With the just-released solicitations for DC Comics products shipping in August, it seems as though Grant Morrison's long-delayed The Multiversity will be released not as a stand-alone miniseries or an Elseworlds/What If...?-style tale (as many had assumed) but rather as part of The New 52's main publishing line.
That's based on solicitation text alone, wherein the series -- which features alternate earths including ones analogous to the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths worlds of Earth-Four, Earth-S and Earth-C -- appears in the section for The New 52 (rather than the "Beyond the New 52" section of the solicitations, where projects like Before Watchmen have been solicited).
You can check out the solicitation text for the issue itself at the bottom of this story.
What makes the revelation that The Multiversity will seemingly "count" more intriguing is the fact that there have been indications of late that the upcoming thirtieth anniversary of Crisis on Infinite Earths in 2015 (specifically in April of that year, just a month after all three of DC's weekly titles conclude in March) might see a reimagining of that tale for the New 52. What form such a story would take -- and whether it might restore some of the pre-New 52 status quo in instances where changes to the characters haven't worked as well -- is of course a question every reader would like an answer to, but as yet, there's no hard confirmation it's even happening.
The upcoming Earth 2: World's End will likely deal with Darkseid, as he's been a prime motivator of every story to happen on that parallel world since the launch of the New 52. Darkseid will also appear in Robin Rises, tying into a Batman and Robin story that is said to reverberate through the DC Universe. And, as readers of today's Forever Evil #7 discovered, Darkseid is the target of a very dangerous threat.
Who's more dangerous than Darkseid? Well...
That would be the Anti-Monitor, the villain behind Crisis on Infinite Earths and indisputably the DC Comics villain with the bloodiest hands. The first Crisis sequel (well, the first official one; DC's Zero Hour: A Crisis in Time event clearly was a sequel, but they never said as much. Similarly, The Kingdom dealt with fallout from Crisis and undid some of its more severe impacts on the DC Universe, but was never officially recognized as doing so), Infinite Crisis, saw a through-line from The Anti-Monitor as his fellow Sinestro Corps member Superboy-Prime gained the remains of the Anti-Monitor's armor and wore it while serving as the principal antagonist for that story. The third installment of DC's Crisis trilogy, Final Crisis, featured Darkseid as the villain but brought back recognizably Crisis-flavored elements like Superboy-Prime and Barry Allen.
That, then, lays the groundwork for a reason why the Anti-Monitor could have an interest in Darkseid...assuming that either or both of those beings remember those previous tales. The New Gods, like the Anti-Monitor, are unique entities within the DC Universe and some of the only beings who are not replicated between multiple earths. There's just one Anti-Monitor, one Darkseid, etc. So whether or not they remember the events of the pre-Flashpoint universe, the Fourth World -- home to the New Gods -- would almost certainly be of interest to the Anti-Monitor, who gained much of his power in Crisis on Infinite Earths by destroying innumerable parallel earths and folding them into his antimatter domain.
So...why would The Multiversity be a key to any of this? Besides the fact that it's written by Final Crisis scribe Grant Morrison and has reportedly been in the works since around the same time as Final Crisis. For a while following the events of 52, DC Comics said that the then-newly-restored multiverse wouldn't be explored until Morrison had the opportunity to tell his tale, which will sprawl the whole of DC's multiverse. While travel between worlds has been fairly minimal relative to what it was in the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths era, titles like Earth 2 and Worlds' Finest demonstrate that the publisher has dabbled somewhat in the multiverse during the many years Morrison's project has been gestating.
All of these collisions of ideas and characters seem like an awfully big series of coincidences...
THE MULTIVERSITY #1
Written by GRANT MORRISON Art and cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO 1:10 B&W Variant cover by IVAN REIS 1:25 Variant cover by CHRIS BURNHAM 1:50 Variant cover by BRYAN HITCH 1:100 Variant cover by GRANT MORRISON Blank variant cover available On sale AUGUST 20 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T
The biggest adventure in DC’s history is here!
Join visionary writer Grant Morrison, today’s most talented artists, and a cast of unforgettable characters from 52 alternative Earths of the known DC Multiverse! Prepare to meet the Vampire 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 Super Hero of Earth-Prime: YOU!
Comprising six complete adventures – each set in a different parallel universe – plus a two-part framing story and a comprehensive guidebook to the many worlds of the Multiverse, THE MULTIVERSITY is more than just a multipart comic-book series. It’s a cosmos spanning, soul-shaking experience that puts YOU on the frontline in the Battle for All Creation against the demonic destroyers known as the Gentry!
In issue #1, pencilled by superstar artist Ivan Reis (AQUAMAN, JUSTICE LEAGUE), President Superman of Earth-23 uncovers a threat to all Reality so apocalyptic it will take a team of incredible heroes from across the Multiverse to face it – including Captain Carrot, like you’ve never seen him before!
But even with a multitude of alternate worlds to choose from, where every variation is possible, can anyone hope to prevail against the onslaught of ultimate evil and undying hatred – in the unstoppable form of a one-time cosmic defender with unimaginable powers?! Join us, if you dare, for the beginning of THE MULTIVERSITY!