Friday, August 22, 2014

Top 5 Fridays: MULTIVERSITY EDITION Top 5 DC Comics' Elseworld Stories

This week's Top 5 Fridays is inspired by Grant Morrison's Multiversity, that hit shelves this week and made me think of all my favorite Elseworld stories and I figured I can't always be dumping superhero costumes all over your sweet faces.  Yeah that sounded weirder than I would of liked, but no regrets people!  Just look forward and continue with what you were doing.  While none of these picks that you're about to read will ever be as odd as what Grant Morrison is going to give us for his Mulitversity run, I still think they ought to be mentioned and thought about as we dive deep into the Multiverse.  Hell a lot of these picks are probably some of your favorites because when you come right down to it, comic book consensus is pretty straight forward with what's great and what's shit.  But who knows, maybe I have shitty taste.  Let's find out as we dive into this week's Top 5 Fridays: MULTIVERSITY EDITION Top 5 DC Comics' Elseworld Stories.......... I'm always saying dive, I think I might have a subconscious pool fetish...... Weird.

#5.  Superman & Batman GENERATIONS

This is a trade I got on a whim in what I think was 2000 and even though at first read I thought it was pretty cheesy, I continued to read it and re-read it and occasionally think about it from time to time, so I guess it's made an impression on me.  This story is about what if Superman and Batman met in the 20's and lived their lives in actual time and the stories that intersect throughout each decade.  You should really check this title out because it deviates from normal Superman/Batman mythology where Batman gets married has a son and Superman marries Lois Lane and they have two children.  It's just an interesting read and I don't see it on other lists for things of this nature and I think it's due for a spot on a Top.... Whatever list, because it's just great seeing our heroes grow old together.

#4.  Superman and Batman WORLD'S FUNNEST

This is just a great funny story dealing with Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite fighting over who's hero is better, which leads to a gigantic 5th Dimensional fight that ends the lives of every hero that comes in contact with these imps.  If that wasn't enough to get you to read this story, then let me add that their fight continues throughout the Multiverse until all realities are destroyed by their fight.  At the end the two agree that a good time was had by all and they recreate the universes and plan on doing it again "Next Tuesday".  That part always made me laugh, just knowing that these little bastards constantly put our heroes through hell so they can have their weekly universal squash match.  Actually writing this makes me want to read it again, because it's so damn funny and if you haven't checked it out, you should.

#3.  Superman Red Son

I really dig this story because of the time setting and the juxtaposition of the American Superman we know to his Elseworld Russian counter part.  Like New Frontier, this places Superman during the era of the Cold War, just on the other side of it and deviation from the comic book history I know aside, I just have a weakness for period pieces.  It's weird looking at this book with all the anti-communist propaganda we grew up with especially in movies during the 80's and when I look at this book, I really think that the communists were the only good guys in this story.  America seems evil due to it's elected leader's hatred for Russia and it's Russian Superman.  Is it any surprise that it's Luthor?  But even with that we have Superman creating his utopia, taking way to many liberties than he should, due to his god like persona to achieve it.  It's a really interesting book and it's a really scary Elseworld that I hope Morrison explores a bit in his Multiversity run.  I'd like to see it's New 52 version.


This story is dear to me because I first read it in 2001, which was the best year of my life.  I was a senior in highschool and I had a awesome job as a projectionist at my local theater.  When I wasn't projectioning, I'd be sitting in the office reading trade paperbacks.  You see the owner of the theater lived in another state and would only show up once a week if that and a handful of guys in their early 20's and me ran the joint.  So that meant a PS2 upstairs and the cabinets in the office were full of comic book trades.  So that's where I first read this story about heroes facing off against one another in a not so bright future.  This and Marvel's Earth X were just stunning books when they came out and both told stories of retired heroes getting back into action to fight against the dystopian future that apparently they couldn't get right the first time.  It's just so good and it will always remind me of the best year of my life.  You definitely need to check this one out.

#1.  Batman Year One and The Dark Knight Returns

This just seems too obvious for a #1 spot, but as many times as you've seen this as the top place on these kind of lists, you know they belong there.  I couldn't choose just one and luckily since they belong to the same universe, or Millerverse I don't think I really need to.  Even though Batman Year One belonged to the Millerverse, it was the seminal origin story we held for our beloved Caped Crusader until Snyder just recreated it for the New 52 in his Zero Year story arc.  For those of you that prefer this story to that, well at least we have it for an Elseworld and it will never be forgotten.  As for The Dark Knight Returns, we get to go from the origin to the end of Batman in style and see a dystopian 1980's where The Dark Knight steps out of retirement and takes back Gotham City.  You know what's the point here?  You all know the Dark Knight Returns and the only real insight I can give you is that I read Batman Year One and The Dark Knight Returns right after another, when my grandmother got me the trades as a boy.  While Batman Year One is great for any age to understand, I really didn't find a love for the TDKR until I got older and I guess understood it better.  But they were both critical comics to me as a youth and I think they'll always be.  With that said I left All Star Batman and Robin out of this even though they are part of the same universe because no matter how many years go by, I'll never have a love for that story.

That's it for this week's Top 5 Fridays and our foray into the Multiverse.  Make sure you're back next week as we go over some other topic I haven't decided yet and as always make sure to comment if you feel something else should be on this list that I've left out.  Have a great weekend and I'll see you in seven.

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