Fans of the DC Universe of the 90s and early 2000s should enjoy this tribute via Grant Morrison’s ‘Multiversity’ series which explores random parallel Earths in the new DC continuity. It was recently hinted that the pre-New 52 still exists somewhere and this series may revisit that history, but this particular issue visits a world playfully dubbed “Earth Me” where Superman’s robotic duplicates maintain the peace and status quo, leaving the next generation of heroes bored with nothing to do but party and be famous. The story plays into our current celebrity and reality star-obsessed culture, with the heroes acting like mega powerful Kardashians.
The heroes include Damian Wayne as Batman, Chris Kent (the son of Zod and Ursa, who was adopted by Clark Kent and Lois Lane pre-New 52) as Superman, Sasha Norman the daughter of Shilo Norman as Sister Miracle and Saphire Mason as Megamorpho. In a twist, Damian is dating Lexie Luthor and Superboy, Kon-El is dating Duella Dent, the Joker’s Daughter. Missed fan favorites like Kyle Rayner, Wally West and Conner Hawke factor into the story and we also get glimpses of nearly forgotten characters like Argus and Alpha Centurion. We also get some of the Earth 2 overlap from the previous continuity as Pieter Cross/Doctor Midnight and Jakeem Thunder appear.
In all, it’s a fun story but like most Morrison projects, can get a bit heady and is ultra-meta. Part of the story centers around a haunted comic book that originated on a different Earth and somehow found its way to this world. In fact, as Batman discovers, several comics from parallel universes have managed to find their way to this world.
The dialogue is crisp but feels a little forced in some areas. To be honest, Morrison has never been my favorite in terms of dialogue, but it was better here than it has been in other books. And the concept of super heroes as jaded, bored celebutantes is actually rather cool.
The art by Ben Oliver is lush and gorgeous. At the very least, it looks amazing.
In all, though it wasn’t flawless, it was a solid comic that was respectful of DC’s past continuity. The art was beautiful and the meta ideas presented were intriguing, although Morrison has tread similar ground in other books in the past.
THE MULTIVERSITY: THE JUST #1
Written by Grant Morrison
Art and Cover by Ben Oliver