DC's Multiversity is finally happening. Originally Announced in 2009 as an intended 2010 release, the first 40-page issue of the multiverse-spanning story by writer Grant Morrison and artists including Chris SprouseKarl Story, Ben Oliver, Frank Quitely, Cameron Stewart and more, now has an August 2014 release date. Comic Book Resources has a first-look at the first installment's colored interiors with a two-page spread by Reis, Joe Prado and Nei Ruffino, along with an official statement from Morrison that names the threat that heroes including the newly previewed Superman Kalel from Earth-23 will be facing.

From Morrison's official statement:

 'The Multiversity' has been a labor of love almost eight years in the making, and brings together an unstoppable supergroup of artists -- Reis, Sprouse, Oliver, Quitely, Stewart and more -- with a cast of unforgettable characters from the 52 alternative Earths of the known DC Multiverse!


"Prepare to meet the Vampire Justice League of Earth-43, the Justice Riders of Earth-18, Superdemon, Doc Fate, the super-sons of Superman and Batman, the rampaging Retaliators of Earth-8, the Atomic Knights of Justice, Dino-Cop, Sister Miracle, Lady Quark, the legion of Sivanas, the Nazi New Reichsmen of Earth-10 and the LATEST, greatest superhero of Earth-Prime -- YOU!


Comprising seven complete adventures -- each set in a different parallel universe -- a two part framing story, and comprehensive guidebook to the many worlds of the Multiverse, 'The Multiversity' is more than just a multi-part comic book series, it's a cosmos-spanning, soul-shaking experience that puts YOU on the front line in the Battle For All Creation against the demonic destroyers known as the Gentry!


But beware! Power has a cost, and at the heart of this epic tale waits the cursed and malignant comic book called 'Ultra Comics'...


How safe is YOUR head?


Join us, if you dare, for 'The Multiversity!'" -- Grant Morrison

The official announcement tweaks much of what ComicsAlliance learned about Multiversity in a 2012 interview with Morrison at Morrisoncon. Back then the series was billed as eight 38-page issues with 8-page backup stories, which would have featured two bookend chapters, six middle installments that each take place on a different Earth of the DC Comics multiverse, and a ninth book featuring a 20-page story and supplemental material like maps. As seen in the official statement, the series will now consist of "seven complete adventures -- each set in a different parallel universe -- a two part framing story, and comprehensive guidebook to the many worlds of the Multiverse," which sounds similar. Presumably, each of those middle chapters will still be drawn with an aesthetic relevant to each adventure (pulp comics, Silver Age tales, ’90s comics, etc.). It's unclear whether each issue will still be identified as a #1 issue.

Morrison refers to the book as "a labor of love almost eight years in the making," which may have at least something to do with the number of rewrites he's said he's done, along with the shifting landscape at DC since the "New 52" line-wide reboot that took place in 2011, which effectively change the nature of the publisher's multiverse as it may or may not be understood in Multiversity.

Until today four pages of Frank Quitely's portion of Multiversity, “Pax Americana,” issue that takes place in the Charlton universe and stars the Question and Blue Beetle in a story inspired by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen (which was of course informed by aspects and design elements of the same characters) were all that fans had seen from the project.

Like many of Morrison's works, Multiversity will speak to the power of fiction -- specifically comic books -- and is inspired at least in part by Gardner Fox, Julius Schwartz and Carmine Infantino's 1961 "The Flash of Two Worlds" story in which it's revealed that Silver Age Flash Barry Allen got his name from a comic book starring a (to him) fictional Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick.

“One of the things I loved was that Barry Allen got his name from a comic book because he used to read about Jay Garrick in the Golden Age,” Morrison told ComicsAlliance in 2012. “So the idea that each of these worlds read comic books featuring characters from the other world seemed really interesting to play with. So each of the worlds sort of communicate with the other worlds by comic books. In the second one, you see guys reading the comic book you just read the month before. They see the bad guy moving closer to their reality, through comic books.”

It's unclear whether this aspect of Multiversity will be mirrored by the nature of its villains, The Gentry, who are described as "Demonic Destroyers" but are otherwise still a mystery beyond their noble-sounding name.

What is clear, is that the "Ultra Comics" mentioned in this announcement isn't the 2004-2005 limited Ultra series by the Luna brothers from Image Comics.

Multiversity kicks off in August.


Multiversity 1 Preview Art
DC Comics



[Via CBR]

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