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Crisis on Memory Lane - The Supermen of the Multiverse

posted 20 May 2015, 14:55 by Ben Hansom   [ updated 22 May 2015, 04:58 ]

Was just looking through Final Crisis #7 earlier and it struck me how well a lot of the alt-Supermen there match up with the ones we saw in the Multiversity Guidebook.  Pretty impressive for two comics published six years apart...



This is the first group shot we get of the Supermen of the Multiverse.  Obviously that's Earth 5's Captain Marvel down front with The Question; behind them are (from left to right) Earth 35's Supremo, Earth 34's Savior and Earth 8's Hyperius.  Behind them, again from left to right, are (I think) a pre-New 52 Ultraa (he appears later on in the issue with very red hair and I'm taking that as a decent sign that that's who he's supposed to be), next to him in the headgear might be Earth 11's Wondrous Man (maybe, not very sure at all about that as he kind of looks like the Guidebook version, but nothing at all like the version that apperared in Countdown - also he's supposed to be a Wonder Woman analogue, not a Superman one) and Earth 36's Optiman; and right at the back is Cyclotron from the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents-esque Earth 39.


Things are maybe not so hot with the big double page spread (there are *a lot* of generic Supermen in the background here).  All of the guys from the earlier group shot are here, and you might also be able to pick out the Superman of Earth 23, Sunshine Superman from Earth 47, Earth 10's Overman and Red Son Superman from Earth 30.  A couple that weren't in the Guidebook for one reason or another are a goatee'd Superman way over on the far right, who I think is supposed to be Zod-as-Superman from Earth 15; and old man Superman, who I think is probably a decent bet for Earth Frank Miller's Man of Steel before they swapped that out for a bunch of post-apocalyptic pirates...
 
I think I see Steve Gerber's Omega the Unknown in between Savior and Captain Marvel there.  Oh, and Apollo and Mister Majestic.  Remember those guys??

If you can put a name to the face of any of the others let me know via the usual channels.
 
 
UPDATE: OK, so we can maybe put a few more names to loosely-inked background faces thanks to the Twitter hivemind.  The blonde guy top centre looks like a pretty good bet for The High from Warren Ellis's Stormwatch run (thanks @PaulJonMilne!), and the Superman on the far right with the copious Silver Age neck flesh on display might be the New Frontier Superman from Earth 21 (thanks @DispenseroTruth!).
 
Also, in Superman Beyond #2, Zillo Valla mentions a bunch of alt-Supermen that missed out on the Ultima Thule's jaunt to Limbo - Savior, Guardsman, Icon and Principle.  Earth 34's Savior makes it into this issue but none of the rest do.  Guardsman is probably intended to be an alternate version of Marvel's Sentry, created by Paul Jenkins, Jae Lee and Rick Veitch, so it seems sensible to put him on Earth 8 alongside Hyperius. 
 
Icon, created by Dwayne McDuffie and M. D. Bright, was the Superman of the Milestone comics imprint.  When Final Crisis was published in 2008-9, DC were in the midst of attempting to fold the Milestone characters into their main Earth 0-centric publishing line but I believe that, like the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, that was part of a licensing arrangement with DC that has since expired. 
 
Principle is likely a nod towards Bob Jacob, Gerard Jones, Len Strazewski, and Norm Breyfogle's Prime from the Malibu Ultraverse, and might well be the character I identified above as Ultraa (Prime also has reddish hair and a similar chest emblem).  The Ultraverse characters are currently owned by Marvel, but they seem happy to let them rot in obscurity due to the possibility that they might (shock! horror!) actually have to pay the creators to use them under the terms they originally signed with Malibu.  I'm going to go ahead and place Principle on the "anything goes" Earth 7, home to analogues of the Ultimate Marvel characters, a bunch of Dark Horse properties and Neil Gaiman's ex-Image now-Marvel character Angela.
 

Awesome Almanac - The Multiversity Guidebook - Part 3

posted 1 May 2015, 15:03 by Ben Hansom

Another day (Dude, it's been nine freakin' weeks since you did the last one of these!), another fifteen alternate Earths (There's nothing on four of these Earths!  This is a total rip-off, I want my money back...)

Half-hearted apologies for the delay, I've been pretty busy.  I am getting bits and bobs done when I can though, so stay tuned for annotations for *all* of The Multiversity issues I haven't got around to yet (i.e. significantly more than half of them...)

Once again, thanks for all the comments and corrections, and please do keep them coming.  Let me know in your customarily brutal fashion if I've missed anything (else), or got something horribly wrong (again) - you can always reach me on the Twitter, or alternatively you can email me here.

Little bit more that four thousand words this time around on Earths 21 through 35. For anyone keeping score at home that means we've passed 10k words on just the guidebook bit of the Guidebook alone, if you know what I mean.  There's quite a bit to say about the story itself as well so this one's probably going to end up like a Stephen King-esque doorstop.  Anyway, that's all to come...

Annotations-o!


