Multiversity: Society of Super-Heroes #1
By Grant Morrsion, Chris Sprouse & Dave McCaig
The latest one-shot in the Grant Morrison’s Multiversity mini-series is a complete departure from the inaugural issue. This book was made for lovers of classic action/adventure pulp stories. On another alternate Earth, Doctor Fate (“Doc” as he prefers) assembles a Society of Super-Heroes to defend their world from threat of another. The looming danger from the neighboring universe is none other than the immortal Vandal Savage. Luckily this Earth has his equivalent, Immortal Man!
Morrison has such a vast knowledge and passion of comic book history. As well as a knack for taking lesser-known characters, updating them, and making them relevant for the story he is constructing. It is fairly evident he has an appreciation for classic pulp tales, just look at the names of two of the characters used: “Doc” Fate and Vandal Savage. I highly doubt that this was just coincidence. Seeing Vandal as a dashing hero was very intriguing, especially when faced with his villainous doppelganger, talk about the most blatant man vs. self conflict.
Chris Sprouse and Grant adhere to the tropes of the genre, but upgrade it by infusing superheroes within the narrative. The most powerful example is the inclusion of Green Lantern in the story. Sprouse does a fascinating interpretation of Abin Sur and with Dave McCaig’s color work, makes the character truly stand out. In general, Chris and Dave nail the look of the adventure pulp. The story has dogfights, jungles, and robots – all elements seen in this type of tale. What blows my mind is even with so much included, the story never loses focus and ties in with the previous one-shot.
This was a surprising treat! It is an excellent nostalgic work that will please many fans and may bring new ones to pulp comics. In style and substance this comic works on all cylinders. Can’t wait to see where Morrison and his collaborators jump to next in the Multiverse.