MorrisonCon: Grant Morrison Talks 'Multiversity'

By Ali Colluccio

The big story out of MorrisonCon was an official announcement on the long talked about "Multiversity comic". There have been rumblings around the book since as early as 2006 and now, DC Comics and Grant Morrison finally have some news to share!

"Multiversity" is an eight-issue series comprised of six one-shots and a two-part story that will bookend the whole story. Each issue will focus on a different parallel world in the DC Universe’s Multiverse. On Saturday at MorrisonCon, the first of those stories was revealed.

"Pax Americana" features art by long-time Morrison collaborator, Frank Quitely, and the world being explored is that of the classic Charlton characters, such as Blue Beetle, the Question, Captain Atom, and the Peacemaker. Those familiar with comics will notice that this isn’t the first time someone has riffed on Charlton. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s iconic "Watchmen" is loosely based off those same characters.

Also similar to "Watchmen", "Pax Americana" will follow a specific grid structure. While "Watchmen" followed a nine-panel grid throughout the series, the "Pax Romana" issues will follow an eight-panel grid, sometimes broken further into 16 panels. The structure reflects that found in music and harmonic scales.

One of the things that Morrison likes about DC’s multiverse is that “all of the parallel universes are separated by a different vibratory rate, so basically each one is ringing on a different note.” The musical structure and references within "Pax Americana" will be echoed with in the other issues in the series. Morrison said, “musical references appear in very different ways but they appear all the way through. By the end you get kind of an operatic thing.” Morrison jokingly likened the process of writing "Pax Romana" to “doing calculus.”

The process of writing "Multiversity" has been about six years in the making, something Morrison compared to “Tolkien and Lord of the Rings.” He said he had most of the story done in the beginning but has spent the rest of the time “perfecting stuff and going through it.” Adding that what he like about this approach was being able to “go over things again and again and again until it’s shaped and tuned.”

Other stories in "Multiversity" will focus on DC’s pulp heroes, like Doc Savage and Lady Blackhawk, and world set 70 years after World War II had the Nazis won the war. "Multiversity" is slated to come out in late 2013.

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