Multiversity

The MultiversityThe Multiversity by Grant Morrison
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Received from Netgalley for review.)

So. This is a thing that happened, and I read it. That could probably be my capsule review for something like 65% of Morrison’s work, and it would likely be a fairly valid review. I have respect for Morrison as a creator who isn’t afraid to think big, and this is pretty damn big. I also feel a certain level of frustration for his work, as he regularly has ideas that are too big for him to convey effectively. This is maybe one of them, a story so big that it spans fifty realities, with layers of meaning that I’m not sure I was able to penetrate.

So let’s put the layers aside for a moment, and look at the work on the surface. You could essentially read the first and last issue of Multiversity as one complete story and get basically everything it has to offer. Everything in between is sort of filler, except it kind of isn’t, because the filler is kind of the point, I think. Because I do think that at least part of the point, for Morrison, was getting to play in all these different playgrounds. Which he does quite well, actually. The Society of Super-Heroes, Pax Americana, and Mastermen issues were all remarkably well done. Yes, Pax Americana is a sort of Watchmen send up, but it’s a damn good one. If the entire Multiversity event had only been about letting Morrison write every genre of comic in history, I think I would have been pretty happy. The actual event part was, in my opinion, the weakest part of the collection.

The art is uniformly good across the entire series. Not bad, considering the sheer number of artists, well over half a dozen. Not only is the quality consistently high, the styles are perfectly matched to the current story. Unfortunately, Multiversity never quite becomes more than the (admittedly very good) sum of its parts. But that’s kind of Morrison’s thing, isn’t it?

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