Teased for years and finally launched in 2014, The Multiversity is a universe-jumping series of DC Comics one-shots tracking the cosmic monitor Nix Uotan and an assemblage of star-crossed heroes as they attempt to save 52 universes and beyond from a trippy cosmic existential threat that, like much of Morrison’s best work, represents something far more mundane and relatable. Tying back into the very first Multiverse story in DC’s history, the heroes of these universes become aware of this threat by reading about it in comic books… comic books that, it turns out, take place in neighboring universes. Indeed, writer Grant Morrison continues his streak of highly metatextual DC cosmic epics with this eight-issue mega-series (plus one Tolkienesque guidebook).
Described by Morrison as “the ultimate statement of what DC is”, The Multiversity naturally offers the reader much beyond the surface level adventure, and that means annotations. Rather than merely filling out checklists of references, my hope with this feature is to slowly unearth and extrapolate a narrative model for Morrison and his collaborators’ work on The Multiversity; an interconnecting web of themes and cause and effect that works both on literal and symbolic levels.
We’ll be focusing here on the third issue of the maxiseries, The Just, written by Morrison with artwork by Ben Oliver and color assistance from Dan Brown (the excellent colorist, not the literary hack).
The news that actress Morena Baccarin (Firefly, Homeland) will be joining Fox’s crime drama Gotham, with a recurring role as the compassionate physician Dr. Leslie Thompkins, brings hope to a show currently heaving with villainy. Considered a surrogate parental figure to young Bruce Wayne, the good doctor appeared in over 200 issues of DC Comics and several episodes of Batman: The Animated Series. However, Dr. Thompkins has never been portrayed in a live-action film or television show. In the meantime, Bruno Heller’s Gotham appears to suffer from too much of the same motif: The murder of mother Martha Wayne and father Thomas Wayne was a catalyst, giving way to a city of “orphans” forming replacement relationships best described as disrupted, disloyal, or enmeshed.
Q: How spooky/goofy is the Power Rangers Zeo episode “It Came From Angel Grove”? -- @aleams
A: I didn't realize it until I went back to check, but I've written about Power Rangers Halloween episodes two years in a row in my spoooooky October Ask Chris columns. At this point, that's about the closest thing that ComicsAlliance has to an actual tradition, like carving a Jack O'Lantern that then attempts to get paid to write about superhero shows from the '90s.
So let's dive into it, but I'll tell you right now, folks: I'm going to go ahead and guess that this thing ends up leaning pretty heavily towards the "goofy" side of your proposed Spooky/Goofy axis.
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.
As we mentioned back when the first issue came out, IDW's Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland is a comic you really need to check out. In case you've been sleeping on it (ha HA!), Eric Shanower, Gabriel Rodriguez and Nelson Daniel are reviving Winsor McKay's beloved newspaper strip in the form of one of the most beautiful comics on the stands, full of lavish backgrounds and innovative layouts that are every bit as visually engaging as the original.
Writer Joshua Hale Fialkov has been building a positive reputation in the comics industry for years now. His work for Marvel and DC -- including Ultimate FF and I, Vampire -- may be what he’s best known for, but his creator-owned work -- including Oni's The Bunker and The Life After -- has built up its own fanbase.
One of the most interesting things about Fialkov is his serious, business-like approach to even his most creative endeavors. Many comic creators have their own ways of getting work done -- with varying success when it comes to meeting deadlines -- but there’s something particularly fascinating for me as an editor about creators who plan and schedule their time, analyze their own work, and still produce art that is innovative and entertaining. Fialkov's blog, How Fialkov Do, offers a thoughtful and entertaining view into how he gets his writing out into the world. I've spoken to Fialkov about his process a great deal over the years, and I thought ComicsAlliance readers might be interested to read more about it.
For fans of international comics, 2015 is already stacking up very nicely indeed in terms of translated material: the Lastman series, David Rubin's The Hero from Dark Horse, as well as his Beowulf adaptation with Santiago Garcia- to be published by Image, who are also releasing an English edition of Ken Niimura's Henshin; no doubt there'll be another installment of Frederik Peeters' Aama from Self Made Hero, books 3 and 4 of Fabien Vehlmann's and Bruno Gazzotti's Alone, and hopefully more that are yet to be announced. And that's without even touching any manga releases. It looks to be shaping up into another excellent year.
Adding to that pile are NBM with an English language release of Etienne Davodeau's award-winning Lulu: femme neu (Lulu: naked woman), re-titled Jude: Nude. Originally published in two volumes in 2008 and 2010, Davodeau's story of a woman who decides to suddenly take off one day after a job interview goes horribly wrong, leaving her husband and children to make time for, and discover, herself. What was a sudden whim to go to the beach turns into a longer journey in which she meets other people, many of whom are living in similarly odd circumstances. Lulu won a host of awards, including the Prize "Essential" at the 2009 Angouleme Festival and was also adapted into a movie of the same name in 2013.
For most people New York Comic-Con marks the end of convention season, capping off a long summer of announcements, reveals, and other assorted fun. As such, it’s also one of the last big places for fans to get amazing sketches and commission pieces from artists, who tend to cap off the season with some truly amazing art.
Full disclosure: Erica Henderson is not only a friend of the site and a collaborator with our own Chris Sims on Subatomic Party Girls, but also a contributor to the site, most notably with her Sims portrait for the ongoing Ask Chris feature. All of which just means we noticed her considerable talent before everyone else caught up. ow she's working with Ryan North on Marvel's recently announced Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, and her skills were in high demand at NYCC.
Those of you who keep track of the ComicsAlliance staff for shipping purposes may have been wondering what former editor Caleb Goellner has been up to since he left the site earlier this year. As it happens, he's been over at Wacom, and while working on tablets used for digital art is still pretty close to comics -- indeed, many comics artists use the technology to create their comics -- the company is nudging even closer with the announcement of the first-ever Wacom comics anthology.
Built around the theme of "Pressure/Sensitivity" (geddit?), the anthology will feature the talents of cover artist and ComicsAlliance favorite Ulises Farinas with stories by the equally esteemed Meredith Gran, Ming Doyle, Giannis Milanogiannis and more. Even better, the 32-page anthology will be free to download when it's released in January.
If there's one thing we've learned from our years on the Internet, it's that there's no aspect of comics that can't be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of five or ten. And since there's no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we're taking it upon ourselves to compile lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.
This week, we're heading away from the Big Two for a look at some of the scariest bad guys from the world of indie comics. The catch? We're also staying away from horror comics, just to make things a little more interesting!