At his eponymous comicon in Las Vegas, Morrison offered some details and even previewed some art!
Hit the break.
It seems like it happened on Earth 3, but almost four years ago Grant Morrison reported that he would begin undoing the damage done by “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” and restoring the DC Multiverse. As comic nerds know, in the first “Crisis” event—the one that killed Superboy and “killed” Flash—DC tried to limit the number of alternate universes that “existed” in its comic books. It was never clear why this was necessary.
Within a few years, though, alternate time streams and universes began to creep back. Most noticable was Grant Morrison’s own JLA Earth 2—a work of sheer brilliance.
Morrison’s performance as the current writer of Action Comics for DC has been underwhelming, but the best issue of the lot featured, guess what? An alternate reality of Superman.
And frankly, Morrison has earned our trust. Sure, not everything he does will resonate with every reader, but you always know his work will be thoughtful, innovative, and earnest. So it’s with great anticipation that we await his Multiversity project—one that has been long rumored and long delayed.
“Multiversity” will be eight-issues, arriving at the end of 2013. It will start with six one-shots, then a two-parter in which the characters from the one-shots read comic books about each other and decide to breach the Multiverse barriers to unite against a common foe. Seven number ones! Marvel must be so jealous! (Structurally, it sounds a little like Morrison’s Seven Soldiers of Victory—one of my favorite DC Morrison projects ever.) When it is completed, Morrison’s work for DC will be complete—at least for a while. So basically, he’ll build some toys and someone else will play with them.
Here’s the worlds/issues we know are coming:
- CHARLTON WORLD! Pax Americana will have art by Frank Quitely and will feature the Charlton Comics characters that DC bought in 1983 (including The Question and The Blue Beetle), some of whom formed the bases for the characters in Alan Moore/David Gibbon’s series The Watchmen. It seems like this will be an original creation, but it will be informed by The Watchmen.
- PULP WORLD! Earth 22 will be based on DC’s “pulp” characters, like Lady Blackhawk and the Atom, and the version of Doctor Fate who appeared in the Superman Beyond series.
- THE “REAL” WORLD. Earth Prime will be like DC’s version of Marvel’s Ultimates: Superheroes in the modern day world. Morrison is quoted as saying that “[this] has never been done before… technology that explains what a superhero would actually be like in this world,” but I think Warren Ellis actually tried to this in his amazing but brief run on Ultimate Fantastic Four. Nevertheless, this sounds like it will be awesome.
- JUSTICE LEAGUE NEXT! There will be a world of grown-up Robins, Aqualads, Wonder Girls, and Mr. Terrific Jr.s (okay, I made that last one up). You know, the kids of supers who have grown up. The conceit is that these children’s parents fixed the world, so there’s nothing left for them to do. It will have Damian Wayne as Batman but based on the concept that the world has been cleared of all problems, I doubt it will be the future vision of Damian Batman that we saw in Batman #666. The story will be told as if it is a reality show. (Remember when Joe Casey did that with The Intimates?)
- THUNDERWORLD! This will be a Shazam planet. I hope it has all the stupid animals Shazam featured. It would be great to see what Morrison has to say about all that.
- NAZIS! There will be a Nazi world, much like the Commie Superman from Superman: Red Son, which was an Elseworlds story written by Mark Millar back when Millar still focused on writing cool comic book ideas that could never, ever form the basis for feature films.
- A final book will “map out” the new multiverse. Which sounds like something Jonathan Hickman would do.
Overall, it looks like Morrison will be dipping a toe into just about every genre/trope/storytelling structure in the history of comic books—but just a toe. Or a tribute.
Is there any possible alternate Earth where this will suck? I don’t think so.