Grant Morrison's Multiversity

Wed, May 6th, 2009 at 3:28pm PDT | Updated: May 6th, 2009 at 3:57pm

Comic Books
Jeffrey Renaud, Staff Writer
69

"Multiversity" revisits concepts from "52"

Sure, it’s over a year away. But with the interweb buzzing about Grant Morrison’s next major project for DC Comics, CBR News rang up the superstar Scottish scribe to talk “Multiversity.”

Always generous with his time, Morrison shared news that the eight-issue miniseries would tell one massive story, but could also potentially lead to multiple new lines of comics.

With the Multiverse now capped at 52 worlds, Morrison chose his six favorite Earths to tell his story, while the seventh and eighth books will focus on the Multiverse as a whole.

To find out which Earths will be explored, which issue is haunted and which cosmic carrot chomping champion will be along for the ride, climb onboard starship Morrison, because we’re taking off now.

Story continues below

CBR: From what little we know about “Multiversity,” it sounds huge.

Grant Morrison: Well, that was the idea with it. The thing is that it’s really far away so there’s not a lot to say just yet. But I know people have been talking, so let’s go.

Are you setting up seven worlds for other creators to play with, or is your long-term plan to write all seven of these books?

The idea was to do seven books that would be #1 issues for seven different teams on seven different Earths. Each of these would be the bible for what could potentially be an entire comic line for each of these Earths. Whether people run with it or not, I don’t know, but we’ve kind of set up these elaborate worlds with very big back-stories and pretty cool characters. I think there’s a chance we might do something.

And I’ve tried to tie it real closely with the DC Universe, with what’s happening there. I’ve think I’ve come up with an unusual relationship between the DCU and the Multiverse itself and it all links backs to things like “52” and a bunch of other things.

Overman, the Superman of Earth-10, will appear in "Multiversity"

So why not 52 one-shots?

That would be crazy. But I’d love to. That would be fantastic if I could do every one of these worlds. A lot of them weren’t devised so some of these were kind of places I came up with. But I can remember during “52,” coming up with the idea to bring the Multiverse back. We were all – that’s me and Greg [Rucka] and Geoff Johns and Mark Waid – going to each do a Multiverse book. Waid was going to do the Shazam world. And Greg was going to do the Earth-4, the kind of Charlton world, and I think Geoff was going to do Earth-2 and I was going to do Earth-10. At the end, it didn’t work out but I really liked the idea so I came back to it and built this story over it.

It’s the type of worlds I came up with and nobody did much with them. So I thought I would focus on them, because I’ve built up huge back-stories for them, and do eight issues. I’d introduce them all and in the eighth issue, I would tell a new big story to link things up in into one big epic. So I hope that’s how it works.

When do you expect “Multiversity” to debut?

This will be coming out in 2010. This will be after the whole “Blackest Night” story. I’ve been working on this way in advance. I have started a lot of the books and I’ve almost finished a couple of them. I really want to do them ahead of time so every little detail is right. I want this to be big. I kind of thought “Final Crisis” would be the big one and then I realized I had to tell this Multiverse one. So this is the real big epic that comes up next.

And it’s eight issues, not seven?

Yeah. I started with seven but I think it’s going to be eight. The plot ties into the number eight in a few interesting ways so I thought I would maybe make eight issues and make the last one a two-parter or something.

Are you working with different artists on every book?

Scenes from the DC Multiverse as seen in "52"

That would be ideal. Hopefully. If you’re going to do a lot of different worlds, I thought it would be neat to get a completely different look for each of them. And give each a different feel for what it might be like.

There are artists that you’re definitely fond of working with. Do you have feelers out yet for a couple of the “Multiversity” books?

Oh yeah, man. I want to work with all my favorites as usual. I haven’t put any asks quite yet. But we’ll probably start to talk to people soon. But I have a wish list.

Will “Multiversity” be DC’s big summer event next year?

It was never planned to be that way but it may well be. It’s getting bigger by the day. It’s something that I think would work that way. The only difference is that this doesn’t involve a lot of the main DC characters. But they could be worked into it. This takes place outside the DC Universe, but is tied to it.

“Superman” and “Action Comics” are doing very well right now without Superman. And Bruce Wayne is nowhere to be found, thanks to you. Maybe some new characters isn’t the worst thing?

I like to think that as well. Also, you can do more with them. You can kill people. You can do real change with characters that don’t have to come back every month. And you can play with a lot of different tones. And that’s what we’re trying to do with “Multiversity.”

