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David Uzumeri

The Multiversity Annotations, Part 4: Not The Peace of the Grave or the Security of the Slave

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The fourth issue of the series, Pax Americana with art by Frank Quitely, colors by Nathan Fairbairn and letters by Rob Leigh, is probably the most widely anticipated of the series, and certainly the most-hyped. It's Morrison's attempt to update and revise the structure of Watchmen, but applied to the original Charlton characters, as that Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons work was originally intended to in its first pitch. While Watchmen followed a strict nine-panel grid structure (some panels would be bisected or extended, but that was the general latticework on which everything hung), Pax Americana goes for eight, resembling not only harmonic octaves of music and colors of the rainbow that make up much of the multiversal structure Morrison is working with but also the "Algorithm 8" that allows President Harley to perceive the underpinning structure of the universe and use it to his advantage. That algorithm is, of course, the eight-panel grid (and the 8-shape made by one's eyes while reading the page) that forms the comic book universe he lives in.

The book moves backwards in eight color-coded sections, which I'll denote, that correspond to the evolutionary stages of humanity/a single person espoused by Don Beck and Chris Cowan's spiral dynamics, or, more specifically, Ken Wilber's later integral theory, which incorporated it. I'd never heard of it before this book, and from all research I've done there's a reason for that; it seems to be widely accepted as bunk pseudoscience by any academic institution, which makes it a perfect evolution of the original Question and Rorschach's stark black-and-white Randian Objectivism, while also tying into not only Pax's obsession with the number eight but its role in the Multiversity series as a whole, both due to the nature of music in octaves which makes up the structure of the DC multiverse as well as the colors of the rainbow that form the Source Wall.

This is a long one, so with no further ado...

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They F*ck You Up, Your Mum And Dad: The Multiversity Annotations, Part 3

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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).

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The First Thing I Made Was A Weapon: The Multiversity Annotations, Part 2

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We'll be focusing here on the second issue of the maxiseries, the unwieldily titled The Multiversity: The Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World, written by Grant Morrison with pencils by Tom Strong's Chris Sprouse, inks by Karl Story and Walden Wong, and gorgeous colors by Dave McCaig.

I'll admit here from the beginning that while I can talk about this series' relationship to the DC Universe and Morrison's oeuvre, I'm close to clueless about the vagaries of early 20th century pulp fiction and would be incredibly interested in hearing from more learned readers whatever I've missed from that angle. That said, there's still a great deal of meat to dig into in this issue, which serves as a sort of conceptual counterpoint to Final Crisis's opening scene, showing us the end of Anthro and Vandal Savage's 40,000-year feud.

So, with no further ado...

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This Review Is In The Form of a Live Dissection: The Multiversity Annotations, Part 1

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Teased for years and finally launched this week, 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.

Three pages into the preview for The Multiversity #1, I knew I was going to have a lot to work with.

With no further ado, go get your erasers and your textbooks, close your laptops, sharpen your pencils, and get ready for some course notes. Let's go to school.

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Closing the Loop and Filling the Hole: The End of Grant Morrison’s Batman [Spoilers]

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This week, Batman Incorporated #13, by Grant Morrison, Chris Burnham and Nathan Fairbairn, wraps up Morrison's seven-year tenure on the character. It brings everything to a definitive close that leads to both the character's new era in the New 52 and to the core of the Batman myth itself. It closes not just one loop, but a number of loops, between the present and various points in the past -- the beginning of this volume, the beginning of Morrison's run and, indeed, to the very beginning of the character, way back in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. It's a heartfully written, beautifully drawn true creative collaboration between three of the best talents in comics, and can probably be best described as a frustrated and slightly resigned labor of love. I've been following this run since it started, and there's a solid argument to be made that this particular run, this particular story, has been the bedrock of my entire comics journalism career. So let's look back on the past seven years of headshots, time travel, evil gods, lapdancing pigs, father-son bonding, heartbreak, good art, bad art and, above all, mystery. Let's look, for the first time, as a whole, at Grant Morrison's run on Batman, and talk about the Hole in Things.

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Marvel’s ComiXology Crash, SimCity, And The Perils Of Supply And Digital Demand

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At 2PM Eastern on Sunday, March 10, Marvel announced at the South by Southwest Interactive conference -- among a bunch of interesting new announcements regarding the intersections between digital media and comics -- that they were promoting the digital comics medium, and their own books, by offering over 700 first issues for free through the wildly popular and borderline monopolistic Comixology cloud-based platform.

On Tuesday, Ma

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Hickman & Opena’s ‘Avengers’ #1 Is Big, Cool, and Gorgeous [Spoiler-Free Review]

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Out this week is the first issue of Jonathan Hickman's obviously meticulously planned and apparently very lengthy run on Marvel's Avengers franchise. Avengers #1 -- by Hickman (Fantastic Four/FF, The Manhattan Projects) with a

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Getting ‘Happy!’ With Grant Morrison And Darick Robertson [Interview]

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Unleashed on the world today from Grant Morrison, Darick Robertson, colorist Richard P. Clark and letterer Simon Bowland, is Happy!#1, Morrison's first Image Comics release since Spawn #18 in 1994. Morrison's spent the past few years working almost exclusively with DC Co

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Eye of the Gorgon: Batman Incorporated #2 [Annotations]

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The third issue of Batman Incorporated might be delayed for a month, but here at ComicsAlliance we've got annotations for the second issue to tide you over! Twenty pages of Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham doing their continuity cut-up style you've seen before in the fourth issue of the last volume, tying together panels and scenes from numerous old comics with a new narrative that pushes the current story forward. Click below t

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Category: Annotations, DC

‘Batman, Incorporated’ #3 Delayed a Month Due to Aurora Shooting

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In the aftermath of the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado last Friday, in which 12 people were killed and dozens injured during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, DC Comics has delayed release of Batman, Incorporated #3. In a letter sent to comic book retailers on Monday, the publisher indicated the decision was made due to "content that may be perceived as insensitive in light of recent events." The issue had already been shipped to some retailers.

The last time DC Comics delayed a Batman book after shipment for content reasons was the infamous curse-word ink misprint that allowed pretty extre

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