Morrison is back again and this time with an all new Earth to explore, filled with wonders and mysteries. Lucky for this site, a Green Lantern actually appears in this issue so kudos to Morrison there. After the zany epic that was the opening salvo, one must wonder what will come out next Especially since the golden rule with a Grant Morrison story is to expect the unexpected. What awaits readers as they follow the brief adventures of Doc Fate and the SOS? Enough of the chit chat it’s time to break down this story!
The first thing that should be accounted for is that Morrison scaled back the sheer scope with this issue. Outside of a few references to a parallel Earth and war with said Earth, this issue is more character focused than the previous jump in and go issue. The first act actually allows for readers to become a bit more invested in this particular Earth. Sadly though even with 48 pages to work with most of the characters only receive superficial archetypes, with only Immortal Man earning any true characterization.
Speaking of Immortal Man it is his narration and subsequent arc that pushes this story forward, in a way he’s Vandal Savage if he wasn’t power hungry. The way the story presents itself makes it clear that this is Vandal Savage of this Earth, an Earth that still has the moralities of classic comics. The dialog is a reminiscent of a comic from the mid 70’s to the early 80’s, the best example being The Mighty Atom during the first half of the issue itself. This especially works with Chris Sprouse on pencils because he style and his previous work exemplifies a simpler time. Morrison playing to the artist’s strength, which enhances the overall story.
It’s no secret that Morrison’s main story beat for most of his career is the self examination of the super-hero, which he successfully did in the last chapter of The Multiversity. Seeing as the book begins with a meeting of heroes and their own Crisis, and the drastic measures or changes they had to endure to survive. Even the characters within the book comment on the darker road they are taking, and even if you defeat the villain by stepping an inch to the dark side, then bad guy has already won. Looks like the Joker was right after all.
It’s not the most meta that Morrison has been, but the point is made and it is executed perfectly.
One of the best aspects of this issue is that one does not need to have read the previous chapter. Savage does reveal who he really works for, and that does make his invasion feel part of a larger epic. I’ll go so far as to say that this issue is easier to digest and process, but fans of the of the more outlandish might be let down with this one. That is the downside to an anthology folks, never know what you’re gonna get.
The man who bring its all together in one package though is Chris Sprouse. As I said earlier he perfectly captures the silver age of DC Comics, with his crisp and minimal line art style. He perfectly captures each characters persona with their facial expressions. Although that is only half of the equation as Sprouse delivers amazing action pages, without confusing the reader. The only downside is that some pages though seem off, and with an additional inker along Karl Story it seems that may have been the problem, but lucky those panels are few and far between.
The Multiversity: SOS is a much smaller in scope, but easier to digest package. It’s thrilling enough for readers who are already committed to the story to continue, but it also fans who missed the first chapter to jump on without looking back.
Th Multiversity: Society of Super-Heroes earns a 4/5.
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