Thursday, November 20, 2014

Multiversity: Pax Americana #1


   The history of comics includes a few events that truly rocked the industry. One of those was the Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons creation known as Watchmen.

    It's no secret that the series began as a proposal for a revamp of the Charlton Action Heroes - but instead, they served as the template for the characters who filled that series.

   So now we arrive at Grant Morrison's Multiversity, and the latest issue, Pax American, where we visit Earth-4, the home for Charlton's heroes.

   Here we find the Question, the Blue Beetle, Nightshade, the Peacemaker, Captain Atom and others (some not clearly identified) - but appearance aside, these are not the same heroes.

   Instead, they're a mash-up of the original characters and the characteristics of the Watchmen (without ever coming out and saying so). So we have a Question who is brutal with villains, a Captain Atom who lives across time and space, a Peacemaker who seems to be unhinged.

   The story is made more compelling by the amazing art of Frank Quitely, who has crafted an amazing storytelling feat here - one that could easily stand alongside the style and design of the Watchmen.

   This is not a story you can read just once - it's complex, sometimes confusing and deliberately challenging. You might also object to the violence, to the way the story pushes the characters into different forms, altered moralities - and you won't get much argument from me - it bothers me, too.

   But despite that, this is quite an accomplishment in comic art - mature, unique (and yet an homage with multiple levels at work) - just stunning.

   But not for kids.

Grade: A


1 comment:

Glen Davis said...

As I recollect, Peacemaker was unhinged from the time he debuted in the DCU.