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The Multiversity Guidebook #1 Review and *SPOILERS*
Written By: Grant Morrison Art By: Marcus To, Paulo Siqueira, Dave McCaig, Hi-Fi Cover Price: $7.99 Release Date: January 28, 2015
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
The Multiverse continues to get weird with this installment to it's tales of wonder.......Was that too over the top? Going into this book I really didn't know what to expect. Was it going to be a simple guidebook telling me all about the different Earth's within the Multiverse? Was it going to continue with the cursed comic story? Was it going to introduce new worlds and unite the ones that we've already seen? As it turns out, it was yes to all of this and man is this a monster of a book because of it. Now I'm going to try my best to convey what went down in this over over sized issue, but knowing me, I'm probably going to screw it up along the way, so bear with me as we jump into The Multiversity Guidebook, where hopefully we don't go into sensory overload and our brains turn to mush.......... I think that's what Morrison goes for with his writing. Let's check it out.
Our story begins with the aftermath of Thunderworld, where Dr. Sivana's from all over the Multiverse have been coming together and adding to their League of Sivana's and destroying that version's heroes. Where we begin is Earth-42's Little League's chibi heroes experiencing death for the first time........... Well mass death. They had their Superman killed by SuperDoomsday way back in Action Comics #9. Here's a world where pretty much the heroes are children playing child like superhero games and along comes a bunch of homicidal Sivanas and their death bots......... So pretty much the Little League is dead, except for Batman who stays behind so the few surviving Little Leaguers can get away, but that's not all. In comes Batman from Earth-17 and shit gets even weirder from there.
After a brief conversation about who they are and the Earth-17 Batman talking like he's from Stephen King's Dark Tower series, we see that the chibi Batman discovers a comic book that's actually the map to the Multiverse which is in this issue and a story about what Earth-51 is up to with it's heroes like Kamandi. As the chibi Batman reads the book we go and see that Kamandi and his friends have discovered an old burial site for Darkseid, but it looks like something broke out of it and after further investigating they find a story about DC Comics.......... Well about how the Mulitverse was created spanning the creation of the Silver Age Flash all the way up to Flashpoint and the creation of the New 52......... Which then becomes the guidebook to the Mulitverse. A brief description is given of each Earth except for seven worlds. For some reason Earth's 14,24,25,27,28,46 and 49 are still a mystery and no description is given in this book.
In the end, we see that the Monitor Nix Uotan turned evil Gentry soldier is watching Kamadi and possibly guiding us as we were told the story of the Multiverse and we end that section with him writing on the wall, "I Found You". He's the one that unleashed Darkseid for some Gentry purpose and he tells us that he does so in the name of "The Empty Hand"....... Possibly a reference to ending creation, like an anti-creation hand......... I don't know.
Back on Earth-42, the chibi Batman discovers how to use one of Sivana's Multiverse cubes and is teleported to Earth-17 where he is met with hostility from Batman's people that didn't expect a weird little person to come back to them, but after seeing that he holds "a rose that grows in winter"............ again, no idea. This rose is something that the Batman of Earth-17 said he had dreamed about at the beginning of the issue and after Earth-42's Batman finished reading his Multiversity Guidebook, the rose had mysteriously appeared on the floor in front of him.......... So yeah, weirdness. Anyway after they see the fabled rose, the Novamerikans welcome the chibi Batman in.......... Oh and back on Earth-42, the Earth-17 Batman is saved by The House of Heroes....... uh, heroes from the first issue of The Multiversity and Earth-17's Batman is recruited to the front lines of saving The Multiverse................ and just like Return of the King, this book doesn't want to end. After the Earth-17 Batman is saved we see an actual glowing empty hand make all the dead Little Leaguers come back to life and now they serve the Empty Hand............. Yeah, no idea.
That's it for.............THIS MONSTER OF A BOOK.......... Goddamn is The Multiversity making my brain bleed. There is so much story here and so much that you need to remember from the past issues that I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to wrap my head completely around this series. With the aneurysms aside though, this was a pretty interesting book. So many worlds and even more characters all comprising a single series is maddening especially with Grant Morrison behind the wheel of the thing. Even though, I keep talking about the confusing nature of this book, I just want you all to know that...... It's really very good. I'm talking like this because I want to know the ins and outs of this series and only something that's really interesting could make me want to torture myself by turning over every rock and jumping to conclusions about things that may or may not actually be there. We have a lot of really great art throughout the story of this book and accompanying the Guidebook section of it, so pretty much you should already have your hands on this monster, I don't think the New 52 will be the same by it's conclusion.
Bits and Pieces:
Wow, I don't even know what to say to sum up this book except that it's a monster. We're taken all over The Multiverse here and given the facts behind the worlds that we've been dying to know about and even though we have a ton of story left, this was the book to make everything tie together and get you amped up for the second leg of this journey. I'm probably going to have to read this a bunch more times to try and wrap my head around everything that went down and I suggest you do the same thing. Go get yourselves a copy of The Multiversity Guidebook.