Have I mentioned how much I love Grant Morrison?
DC has gone back and forth with the concept of the multiverse for decades now. It existed, then it didn’t, then it did again. The idea was always interesting to me, but I must admit that at times I found it downright confusing. The earliest hints of it, when all we had were Earths 1 and 2, was confusing enough, but at least could mostly be kept straight. Once they threw in numerous Earths though, I got a little lost. I’m on more firm ground now, but only after fumbling my way though multiple trades spanning decades of publication, constantly asking Mistah J to explain who is from which Earth or what makes that Earth different from another (the man has the patience of a saint).
I wish I could have had a collection like Multiversity earlier on in my readings. Loosely interconnected stories about the various 52 Earths that comprise the multiverse, Grant Morrison’s Multiveristy attempts to explain just what the heck is going on in DC Comics after the New 52 launch. Many of the issues collected here are just brief asides, meant to fill us in on what numerous obscure characters are up to in this new reality (Captain Carrot! You’re back!). Occasionally people from various Earths will interact, reminding the reader that the worlds are all interconnected, but for the most part they exist on their own, and their stories merely help to flesh out this newly formed multiverse.
My favorite collection in this trade is smack dab in the middle, in which Grant Morrison puts together a handy-dandy compendium about each and every Earth in the multiverse. He writes a brief summary of each world, noting who are the key heroes on that world, or what might set it apart from others. He does this for EVERY Earth.
Well, almost every one. Since Morrison is a genius, he’s far too intelligent to shackle the entire DC writing team with his vision of the entire multiverse (at least that’s what I’m choosing to believe). He left seven of the worlds as mysteries, saying that little is known about them at this time. This is brilliant, and you can’t tell me otherwise. Those worlds can remain mysterious until a time arises that a writer can make use of one of them, and create their own Earth within the multiverse that can play into a future story. Much better planning that forcing a writer to work with what you’ve already roughly laid out, no?
They may not be super detailed, but the Earth descriptions are just enough to make me want to read more about many of them. My favorite by far is hardly mentioned in this trade, sadly: Earth 11, a.k.a. the Girl Power Earth (that’s what I call it, at least) where women are the primary heroes.
Um…YES PLEASE. Somebody needs to write the heck out of an Earth 11 comic right now, thanks.
Given how obvious it is that DC wanted to create a natural jumping-on point for new readers, a series like Multiversity is only logical. Morrison brought plenty of talent and creativity to it to keep the series from feeling stiff or encyclopedic, which I greatly appreciated. There’s no doubt in my mind that many of these Earths will play into other New 52 comics (many already have, in fact) so I’m grateful for this primer on the various Earths I may encounter in my reading.
If only this existed back in my early days of reading “the shelf”, maybe I wouldn’t have been so utterly confused as to what the heck was going on. Oh well, if anything it shows me how far I’ve come, so I can’t really complain.