Thee Comic Column #99: Grant Morrison’s Multiversity

Comics-the-multiversity-1Anyone who reads this column on a weekly basis will no doubt notice I missed last week’s installment. That doesn’t happen very often, and it’s not so much that I wanted to start out this week’s column by explaining myself, it’s more the fact that last week’s absence directly helps define what I’ve been wanting to write about for two weeks but simply have not had the time or ability to figure out how exactly to do so. And if you somehow didn’t see the title of this piece then my confessed inability to comprehend and discuss today’s comic of choice may no doubt lead you to the conclusion that this slippery topic of discussion is none other than Grant Morrison’s new DC book Multiversity. 

The tip off is that although GM’s stuff is almost always intense it has become especially dense and mind-bending when he’s playing in the sub-strata of DC’s “Orrery” – the sort of test tube of worlds Morrison introduced and then mostly obliterated back in 2008/2009’s Final Crisis series. If you were a fan of that neigh-impenetrable Morrison masterpiece* then you’ll get into Multiversity, primarily because it picks up following FC’s Nix Uotan – now a full-fledged Morrison stand-alone character in the pages of Multiversity – as he is summoned from the average Earthly existence we saw him deposited in at the final pages of FC to reprise his role as Super Judge, Last of the Monitors, along with his, um, trusty monkey sidekick Mr. Stubbs?

What is it with Morrison and talking monkeys? Not a complaint by any means, just curious…

Anyway, Multiversity appears to be the Meta-meta-meta story Morrison’s entire run on anything DC has been building to for decades now and I have the feeling it is going to be quite a ride. Morrison has talked a little about his plans for this in various interviews – specifically during the course of this particular episode of Kevin Smith’s Fatman on Batman podcast – and it sounds insane. Characters in one Universe passing messages to characters in other Universes through comic books? Sounds like Grant traveled through time to the GM of the late 80’s who wrote the then completely unique meta-take on Animal Man and gave him a double dose of DMT.

Now, Meta’s getting overdone the last few years, in books, movies and comics. However, based on the little we know of Multiversity thus far this book may be Morrison’s attempt at transcending the ideas contained within the meta technique and turning it into something new. We notice on the second page of this first issue that in Nix’s Earthly domicile he’s ‘vivisecting’ a new Grant Morrison comic book called Ultra Comics – a book he tells a compatriot on an internet discussion forum is part of ‘this whole Multiversity thing. There’s a pinch of The Filth in these pages, the idea of bleeding in and out of the dimensional walls of fictional universes and how they affect the people that read them, and it gave me a buzz to watch this unfold; that eerie, witchy feeling Morrison’s experimental writing tends to charge my spine with playing with my senses and making the walls between the book in my hands and the world around my ears seem pliable. Like I’m in the book – and I’ll use that as my que to put in my theory now that the giant flying eye-thing that seems to be the main antagonist behind the world-destroying events at the beginning of this issue is in fact an avatar for the reader, but we’ll see.

Anyway you cut it, Multiversity is going to be “One hell of a trip!”


*Here’s a hint if you want to understand it – read it with the annotations that can be found here and here


Can’t find a comic shop? You can always use old reliable Comic Shop Locator at 1-800-COMIC-BOOK. Or you can take some of my recommendations. If you live in the greater Chicagoland area I recommend any of the wonderful four locations of Amazing Fantasy Books. In Los Angeles it’s The Comic Bug. Las Vegas it’s Alternate Reality Comics. San Francisco? Try the Isotope Comic Lounge and if you happen to venture a little further North I’d say you have to visit The Escapist Comic Book Store in Berkley (with the wonderful Dark Carnival Books next door and owned by the same folks). Read on!!!

Shawn C Baker

Shawn C Baker

Shawn lives in Los Angeles where he co-hosts Drinking w/ Comics, writes screenplays and fiction and has been known to drink quite a bit of beer. Good beer.

2 Responses to Thee Comic Column #99: Grant Morrison’s Multiversity
  1. […] to hit in waves, so somewhere inside I think I recognized that shortly after the also long-awaited M...
  2. Tommy Reply

    I will pretty much read anything Morrison writes, and even though i jumped ship from DC after this whole “New 52″ shit started (notable exceptions being Morrison’s Batman and Action Comics runs), looks like he’s dragged me back in with Multiversity. It looks to be about as high-concept as you can get…and you know…it has Captain Carrot in it.

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