By far the biggest news to come out of SDCC, for me personally, was She Makes Comics winning best documentary at the independent film festival. Second to this was the fruit borne of the “Multiversity and Beyond” panel with Grant Morrison. Contemplating the possible outcome of this panel before its occurrence I discovered that, though eager to promote and discuss Multiversity prior to and during its publication, Grant and his comment after its conclusion were conspicuous by their absence.
Now it seems that this has been for a good reason what with the announcement of Multiversity Too. For me a project, like Multiversity, so long in production and so vast in the scope of its premise and execution, having a legacy that consisted of a callback in Convergence‘s finale seemed a little disappointing. However the eventual reveal that Grant had some role in the development of Convergence‘s cosmically transcendent Brainiac is somewhat redemptive and, by virtue and retroactive enchantment, makes Convergence part of the Morrison hypersigil or never-ending story.
What is the never ending story though? And what part is Grant playing in its perpetuation? Particularly with him coming back to us just when we thought he had all but abandoned mainstream superhero comics? By his own admission Grant has been trying to bring back the pre-Crisis multiverse for a very long time now. The fact that he has succeeded in this several times over does not seem enough. By contributing to 52 and writing Final Crisis and Multiversity Grant has several recent incarnations of the fifty two DC multiverses already under his belt. Again, this, it seems, isn’t enough. Grant wants a multiverse of infinite potential. Once again I’m reminded of the slightly more perplexing or timey wimey elements of Convergence and its attempt to undo Crisis on Infinite Earths, and it kind of makes sense now. Maybe?
So what am I trying get at here? Oh yes the never-ending story. I’m going to posit that the never-ending story is this: Everything is canon. This is something Grant tried playing with in his Batman run and something that he kind of alluded to in Multiversity. Everything that has happened before is canon. This of course is in essence the once dejected concept of Hypertime. However, what seems to be occurring post Multiversity is an assurance that everything yet to come in an infinite multiverse of potential is canon too. From a creative perspective this is surely very reassuring and reinvigorating? For too long comics have been playing it safe, hemmed in by their own anxieties over editorial mandate, potential poor sales and the threat of the next looming crisis event. For the reader as well this kind of legitimacy is revivifying. The obscure run that you think says it all but no one else can see it? Canon! The fanfics you’re semi-ashamed of? Canon! The little slash pairing or head canon you can’t seem to differentiate from established canon? Canon! Ok maybe not official mainstream canon but we’re getting a validation of our inclination to daydream, which in turn might inspire us to dream a little bigger and better. Right?
So while Grant has tidied up and bequeathed the core DC multiverse to others, whilst also still contributing to it with Wonder Woman: Earth One, he is now probing beyond it, into the Overvoid of Monitor Mind, with a series of original graphic novels set in this infinite multiverse. Those announced in San Diego include a Flash story and, effectively, anything soon to be published under Grant’s tenure on Batman: Black and White.
Forgive me if I again return to the enthused interaction via Twitter just before the panel’s occurrence. At one point we pondered the possibility of a series of DCAU shorts based on Multiversity titles or worlds within the Guidebook. For me it was like going to bed on Christmas Eve certain of what Santa is bringing you. Only to wake up Christmas morning to something totally different but altogether far more satisfying.