Thursday, March 26, 2015

Multiversity Ultra Comics #1

   Despite its serious tone, this issue of Multiversity had me smiling a lot.

   That's because this issue is trying to get into your head - and it succeeds!

   It's something comics have been trying to do for a long time. In the late 1980s I interviewed DC editor Julius Schwartz (what a character!), and he talked about the importance of a strong cover to generate sales.

   He said one of the comics that had strong sales was an issue of The Flash in the '60s that featured a closeup of that hero, holding up his hand and saying (in huge letters) "STOP! Don't pass up this issue! My life depends on it!"

   So here we have writer Grant Morrison, who has (with this series) been playing the comics medium like a maestro, going totally meta.

   So we meet the hero Ultra (or is he called Ultra Comics?), who talks to you, the reader.

   I know, it sounds silly - but it's so artfully done that you have to admire the way the story gets in your head, playing with your concept of how comics work and how you react to them.

   It doesn't hurt that the finely-crafted art is by Doug Mahnke (with three inkers), one of the best in DC's stable.

   This issue will keep you guessing throughout. You might even be tempted to put it down without finishing it - but it would take a stronger person that me to manage that.

   Just wonderful!

Grade: A+



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