DC Entertainment has confirmed that Grant Morrison’s long-awaited Multiversity comic book series will hits stores in late 2013. Six years in the making, it was initially targeted for a 2010 release. Grant Morrison, author of Action Comics and Batman Incorporated, will write the series which will introduce new universes, characters, and villains (but will not affect DC’s New 52 universe) with artwork in each issue done by different, top-name artists.
The series will consist of eight issues, six one-shots and a two-part conclusion that bookends the entire story. A possible ninth 20-page book may be published containing supplemental material such as maps of the universes. Each of the six one-shots will take place on a different parallel Earth within the DC universe, and will include Earth 22 (the pulp world), Earth Prime (our world), Thunderworld (populated by the Captain Marvel and Shazaam! characters), the Nazi World (an alternate post-WWII world), and Pax Americana (a re-imagining of the Watchman world).
Earth 22, the pulp world, will re-imagine some of DC’s pulp characters such as Doctor Fate, Immortal Man, and Lady Blackhawk. It’s a version of the Earth where there’s two billion people just coming out of a World War II like war. A group of superheroes called the Society of Superheroes (SOS) are led by Doc Fate and deal with the first incursion of villains across the multiverse.
Earth Prime, our world, will attempt to depict the superheros in a realistic setting, explaining the technology behind the superheroes and how they would/could work in the real world.
Thunderworld will be based on the classic Fawcett comics featuring Captain Marvel, known today as Shazaam!, and explains how they are drawn into the Multiverse story.
The Nazi World is similar to the universe in Superman: Red Son. Superman lands in Nazi-controlled Europe in 1938 (the year Superman was introduced in Action Comics #1) where he is used by the Nazis to bring about Hitler’s corrupted vision of the world. Superman eventually questions whether the ends justify the means and whether or not this world should even exist.
Pax Americana, the Charlton world, features the Peacemaker (re-imagined as the Comedian from Watchmen) who assassinates the President of the United States. Ted Kord, The Question and the Blue Beatle also star in the series.
How the Multiversity universes parallel each other
Morrison explained that “all of the parallel universes are separated by a different vibratory rate, so basically each one is ringing on a different note”.
Each issue will have a 30-page lead story followed by an 8-page backup. Each world in the Multiverse publishes comic books about the heroes of the other worlds, and in a sense, communicate with the other worlds through the comic books. Once the characters realize this, they unite to set up a super team to take on the villains and protect the multiverse (they are headquartered in a place called The Multiversity). Each universe will open up an endless series of worlds and realities for future writers to use and expand upon.
The complexity of the Multiversity series and an artwork teaser
Morrison agreed that this has been the biggest project he has ever worked on and that it has been rewritten many times to make it as perfect as possible. He told the Hollywood Reporter:
“There’s something always appealing about a Russian Superman and a vampire Batman. It’s a different way of looking at the archetypes that we’re familiar with. And I wanted to a really massive story that would be my ‘Lord of the Rings’ and it would be the best thing I’ve ever done. Whether it is, I don’t know. But I’ve certainly spent a long time on it.”
At MorrisonCon in Las Vegas, Morrison debuted some of the art work from Pax Americana #1 (see graphics above), the issue of Multiversity that people have been talking about for a few years now. Morris explained the concept of the issue:
“Pax Americana” features art by long-time Morrison collaborator, Frank Quitely, and the world being explored is that of the classic Charlton characters, such as Blue Beetle, the Question, Captain Atom, and the Peacemaker. Those familiar with comics will notice that this isn’t the first time someone has riffed on Charlton. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s iconic “Watchmen” is loosely based off those same characters.”
iFanBoy has an interview online with Grant Morrison which spells out a bit more detail.
Sources: Hollywood Reporter, iFanBoy, DC Comics, CBR, Newsarama, MTV