Multiversity #1 “The Just”
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Ben Oliver
Multiversity gives us another glimpse into another universe. “The Just” focuses on a Utopian type world where super heroes are no longer needed thanks to an army of robot Supermen (as in Superman, but plural). The Superman robot army has protected the Earth for years now, rendering most heroes useless. The Justice League still exists, but all they do is train for if there ever is a need for them. So what lifestyle would a hero live in this day and age? One of a celebrity, of course! Could you not tell by the cover?
It’s the kids of the heroes we know and love that get the spotlight here. These “kids” are all grown up now, and are no longer living in their parents’ shadow. With so many familiar faces in this issue, it’s hard not to get excited. Damian Wayne and Chris Kent, this Earth’s Batman and Superman, are our main characters for this installment. There’s a slew of supporting characters as well, including Alexis Luthor, Kyle Rayner, and Natasha Irons, and each get a decent amount of exposure. We also get to see Doctor Midnite, and Bloodwynd, and I found their portions of the story to be a highlight.The issue itself splits it’s focus between their everyday life, friendships, and what would be their version of pop culture, with the other focus on the heroes reflecting on the shocking suicide of a fellow hero. This split in plot ultimately splits my enjoyment of this issue. The “comic” aspects of this issue are rather enjoyable. The interpretation of an E! Network reality show featuring DC characters portion of it isn’t…
I’m going to cover what I’ve been calling the “Kardashian conundrum” first. Really Grant, why did you have to stoop to this shallow level of human characteristics? I hated the interaction between the characters whenever they were going through their day to day motions. Everything about it felt petty, irresponsible, and irritating. It was definitely an accurate depiction of our generation’s youth, and that just depresses me. The kids are selfish, smug, and delusional to an extent. There’s only so much pretentious whining I can deal with, and there’s more than enough here: whining about not being invited to parties; whining about not getting weapons – even though they don’t need them; whining that the previous Earth invasions were “totally boring”… I wanted to punch them. All of them. Then I wanted to make them go get a real job… Entitled little brats. I mean, seriously… Superman was Punk’d by Batman… just chew on that for a bit.
Thankfully, we’re allowed to see a different side of the heroes when one of their peers commits suicide. This shakes up their community in big ways, and creates conversations of purpose, human nature, and self-worth. None of it is dwelled on too much – we can’t give too much credit to these heroes – but the notions and philosophies are trickled in here and there. You know… until the next party starts.
Comic books were also a big discussion during this issue. The cursed comic has been brought up in each issue so far, but it’s a major plot point in “The Just.” I’ve enjoyed the crossover elements that Morrison has created with this comic, and he has some nice moments here as well. There were mentions of DC, Sandman (What Sandman? The Sandman? Neil Gaiman’s Sandman?), art in comics today compared to the past, and much, much more. Morrison does a great job at adding numerous, subtle details to each book, and he succeeds here again.
Unfortunately, his commentary on comics rubs me the wrong way. Yes, there is the cursed comic, and yes, it is bad. Great. Got it. That’s not what I’m talking about. Time after time, there are somewhat derogatory remarks towards comic books and their readers. There’s a slam about calling comic books “picto-fics” (*cough* graphic novels *cough*), the debate of whether or not comics are an art, calling them a “hipster thing,” etc. Now, I know this isn’t him directly, and that this is somewhat fitting for how these characters act… but it still bothered me, and I’m usually not easily bothered. Maybe I’m just tired and grumpy.
The story touches on many other elements before wrapping up nicely though. It looks as though it could lead into an entertaining arc that I would actually be interested in reading… if I could bare to put up with these characters month after month.
- You want to see Ryan Seacrest and the Kardashian’s take on DC Comic characters during their free time.
- You’re intrigued by the idea of a world full of super heroes that aren’t needed.
- Damian Wayne(ish)
The Art: The best thing about this book is Ben Oliver’s art! I love what he brings to the table, and find it sleek, while also being artistic. DC really should be giving this guy more work because he definitely brings a certain quality and class to his projects.
Overall: We’ve essentially seen every plot device that’s used here, but Morrison finds a way to make it feel fresh with so much detail, and nods to comic fans. As good as these aspects are though, it doesn’t help the fact that the characters are pretty unlikeable. I usually don’t recommend books when I can’t get behind the characters, but Morrison’s special touches, and Oliver’s outstanding art pushes “The Just” to a score that is slightly above average.