Multiversity #1 (DC Comics)

 CREDIT: DC Comics

Rating: 4.5/5 – A Fascinating Journey That Leaves the Reader With More Questions Than Answers.
by ComicSpectrum Reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

To say there’s a lot going on within the first issue of Multiversity is an understatement. Typical of writer Grant Morrison’s work, its not an easy read and will challenge you with its big ideas, numerous characters, and crazy ideas and concepts. It’s the start of an epic story that Morrison has been working towards for years.  Even the announcement of this project happened over two years ago. Multiversity is the start of Grant’s exploration and defining of the 52 Earths in the DC Universe and this first issue just scratches the surface.

The story opens with Nix Uotan, last of the Monitors exploring Earth-7.  This character hasn’t been seen since Final Crisis, so even that simple fact makes this an interesting prospect as Final Crisis took place pre-New 52. It’s on Earth-7 that we see the first signs of the villains of this series, the Gentry, which include some creative new villains with some great names like Dame Merciless, Hellmachine and Lord Broken. From that point on Morrison takes us on a meta-textual ride through various worlds in the DC Multiverse. It’s a fascinating journey that will leave the reader with more questions than answers and will confuse even the most diehard of DC fans. That sounds worse than it is though, as this issue is exciting to read and re-read as you look for the clues that Morrison leaves throughout. But, for those unfamiliar with the DC Universe and Morrison’s previous writing, this issue may just amount to a bunch of pretty pictures by DC’s go to artist, Ivan Reis.

Reis takes Morrison’s crazy ideas and puts them all on page exquisitely. In this issue alone he draws multiple earths and dozens of characters that range from an alternate Justice League team to a fantastically rendered Captain Carrot. Each page and panel is packed with content and Reis does a great job of creatively showing the meta moments, like a particular scene where Nix Uotan is being trapped by the panel borders he’s drawn within. This may be Reis’ strongest work since Blackest Night and that’s saying something. Inker Joe Prado’s work can’t be ignored as his inks are the perfect match to Reis’ pencils. He’s able to give the pencils that sharp clean line, setting all the different characters apart from one another and their backgrounds. The design of the cover also stands out as each of the 52 Earths visited in this first issue are highlighted alongside the left border, giving the reader a hint of what’s inside. And the V that makes up the M is also broken up into 52 separate circles, revealing more in it’s simplistic, yet creative design.

Throughout this issue there are a lot of questions that need to be answered, hinting at the DC Universe from pre-Crisis, post-crisis and New 52. You can feel Morrison’s passion for the DCU in each part of this story, and you can tell that artist Ivan Reis is inspired to match that same level of passion with his art. It isn’t an easy read, but with Morrison it usually never is. Multiversity is a unique experience that will become clearer with subsequent reads as you get the most out of this issue’s $4.99 cover price. I can’t say that this is a book that everyone will enjoy, but for fans of Grant Morrison’s work and his DC work in particular, the wait was more than worth it.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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