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Multiversity: The Just #1

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By Grant Morrison, Ben Oliver & Dan Brown

Grant Morrison continues his exploration of the multiverse on Earth-16. In this universe, the offspring of the great superheroes live in a world where the criminal element poses no real threat. Due to this, they live a life of decadence and reenact previous battles to fend off boredom. Then, one of them commits suicide after reading a comic book…

This book is a laborious read. Morrison tries to explore many themes and concepts that, if fleshed out properly, would make this an exemplary issue. Due to the size constraints of the issue, all these elements come off as half-done ideas; too much in one comic. The notion of examining the children of heroes is not new; Mark Millar does it to great effect in Jupiter’s Legacy. The death of one of their own definitely calls to mind Identity Crisis. The structure is also a bit incoherent. The transitions between sequences are not smooth at all. Readers will go back feeling as if they missed something on the previous panel or page. Again, this looks to be a consequence of the length limit.

Perhaps the saving grace of The Just is Ben Oliver and Dan Brown’s work on the book. The panels have a wonderful painted texture to them. I equate it to a smoother version of Alex Maleev’s style. The imagery is very powerful, especially when the reenacted fight is depicted. Seeing the “heroes” take down Red Amazo…just awesome!

This comic is a bit of a letdown considering it’s from Grant Morrison. There are some great golden nuggets laden within the material, but they are just glossed over. This story would make for an excellent graphic novel or mini-series. Since this is the third issue in the Multiversity run, it’s worth picking up, just don’t expect to be blown away.

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