REVIEW BREW: ULTRA COMICS #1
Cover by: Doug Mahnke
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Doug Mahnke
Reviewed by Slewo
Multiversity has certainly not lacked for an interesting story. Each issue has been an examination of different methodology in writing comics and Morrison as usual has proven himself adaptable to the occasion. Writing a pulp war story, celebrity superheroes, a revolving door mystery, and even a classic Captain Marvel story in the last 6 months. While ostensibly a story about exploring the new version of the DC Multiverse, it’s also been a tale about fiction itself, the different stories a comic book can contain, but Ultra Comics may well be Morrison’s most ambitious issue yet as a story about the comic book and the readers themselves.
Now here there be spoilers. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to discuss the comic without going into the comic itself, so if you don’t want any spoilers. This is your last chance. Ultra Comics focuses on Earth-Prime, the real world… or a close approximation of it anyway. The context of the story is that Ultra Comics is Earth-Prime’s only superheroes, which don’t exist on our world, so he’s built as a living comic book with a history built from his neural network of people reading the comic… aka us. From there the story makes many unexpected twists and turns.
Ultra Comics does not lack in ambition. Not in the writing and certainly not in the art. Doug Mahnke brings his A-Game and then some to the issue. Just like how Pax Americana could not have happened without Frank Quitely, Doug Mahnke shows why this issue couldn’t have happened without him. As he’s proven in Final Crisis, and Superman Beyond, Mahnke can draw anything Morrison puts on the script. And there’s a lot to admire here: post-apocalyptic landscapes, the sterile origin of Ultra Comics, monstrosities of every sort, and the horrors that have cursed the comic itself. Mahnke as always draws a comic that’s simultaneously beautiful and horrifying, and it’s more than worth the cost of $4.99.
As for Morrison’s story, it’s a metafictional story, as are many of the stories he’s told over the years. But what makes so much of the comic stand out is its examination of the relationship between the reader and the comic book. Without informing too much about the plot, Ultra is a comic book, the entire nature of the story is right there on the cover, the hero of the story is the comic book and the reader themselves. Morrison does a good job of integrating the thought process of the reader into how the comic is presented, and from there it’s a blast. There’s only one more issue of Multiversity left, and this one may well be one of the most important ones. On its own though, the issue is one of the best comics to have come out of DC this year, it’s worth your time, and it is worth your money. Definitely a buy.
5 out of 5 cursed comic books
You must be logged in to post a comment.