For Halloween, let’s review a comic that really scared me! Grant Morrison’s Multiversity: The Just #1 scared the heck out of me because it reminded me how OLD I am!
Whatever else the new 52 has done, it really made me forget about a lot of my old favorites. I’m in the generation that had Wally West as Flash, Kyle Rayner as Green Lantern, and Connor Hawke as Green Arrow. Alpha Centurion was a rival to Superman. There are dozens of cameos of characters that I like more than their counterparts in the New 52. Max Mercury. Steel. Argus.Tempest. Heck, even Artemis as Wonder Woman is OK by me!
So yeah, this book made me feel really old because it made me miss characters and versions of characters I know we’ll never see again. Sure, it also has Chris Kent and Damian Wayne as the new Super-Sons, and Alexis Luthor mixing things up, and they aren’t flashes from my past like the rest, but they fit in well with the story. I know the Super-Sons are the protagonists of the story, but I would have liked a tad more time with some of the other old-timers from the ‘90s.
The actual plot continues in the same vein as the other Multiversity titles. A haunted comic book has interrupted the idyllic world of Earth-Me. In a world where Superman’s robots keep the peace, having powers is more about staying busy and being entertained than it is about saving the world. When the awesomely named Megamorpho commits suicide, it throws the entire super-community into a tailspin. Our first window in is the fantastically titled “Sister Miracle.” Morrison makes it look so dang easy to do these great legacy names!
The haunted comic book is influencing the world, causing villains to do bad things and heroes to doubt themselves even more than usual. There is barely any conflict in the issue, unless you want to count middle-aged heroes struggling with ennui and younger ones struggling with fame. Each of the Multiversity titles has left me wanting more, but this one… man, when the Superman robots are unleashed on the world, do the heroes have a chance? Are we to assume that the Gentry’s haunted comic book has destroyed this world? Or can the struggling heroes maybe stand up for themselves (I certainly hope so).
Ben Oliver’s art excels in some areas, but lacks in others. His figure work is great, but the facial expressions are unbelievably good. In a medium where facial features are hard to do right, Oliver nails it, giving different ages, outlooks, and personalities different facial structures, expressions, and body types. Just top-notch stuff. The backgrounds are lacking, which could be by design. Instead of a fully-realized alternate world like in Society of Super-Heroes, this feels a lot more dreamlike. The lack of backgrounds and extensive use of color makes this issue sort of flow by in a haze. Perhaps that was the intent, but I would have liked a bit more of a glimpse into this alternate world.
This is another GOOD comic in a string of them for the Multiversity series. I can’t wait to see what’s next.