Obviously, the Charlton one is done in this really kind of eye-level “Watchmen” style. It’s all connections and self-referential. And then you’ve got the Shazam book, which is called “Thunderworld.” And it’s just a classic Shazam book but it’s done in a way almost like a PIXAR movie or the way we did “All Star Superman.” It captures the spirit of those characters without being nostalgic or out of date. Each of them has got a real different feel to it. And that adds to it. I think that it’s fun to see a different Batman –a Nazi Batman. Or the Black Superman that we had in “Final Crisis.” He’ll be in there, as well, along with Captain Carrot and some other interesting characters.

We know about the Charlton Earth-4 and the Shazam Earth-5, what other Earths will we see?

Page from "Final Crisis: Superman Beyond" #2

One is without designation yet. It’s with all of the nineties characters because I really miss those guys, like Connor Hawke. It’s kind of version where they first had Earth-2 and Earth-2 was the older guys from the Golden Age. This is those guys but they’re not the main heroes. There’s a whole younger generation of heroes – kind of media brats almost. There’s a comic about them.

And then there’s the Society of Superheroes, which is the kind of pulp JSA. And that’s Earth-20 with Doc Fate. He’s kind of a Doc Savage-come-Doctor Fate guy who teams with the Mighty Atom, the Immortal Man, Lady Blackhawk and her Blackhawks and Abin Sur, the Green Lantern. It’s all kind of a 1940s retro thing. As I say, it’s a pulp take on superheroes.

There’s Master Man, who is the Nazi Superman. And that’s set on Earth-10. And it’s with some of the characters from “Final Crisis,” like the Overman character. He’s the Superman who was found by the Nazis at the start of the war. And they kind of retro-engineered these rocket technologies to win the war. So he grows up in the society where the Nazis have basically won the war. It’s horrible and he’s too late to fix anything because so many people have died. So he kind of creates this perfect world but he’s in a state of permanent guilt. It’s a big, dark Shakespearean story. And the Freedom Fighters basically come back to destroy the society that he’s created. And does Superman really believe in it enough to fight for it or does he want it destroyed? It’s a big kind of moral story. It’s a Nazi Justice League fighting the Freedom Fighters. There not real Nazis but they’ve grown up in a post-Nazi world. This is based on the Earth-X Nazi world but it wasn’t really worked out so I did my own kind of version of this one with more story potential.

There’s an Earth-Prime comic with Ultraa the Unknown.

And the other one is the “Multiversity” itself, which is a kind of big team book.

Which one is Captain Carrot in? I’m a big fan.

He’s in the Multiversity one.

Will the heroes in DCU proper know what going on in “Multiversity?” Or does this series exist outside regular continuity?

There’s a bit of both. It’s actually all about the connections between the DC Universe and the Multiverse. There’s a big story. There’s a thing that kind of runs through all of the books and it affects the DC Universe, as well but due to the nature of the Multiverse, only these guys can stop it.

This version of Superman from "Final Crisis" will appear in "Multiversity"

And what’s that big thread that runs through all of them?

Each of the Earths has comic books on them with characters from the other Earths. And those come in handy when you have to cooperate and attack against the bad guys of the other Earths. There’s actually a comic book in it that’s haunted and it kills everyone who comes into contact with it, so we actually publish that comic. That’s “Ultraa the Unknown,” the sixth issue.

But not in real life, right?

I hope not. I’d hate to have that on my conscience.

Does capping the number of worlds in the Multiverse make it any easier to handle creatively? Or is it still a massive beast?

I think the ideal way to do it is to create good concepts. It’s the nature of the 52. It’s hard to do 52 books all in one go without making a couple of crappy ones. I think if they build it up over the years and only do the best that they can do, it will work. But in the past, they’ve used it for throwaway scenes in books like “Countdown: Arena” where they needed a bunch of Multiverse characters. You can’t just create characters and then wipe them out instantly without going into the backgrounds and building them up in any way. I thought it would be more effective if each world had its own big bible with a bunch of characters and they all had backgrounds and secret identities and they could all be spun into books of their own. So it’s quite a big undertaking, so I’m starting with the eight books that suited me.

But I hope in the future other people might get to add their own new worlds and build it up into this gigantic place that you go to and play in. They don’t have to be monthly books but they could be. Some people might prefer an Earth-10 Nazi superhero book to their current favorite. Or they may want a Charlton “Watchmen” style of book, if someone could sustain that type of writing. I couldn’t.

Is there a master list of all 52 Multiverse worlds?

Somebody made something up and I’ve seen a few of them online but they’re not entirely filled in so I’ve had to kind of work around that. A lot of them are just old Elseworlds, which I thought wouldn’t fit in, but I guess they have to fit in somewhere.

“Multiversity” is expected sometime in 2010 from DC Comics.

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TAGS:  grant morrison, dc comics, multiversity, final crisis, 52

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