When I was much, much younger in a frozen land to the north of where I am now, I followed the antics of the footballer George Best when he played for Hibs from his first game against the team I support, Partick Thistle. Best was one of the finest players of the game ever, but by this point he was bloated, and clinging onto the memory of playing football but every now and then he’d do something amazing and you’d forget how much he was treading water and how much talent he’d wasted.
I feel the same about Grant Morrison. Morrison has been treading water for much of the last decade or so but I still pick his works up in the hope that he’ll do something amazing and that would make me forget how much he’s treading water. Reading Multiversity is like reading the Greatest Hits of Grant Morrison….
Strange alien invaders from another universe-check
Formerly laughed at characters being used in a ‘dark’ setting-check
References to Crisis on Infinite Earths–check
A comic that is aware it’s a comic and make it clear to the reader-check
Multiversity is a comic set in DC’s new multiverse of 52 worlds where a menace threatens all of the multiverse which is faced off by a variety of heroes from different worlds, including a black Superman and Captain Carrot.
There’s nothing in this comic that feels new. There’s a bit of Doom Patrol, a bit of Animal Man, some Zenith, some JLA and Morrison isn’t just borrowing heavily from himself, but other writers, especially Warren Ellis and of course Alan Moore. That’s going to be somewhat controversial with one of the Multiversity issues being Morrison’s version of Watchmen. Coming off the back of Moore so publically slagging off Morrison and calling him a plagiarist, this will probably help confirm Moore’s opinion of Morrison as a writer. It has to be said that there’s a lot about Multiversity that confirms what Moore says, and there’s a lot in this which shows that Morrison is very publically threading water.
All this said, I still liked the comic. It’s adequately drawn by Ivan Reis & although Morrison isn’t doing anything new, it’s still entertaining, even if I’ve seen it done better before from Morrison. It’s going to be lavishly praised by continuity freaks and diehard superhero readers but for something that’s taken so long to write (Morrison started work on this in 2009) it’s nothing more than a decent superhero romp. The thing is though I’ll be reading the rest of the series in the hope that Morrison will pull something wonderful out of his hat and we’ll get something great as opposed to adequate.