who hate that kind of thing or have an aversion to Morrison should steer clear of this one.
A BIT OF A MIXED BAG
Ivan Reis clearly has the chops to take on this kind of book and his work is fantastic, bursting with energy and life. Many details are drawn and the opening devastation on Earth-7 is quite a sight to behold. The evil creatures look quite disturbing and frightening. Major credit should be given to whoever created the numerous character designs, whether Morrison, Reis or a combination of both. Reis makes each one stand out goes full on with the wild ideas Morrison is giving. It’s the less realistic elements that don’t mesh with Reis’s style. Captain Carrot, Behemoth baby and child versions of the Justice League look odd. It seems out of place and doesn’t work to Reis’s strengths. Overall, the book has a look of an epic story which is what I’m sure Multiversity will turn out to be.
BOTTOM LINE: I’M IN. BRING IT ON MORRISON
Multiversity #1 is overflowing with Grant Morrison concepts and storytelling. Fans of his will enjoy this but readers who dislike his style will want to stay far away. I enjoyed rereading the book, digesting all the crazy ideas and felt like I got my money’s worth. I’m all in and will be picking up the rest of the one-shots. If you’re still on the fence, answer the question I’ve been asking customers in the store all week: “Did you like Final Crises?” If the answer is no, avoid this one.