The Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1 Review


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The latest installment in the Multiversity saga goes pretty much beyond what we’ve seen from Grant Morrison’s mind.  The word “meta” is always thrown around when talking about his writing, but The Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1 goes further than that.  I think we need to coin a new word for this type of storytelling.  Maybe we should say that this latest issue is the most “Morrison” of them all.  This time, the reader is completely drawn into the story when the protagonist, named Ultra Comics, breaks the fourth wall.  Though not as thought-provoking and puzzling as The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1, this issue still has Morrison’s craziness turned on to high.  It’s definitely a great way to build towards a strong conclusion to the Multiversity series.

The Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1 (Spoiler-Free Synopsis)

Writer: Grant Morrison

Penciller: Doug Mahnke / Inker: Christian Alamy, Mark Irwin, Keith Champagne, Jaime Mendoza / Colorists: David Baron, Gabe Eltaeb / Letterer: Steve Wands / Cover: David Baron, Doug Mahnke

The story opens with the protagonist, aptly named Ultra Comics, breaking the fourth wall and warning the reader not to continue reading.  You see, he’s just traveled form the future where something really bad happened.  And he barely made it out alive.  When he ends his rant by telling the reader that everything’s a trap, the enticement to turn the page only strengthens.

We’re soon greeted by a pencil-pusher of a man who tells us not to mind Ultra Comics — because Ultra Comics is only dreaming.  Taking us through a lab, the man tells the reader that our world is in danger, and there’s only one person who can save it — you.  When we meet Ultra Comics, it’s on the day of his conception, fresh out of a vat of colorful goo, his soup of life.  Ultra Comics addresses us and tells us that his superhero persona will be installed into our minds — much like software — by the simple act of reading this issue from cover to cover.

Ultra Comics reveals his origins to us: he was created by scientists from Earth-Prime, our world.  As everyone knows, superheroes don’t exist in out world, but they found a way to create one with a comic book.  Ultra Comics’s power comes from the Ultragem — imagination concentrated in the form of a solid crystal.  His mission is to fight against a Hostile Independent Thought-form (HIT).  And by using the Ultragem, our thoughts and minds fuse with Ultra Comics’s body to form the ultimate protector against a HIT threat.

The creators send him on his first mission titled Out of His Box!  When he arrives, Ultra Comics questions why they would send him to an apocalyptic New York.  The bureaucratic man from the start of the story makes another appearance and gives us a chance to put the comic book down and leave.  As Ultra Comics explores this urban wasteland, he runs into a monstrous abominated version of the Justice League.  But not everything is as it seems.

Best Moments

  • Ultra Comics breaking the fourth wall and warning the reader.
  • The twist and ultimate circular nature of the issue.

Overall Verdict

If you enjoyed The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1, you’ll enjoy The Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1.  Though not as heady as the former, it still elicits readers to immerse themselves into Grant Morrison’s multi-layered way of looking at the universe.  Since this also involves Earth-Prime, the story directly addresses readers — warning us about an impending danger.

Doug Mahnke’s art perfectly compliments the maniacal nature of the story.  In reading this issue, I discovered that Mahnke is particularly good at drawing characters’ eyes.  A rather strange phenomenon, but the illustrations combined with the narrative did deliver a feeling of paranoia — which is most likely something both Morrison and Mahnke intended.

If you’ve been a fan of The Multiversity series, you don’t want to miss this issue.  Morrison is certainly ending this whole event on a strong note.  I’ll make this prediction right now: a long time from now when Morrison leaves our world, I visualize his tombstone reading “Meta to the End.”

Next: Catch up on The Multiversity series with The Multiversity: Mastermen #1 Review

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