Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Multiversity: The Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of The Counter-World #1 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Grant Morrison
Art By: Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, Walden Wong
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: September 17, 2014

Damn That's A Long Title

Here we are again, exploring Grant Morrison's strange imagining of the Multiverse and this time we'll be checking out Earth 20 and Earth 40.  Not that it really matters here, but last time we saw Superman of Earth-23 and a convention of parallel Earth superheroes all get together at a hub of the Multiverse to rescue the last Monitor, Nix Uotan from a unspeakable evil that was threatening the whole of the Multiverse.  After missing their landing point and ending up on the wrong Earth, our heroes fought Marvel-esque versions of the DC Universe and eventually found themselves in trouble when Nix Uotan and his sidekick pirate chimpanzee enter that Earth, but it seems that he too has been corrupted by the evil that threatens them all.  It's funny to me that after all that info was dropped on our lap that this issue has nothing to do with it and we have to relearn everything all over again.  So let's check out this issue's Society of Super-Heroes and see what peril threatens them and their world.

Explain It!:

Our story begins with a Watchmen like scenario where a bunch of heroes are getting together to see if they can form a team.  Here we see a group of female Black Hawks, The Mighty Atom, Anthro The Immortal Man, Abin Sur The Green Lantern and the team's leader Doc Fate.  It's all pretty standard stuff with a few exceptions like Doc Fate seems to be like a Mister Terrific like character with the bonus feature of sorcery, Anthro The Immortal Man is a Vandal Savage double that happens to be a good guy, Abin Surr is the Green Lantern but he has a devilish appearance and The Mighty Atom, Al Pratt is an eighteen year old nerdy kid who just so happens to have an atomic punch.  Once the team are assembled Doc Fate tells them of a parallel world that seems to be on a collision course with their world and he's assembled them to fight against anything that might threaten Earth-20.  They all agree and the Society of Super-Heroes is formed.  S.O.S. for short.  

Little do they know that the parallel Earth is Earth-40 which appears to be a air pirate like Earth where Vandal Savage intends to use this collision as a way to conquer and pillage a new land.  So bad times ahead for Earth-20.

We jump back into the story five years later where Earth-20 is a war torn planet.  It seems that Vandal Savage and his horde of villains came to this world five years earlier and it's just been constant war.  Now this is the final day of the war and we begin that journey by seeing Al Pratt blasted back inside Doc Fate's fortress.  His face is burned and he's mumbling about Abin Sur dying by "that fear thing" and that he looked at it's face.  One thing I didn't mention in the beginning that ties this issue to last month's Multiversity is that Doc Fate on the day that he recruited the Society of Super-Heroes had in his possession the comic book that drove the narrative last issue.  He told Atom not to touch it because it's believed to be cursed and now here five years later as he's going into shock, he blames everything that's happened to him on touching that comic book.  Doc Fate tries to open a portal to where he's holding his universal bridge, but before he can accomplish his task Earth-40's Blockbuster breaks in.  Even though he's terribly injured, the Atom cowboys up and buys Doc Fate some time to complete his spell.  

Outside we see a grand air battle between Vandal Savage's sky ship and The Black Hawk's planes, One of Vandal's lieutenants, Shiva takes off in her own plane to take on the group herself, while Felix Faust parachutes down to confront Doc Fate himself.  After a fierce battle Shiva's plane goes down and once the group are on the ground they quickly shoot Shiva to death........ Yeah, war is hell.  Felix on the other hand sends hordes of zombies to break down the doors of Fate's stronghold and once our hero shoots them all down, it looks like it's sorcerer vs. sorcerer.  This is a really great part that made me laugh out loud and as juvenile as it is, it's definitely a highlight for me in this issue.  The two sorcerers stand in front of one anther and we get ready for the magic fight of the century when the confrontation ends in two shots.  Check this out.

Now that Felix is down, Doc Fate opens his portal and takes the villain through with him to torture Faust and find out what Vandal is up to.  Fate yells for Atom to hurry through and the Atom goes against his better judgment and uses his atomic punch against Blockbuster killing him.  But the Society of Super-Heroes can't catch a break because right as the Atom gets through, we find out what "that fear thing" he was talking about actually is.  Oh yeah baby it's Parallax and even though Doc Fate closes the doorway, it seems that Parallax will be able to make his way through momentarily and when he does it's a really good thing that Abin Sur didn't die like Al Pratt had thought he did.  Using his ring while reciting the Green Lantern oath, Abin Sur is able to kill Parallax and the team decide to use the bones of the creature to power Fate's universal bridge to warn the other worlds of Vandal Savage's invasion.  It's all sciencey, but it makes sense for comic books.  "Yeah why wouldn't a fear entity be able to power a universal bridge?"  That's right I don't have a reasonable answer to deny their Weird Science.

In the end it's Anthro vs. Vandal Savage and we find out that there is one way to kill an immortal.  It seems if you use the meteor that created their immortality as a weapon, it is able to fatally wound them.  So Vandal stalks Anthro with a chunk of his meteor, that he plans on bludeoning Anthro with and our hero immortal fashions his own meteor piece into a spear head.  It looks like reach is the determining factor in this battle and Vandal Savage is down for the count.  Only problem with this is Vandal planned on the blood of an immortal spilling, only he didn't plan on it being his own.  We find out about an old prophecy that tells of an old god that will awaken when the blood of an immortal is spilled.  That god is called Niczhuotan, The Destroyer of Worlds.  So while it looked like the war would finally end, our group of heroes has a whole new big bad to worry about.  Poor poor Earth-20.


That's it for this month's issue of The Multiversity and man I don't think I'll stop complaining about the length of this title until we probably get a longer one down the road and I have something new to bitch about.  Earth-20 before this five year war is something that I definitely would love to see again, because this group of pulpy heroes just seem like a lot of fun and they've got that whole noir thing going for them, that I just love.  So see you next month as we continue our foray through the Multiverse and possibly see a underlining story to these stories other than a cursed comic book.  Pretty much I want to see Captain Carrot again.  See you then.

Bits and Pieces:

I don't know what I really expected going into a series that intended to explore the Multiverse through different stories on different Earths, but after reading last issue I guess I had the idea that we'd keep a few characters along the way.  That's right everyone, the only thing connecting this story to the last is the cursed comic book that somehow threatens all universes.  That's what sucks about getting into this series so far is that I become invested in the characters it portrays and then "POOF" they're gone.  Besides for that, I had a great time in seeing the conflict between Earth-20 and Earth-40, but with no idea where these stories will take us, I can't say that it was as impactful as last issue.  Definitely something you should check out and get lost in though so you can make you're own assumptions about this title's grand design.


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