Chinese Democracy: Grant Morrison Teases Multiversity Miniserieson October 1, 2012 at 8:53 am
We here at Crisis On Infinite Midlives didn’t attend MorrisonCon in Las Vegas this weekend, partly because we’re still paying off our trip to the San Diego Comic-Con, and partly because no trip to a town featuring easy access to gambling and free liquor is likely to end well for us. However, that meant we missed out on some breaking news that is trickling from the convention, such as the fact that Morrison’s Multiversity series, that was initially announced for a 2009 release date, just after Infinite Crisis, is now scheduled for sometime late next year. To which I can only say: yeah, I’ll believe it when I fucking see it.
The miniseries will reportedly be eight issues, with six one-shots each focusing on a different parallel universe, with a two-part conclusion crossing over the various Earths’ heroes. And each issue looks to be packed with story, containing a 38-page primary story and an eight-page backup. And considering this thing will have been in the works for nearly half a decade by the time it hits comic stores, that seems like a fair per-book length; anything shorter might imply that Morrison had spent all this time fucking around, which seems unlikely… or even less likely, that someone at DC had actually edited the damn things.
The first book will be called Pax Americana, which will feature the Charlton Comics characters (Blue Beetle, The Question, Captain Atom, The Peacemaker and Lady Nightshade) embroiled in an investigation after The Peacemaker kills the President of The United States from a weather balloon. The primary image of the book will be a damaged, circular peace sign, it will feature Captain Atom with what appears to be a hydrogen atom symbol on his forehead, and will be laid out in a simple panel grid format. Sound familiar? Yeah, it should: “It’s like the Rutles version of Watchmen,” Morrison said.
Frank Quitely’s drawing that particular issue, and Morrison released a bunch of art via The Hollywood Reporter, so it’s safe to say that the book will look good… but do we really need another creator’s riff on Watchmen? It’s hard enough reading some of the stuff that people are doing in Before Watchmen without seeing a dude basically say, “You know what? I’m just gonna do what Alan Moore wanted to do with the Charlton characters right from the start.” Wouldn’t it be cheaper and easier for DC editorial to send an intern to England to poke Moore with a stick? What this does is lay the groundwork for future faux-Watchmen stories where people can play around in that sandbox without anyone even needing to pretend that Moore deserves some consideration… and it further means that if Morrison had been a little quicker on the gun with his stories, we might not need to suffer through books like Dr. Manhattan and Comedian.
Some of the other stories coming down the pike include:
- The Pulp World: a universe where pulp style heroes like Doc Fate (an amalgam of Doctor Fate and Doc Savage), Lady Blackhawk, The Atom and Immortal Man fight villains in a world where World War II, or a war like it, just ended.
- Legacy Heroes: a world where the Justice League has basically wiped out supercrime, so younger heroes like Kyle Rayner and Damien Wayne are fucking around, pretending to be superheroes. “We designed it to be like The Hills,” Morrison said.
- Thunderworld: where Captain Marvel and the Marvel family, as they were in the original Fawcett comics, live. So the good news here is that Morrison will be writing Mr. Tawky Tawny again, which was arguably the coolest part of the Final Crisis miniseries.
- The Nazi World: pretty much Red Son except Superman lands in Germany instead of Russia, and he fights The Freedom Fighters.
So in the final analysis, it sounds like there are some cool stories in there, even if some of them sound like reruns of things we’ve seen before… and I am extremely hesitant about the Pax Americana storyline. It has been a long year of watching DC’s A-List talent screwing around with the corpse of Watchmen with varying degrees of success, and let’s not forget that if you’re a comics fan and you want Watchmen? You already have it on your shelf.
Still and all, Morrison is apparently swinging for the fences on this one, calling it his Lord of The Rings. Which sounds encouraging… but after five years waiting on this thing, let’s all hope it doesn’t turn out to be his Chinese Democracy.
Either way, supposedly Multiversity drops in late 2013, and in the meantime, here’s some more pretty pictures from Frank Quitely from Pax Americana to prove that the whole thing isn’t just one of Morrison’s mescaline fantasies.