The Multiversity: Five Things We Still Don't Get
Considering we’ve been writing about it all week long, we’ve probably read the first issue of The Multiversity around a dozen times by now. And we’re not the least bit ashamed to admit that the first time we read it, it kind of made our brain a little dizzy. However, after the second and third times, things started falling into place, and now we feel like right experts. (At least until the second issue comes out and shows us how silly we were to believe that even for a moment.)
In truth, Grant Morrison always surprises us and he always makes us think. That’s why we love him. As a comic, The Multiversity is really out there. There are quite a few images and lines of dialog in there that are strange and unusual. Outright bizarre. Some of them refer to older comics that you may or may not have read, like Morrison’s earlier “Final Crisis.” (For more on some of these, read the article on the origins of the Multiverse that we posted yesterday.) Other of these odd moments are deliberately left vague and strange, and will become a lot clearer as the story goes on.
And some of them are just plain weird. Like moments worthy of three-letter Twitter hashtags ending with a question mark. We’re just as lost as you when it comes to these moments, and we suspect we’re going to be scratching our heads over them for quite a while. Maybe we’ll figure them out eventually and maybe we won’t. Maybe Morrison will throw us a bone and explain them later on. We don’t know. But we do know that there are still a few things in The Multiversity that we still really, REALLY don’t get.
What’s With the Bugs?
Morrison and his first issue cohort Ivan Reis kick the head-scratching off right away…and we mean that literally. The comic begins with a woman scratching her head.
Of course, the reason for this is because she has lice. We see that in spectacularly disturbing detail, and it corresponds directly with the captions on the page. So we understand THOSE bugs. But the ones we don’t get are the ones along the bottom of the page. Those aren’t the same headlice we’re seeing along the top. They’re different bugs, seemingly coming from a crack in the building wall. The captions, which were so clear just a couple of panels ago, now turn cryptic with a line about them finding a way in. Do they refer to the bugs…or the Gentry who we’ll meet later? (More on them in a bit.) Either way, where are those bugs coming from? And are they significant? It’s hard to tell since this page is the only place we see them.
Why Is Nix Uotan Dissecting a Comic Book?
The Monitors are a strange and powerful race. They operate on a much higher plane of existence, so we realize that some of their actions probably won’t make sense to us. But literally dissecting a comic book? Like with a scalpel and tweezers? We don’t care how enlightened you are—that’s some really freakin’ strange behavior. That the comic he’s dissecting happens to be a future issue of The Multiversity is the LEAST bizarre thing about the two panels above speaks mountains, friends.
That said, there is one thing worth calling out. Nix deliberately uses the terms “live dissection” and “vivisection,” which suggests the comic is alive. Considering how this comic also talks directly to readers, there may be something to this, in which case a dissection might not be quite as strange as it seems. Time will tell, we suppose.
By the way, this scene takes place in the top two panels of page 3. And the page only gets weirder from there. Here's what you'll find on the bottom half...
So why Does Nix Have a Talking Pirate Monkey?
Your guess is as good as ours. We’re not sure where Nix’s companion, Mr. Stubbs came from. In fact, the first time we read this, we thought he manifested out of thin air. However, a closer look at the previous page reveals he’s been in the room for the entire scene. Only prior to page 3, he’s a stuffed monkey doll.
Again, we’re happy to shrug more than a few things off as Monitor “magic” when it comes to Nix. We don’t have to understand how a plush toy can turn into a living, talking creature. But man, that’s a crazy way to introduce him, isn’t it?
What is Going on with the Gentry?
This is one we suspect we’ll figure out in time, but when discussing Multiversity weirdness, you can’t neglect the Gentry because…well, look at them!
Right now, we know very little about these guys. We know they’re threatening the Multiverse, we know they’re extremely powerful, and we know they look like something straight from a nightmare. However, why the Gentry are doing what they’re doing is yet to be revealed. We suspect we’ll learn that in time. As for why they’re prone to using abbreviated speech (“yu” instead of “you,” “2” instead of “to,” etc)… Well, sometimes you just need to go with it.
Is That a Mini Wonder Woman and Cyborg?
The above panel is one of the coolest images in the entire comic. There’s so much there to absorb and ponder, so many winking references and awesome alt-heroes to speculate about. But if you do that, you’re bound to notice these two…
These little guys get no dialog and this is the only panel we see them in. We suspect they’re from one of the as-yet-unrevealed worlds in the Multiverse, but right now, all we want to do is pick them up and give them a big, squishy hug. They’re so cute!!!
Well, those are our five favorite bizarro moments. What are yours? There are plenty to choose from. Feel free to offer up your favorite “out there” panel or character in the comments below. See you on the next world!