Awesome Almanac - A Journey Through The Multiversity Guidebook - Part 2

posted 22 Feb 2015, 13:58 by Ben Hansom

Another day, another nine alternate Earths...

Thanks for all the comments and corrections last time out.  I know I haven't updated anything yet but I will once this all goes into a proper annotations post when it's all done.  As usual, let me know this time around if I missed anything (else) or got something horribly wrong (again) - you can always reach me on the Twitter, or alternatively you can email me here.

*Obligatory joke about checking the spelling and putting some pictures in it when it's properly done*.

A measly three thousand words this time out on Earths 11 through 20.  Kid's stuff...  let's get on with it.



The Unseen Grant Morrison: The ARK Reviews

posted 14 Feb 2015, 06:40 by Ben Hansom   [ updated 14 Feb 2015, 06:45 ]

Not seen since their original publication in Paul Duncan's ARK magazine, here are Grant Morrison's reviews of  Howard Chaykin's Black Kiss (from November 1988's ARK #26), Bryan Talbot's The Adventures of Luther Arkwright (from April 1989's ARK #28), and Peter Milligan and Brendan McCarthy's Strange Days (from June 1989's ARK #29).

Grant obviously wasn't a fan of Black Kiss, but Chaykin's revenge came when he called Morrison "the most pretentious asshole I've ever read" in a Comics Interview piece the following year, recalling a pal of his reading the first page of the Arkham Asylum script to him over the phone.  Chaykin's comments obviously stung Morrison, as he referenced them (naming no names) in his retrospective piece in 2005's 15th Anniversary Edition of Arkham Asylum.

As usual please bear in mind that these reviews were written more than 25 years ago, and that Grant's opinions on these comics might very well be totally different these days...


BLACK KISS



THE ADVENTURES OF LUTHER ARKWRIGHT





STRANGE DAYS




Awesome Almanac - A Journey Through The Multiversity Guidebook - Part 1

posted 1 Feb 2015, 13:38 by Ben Hansom

Here at Transmissions Towers, we're well aware that the ol' Deep Space Transmissions hasn't been updated as often as it should of late.  While my multitude of assistants toil in obscurity finishing the annotations for Pax Americana and Thunderworld (lol - they will be done eventually though, honest guv), I thought I'd take the opportunity to share with you the work being done on the hot-off-the-presses Multiversity Guidebook *as it happens*.  There's a couple of reasons for this - firstly because I can't seem to get anything in a finished-enough state to put up lately so this keeps the wolves from the door content-wise, and secondly because this thing is going to be REALLY long...

Finally, it's also a prime opportunity for you (yes, YOU) to join the team by letting me know if I missed anything or got something horribly wrong.  You can always reach me on the Twitter, or alternatively you can email me here.

All of this will of course be folded into a proper annotations page for the Guidebook when it's finished.  I might even check the spelling and put some pictures in it if you're lucky.

So without further ado, here's a bit more than three and a half thousand words on Earths 1 through 10...



The Multiversity: The Just #1 Annotations

posted 4 Jan 2015, 03:48 by Ben Hansom

So, in my usual prompt and timely fashion, I've finally finished the annotations for The Multiversity: The Just #1.  Just two more 40+ page issues to catch up on before the Guide Book drops in a couple of weeks... [groans]

Morrison and Millar - Who Wrote What?

posted 11 Dec 2014, 14:50 by Ben Hansom   [ updated 11 Dec 2014, 14:52 ]

I found out today how the scripting for Morrison & Millar's VAMPIRELLA issues was broken down between the pair (care of an ancient Usenet post from Mark Millar himself), which makes SKRULL KILL KREW the last M&M collaboration (at least of their US stuff) where I don't know for sure who wrote what.

Apparently all of their stuff was plotted together (in the pub...) and then each issue was scripted solo by one of the two - they don't seem to have collaborated at all on the scripts themselves.

Here's who wrote what in case you were ever curious -

SWAMP THING
Morrison scripts #140 and 142, Millar scripts #141 and #143.  I've got the first few pages of the scripts for #140 and 141 which confirm those two, the other two are an educated guess based on one being a interesting Clive Barker-esque horror issue and the other being a nonsensical rip-off of Terminator 2...

SKRULL KILL KREW
I re-read this tonight (it's still rubbish) and I'd guess that Morrison scripted #4, possibly #5.  I'd say definitely Miller scripts for #1, 2 and 3.

AZTEK
Morrison scripted #1, 5 and 6; Millar scripted #2-4 and 7-10.  I'd be very surprised if Morrison didn't write the 'Citizen Vane' text piece in issue #3.  Issue scripts confirmed by Mark Millar in a (long deleted) Millarworld post from 2004.

VAMPIRELLA
Millar scripted #1-3, Morrison scripted #4, Steven Grant scripted #5 and 6 from a Morrison 'plot' (which, for issue 6 at least was one sentence of solicit text according to SG).  Nobody knows who scripted #7 (Millar and Grant both say it wasn't them, and it's very unlikely to have been Morrison).  #8-9 were written by Steven Grant with no involvement from Grant or Mark beyond their original outline document (all confirmed by Steven Grant/Mark Millar on Usenet).

