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The Multiversity: Mastermen #1 Review and *SPOILERS*
Written By: Grant Morrison Art By: Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Sandra hope, Mark Irwin, Jonathan Glapion, Alex Sinclair, Jeremy Cox Cover Price: $4.99 Release Date: February 18, 2015
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Welcome to Earth-10 or Earth-X for all the others Gen Xers out there that added X to everything because we had to be EXTREME! Okay, enough of that. Here we'll look at a world where Kal-El fell to Earth in Nazi Germany and the world would forever feel the power of The Overman. If you're looking for some kind of continuation of The Multiversity Guidebook, I'm sorry but you won't find it here as we head into more of a straight forward story, which is really odd since it comes from Grant Morrison. Alright, let's check out this issue and see if Mastermen can stand tall with the rest of The Multiversity lineup. Let's check it out.
Now while our story begins with Kal-El crash landing in Nazi Germany and Hitler declaring him to be from the future and the proof of the Nazi superman and their superiority, the real story of Mastermen is about the fall of Metropolis and the pain that Overman feels in his heart.
The story moves throughout World War II to the fall of America to the present day where Overman rules over the world, but is plagued by nightmares of a haunted house which comes across seeming like prolific dreams of things to come when the Gentry finally make it to Earth-10 and poison the land. Nightmares of haunted houses though seem to be at the bottom of things that Overman is worrying about though because with the memorial of Overgirl's death approaching and the great unrest from the terrorist group The Freedom Fighters, Overman has his hands full and it seems he has his mind full too. Even after all he's done in the name of the Nazis over the decades and them raising him to be the ruler of the world, it seems that Superman of Earth-10 still comes through a little and the thoughts of all the things he's done haunt him and he questions his actions everyday.......... leading others to think he's becoming weak and possibly not fit to lead.
Well, after the Freedom Fighters crash Overgirl's memorial, The Reichsmen capture one of them and begin their tortures to acquire the information about where The Freedom Fighters are and what they're planning. We find out that Uncle Sam is in league with this world's Dr. Sivana and Sivana is getting weapons for them throughout the Multiverse......... you know from those League of Sivanas out there cruising through The Bleed. I guess they figure that Earth-10 would be easier to take over if The Reichsmen are out of the way and if they don't have to get their hands dirty, well the better for them. We also find out that Uncle Sam has been working on a superhuman project so that his Freedom Fighters might actually be able to tangle with the rulers of Earth-10......... but really, none of that matters. We get very little Freedom Fighter play in this book and it deals more with the struggle that Overman feels within him.
In the end, we find out that the Freedom Fighter: Human Bomb was captured on purpose and killed Leatherwings and U-Man to create a distraction so that the Freedom Fighters could land a heavy blow against the Reichsmen by making their Earth-10 equivalent to the Watchtower, the Eagles Nest crash land onto the Earth......... While this might have taken out a bunch of The Reichsmen, it also completely destroyed Metropolis and when this issue closes we see that Overman is still alive.
That's it for this issue of Multiversity and while it was really entertaining........ it really comes off as just half a story. To deal with Overman having all these nagging thoughts about what he's done over the decades only to have the Freedom Fighters destroy Metropolis seems like a very odd choice because it doesn't have the villain become a hero and it has the heroes become terrorists......... I don't even know how to feel about that. This is a very dark and bleak world that is perfectly conveyed by Jim Lee, I only wish we got to know these characters more besides for Nazis are bad and freedom is good. I guess that's my only complaint here........... I just wanted more.
Bits and Pieces:
While Mastermen does a damn fine job in keeping The Multiversity interesting and exciting, I can't help but feel that we're only seeing half a story. Great characters and great premise wrapped up in great art sounds like the perfect home run for DC, but it feels like we're missing some real development in the way this story is told and from where it finishes. I guess my biggest complaint is that I just wanted more and if that's all I can complain about, well then this has got to be something to read.