Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, Chris Claremont and Jon Byrne, and now Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. I’ll be upfront with this and say that Pax Americana is my most anticipated comic of the year. Not simply DC comic but every single comic that will or has come out in 2014. It’s the fact that Morrison and Quitely have worked wonderful magic in years past and I have no reason to doubt the dream team. So with high expectations let’s see if Pax Americana lives up to this reviewers self imposed hype.
From the get go I knew I was going to love this issue and it all started with panel layouts. Yes I did type panel layouts on what made me smile to start the actual issue. To sum it up quickly in case you aren’t aware, these characters were originally going to be the main characters of Watchmen. So the fact that this issue is based on a grid in vain to Watchmen is a wonderful nod to one of the greatest graphic novels of all time.
Believe me when I say this issue is packed to the tee with story and in normal Morrison fashion he doesn’t spoon feed the reader any information. While the narrative itself is a bit confusing during a first time read, trust me when I say that it all becomes more clear as you reread again and again. Once the reading map becomes clear you’ll be able to see the clues Morrison has left behind and all the nuances that flow throughout the story. Pax Americana uses the time travel as structure for the story, which is why some readers could be confused when Morrison decides to change channels.
Even more so unlike previous issues, outside of a two characters Morrison doesn’t really delve further into them as personalities but they are instead there to serve the greater plot. Which normally turns me off but given that Morrison is looking the grander scheme of things. Don’t get me wrong there some great character moments in this issue, namely focusing on Captain Atom but again that is only one aspect of what makes this issue so amazing.
Yes once again Morrison weaves a tell of wonder when it comes to the idea of the superhero, the true star of this book is Frank Quitely himself. His pencils look simply amazing, each panel has tremendous amounts of detail, and his story telling is by far the best I’ve seen in a comic this year.. The best example I can give is the double page spread of three different scenes taking place at the same time but each panel progress not only the story but the three scene’s as well. It’s clear and concise spread which should be shown to young comic artists on how to tell a story in comic form. Even his fight scenes, as basic as they appear are filled action and skill.
The Multiversity: Pax Americana was as perfect issue of a comic book as you can get. It has a strong narrative from start to finish that will keep readers hinging on each word balloon, plus the previously mentioned pencils by the genius Frank Quitely makes this issue one solid piece of comics gold.
The Multiversity Pax Americana earns a 5/5
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