THE FLASH
Morrison wrote 'Emergency Stop' in #130-132, Millar wrote the three done-in-ones in #133-135, Morrison took over again to write 'The Human Race' in #136-138.   Millar gets a solo credit for #139-141 even though it's likely the Black Flash was a co-creation (again, confirmed by Mark Millar on Usenet).


So there you go, you need never accidentally read a Mark Millar comic ever again. You're welcome :)

The Multiversity: The Society of Super-Heroes #1 Annotations

posted 9 Oct 2014, 15:40 by Ben Hansom

The next exciting chapter is finally here!  Rejoice as I can now go and read everybody else's annotations and commentary a mere three weeks after they were first posted!

I'll try and be a bit more timely next time.  I said try.  You don't own me...

Read on for thrill-packed annotations greatness...

The Mutiversity: Society of Superheroes #1 Annotations

The Multiversity #1 Annotations

posted 22 Aug 2014, 14:55 by Ben Hansom

The five year wait is over, and Grant Morrison's latest final word on superheroes is here at last.  In case you haven't seen (yeah right, who am I trying to kid?) the legend that is David Uzumeri has returned to Comics Alliance for their annotations, and Yeezus of the New Gods Jim Harbor is crafting an epic analysis for the ages on his own blog (multiple thousands of words on the first three pages so far - link as soon as it's done!).  I suspect (hope, pray) the Mindless Ones will cast their esoteric hat into the Borromean ring as well at some point, and I I'd urge you to check them all out - there's a lot to be said for fresh pairs of eyes, and, if The Multiversity proves to be half as dense as Seven Soldiers or Final Crisis, you could comfortably read a million words on it and still not cover every wrinkle that hides between the pages.

So why not get a head start on those million words right now, and dive in to the annotations for issue #1?


The Multiversity #1 Annotations

Counting Down to The Multiversity

posted 16 Aug 2014, 09:46 by Ben Hansom

Before the eagerly anticipated first issue of The Multiversity hits this Wednesday, I thought it might be good to put everything that's been released so far up in one place in case you missed any of them.  Of course there is an ulterior motive to this - if I need to refer back to something here when I get going on the annotations it saves me dredging through my hard drive and/or the internet at large in order to find it...

You can click through on any of the pictures for a bigger version.  Enjoy!


The Multiversity #1 regular cover by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado

The Multiversity #1 1:50 variant cover by Bryan Hitch

The Multiversity: The Just #1 regular cover by Ben Oliver

The Multiversity #1 page 1 by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado - preview from Wired

The Multiversity #1 page 4 by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado- preview from Wired

The Multiversity #1 page 14-15 by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado - preview from Wired





The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1 page 14 by Frank Quitely

Page from The Multiversity: Thunderworld #1 by Cameron Stewart

The Sivana Family character designs for Thunderworld by Cameron Stewart

Abin Sur character design for The Society of Superheroes by Chris Sprouse

Lady Blackhawk character design for The Society of Superheroes by Chris Sprouse


Abin Sur character sketch for The Society of Superheroes by Grant Morrison


Donna Troy character design for The Just by Ben Oliver

Thunderer sketch by Grant Morrison






The Multiversity teaser ad page 1

The Multiversity teaser ad page 4

The Multiversity teaser ad page 7



The Multiversity #1 1:10 B&W variant cover by Ivan Reis

The Multiversity #1 1:100 variant cover by Grant Morrison

The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1 regular cover by Frank Quitely
 
The Multiversity #1 page 2 by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado - preview from Wired

The Multiversity #1 page 5 by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado - preview from Wired

The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1 page 8 by Frank Quitely

The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1 page 38 by Frank Quitely

Captain Marvel character design for Thunderworld by Cameron Stewart

Billy Batson character design for Thunderworld by Cameron Stewart

Doc Fate character design for The Society of Superheroes by Chris Sprouse

The Mighty Atom character design for The Society of Superheroes by Chris Sprouse

Abin Sur character sketch for The Society of Superheroes by Grant Morrison


Offspring character design for The Just by Ben Oliver

The Atom character sketch for The Just by Grant Morrison

The Multiversity teaser ad page 2

The Multiversity teaser ad page 5

The Multiversity teaser ad page 8
The Multiversity #1 1:25 variant cover by Chris Burnham

The Multiversity: Society of Superheroes: Conquerors of Counter Earth #1 regular cover by Chris Sprouse
The Multiversity: Thnderworld #1 regular cover by Cameron Stewart

The Multiversity #1 page 3 by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado - preview from Wired

The Multiversity #1 page 6 by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado - preview from Wired

The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1 page 11 by Frank Quitely

The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1 page 39 by Frank Quitely

Dr. Sivana character design for Thunderworld by Cameron Stewart

Thunderworld cover sketch by Grant Morrison

The Immortal Man
character design for The Society of Superheroes by Chris Sprouse

Doc Fate character sketch for The Society of Superheroes by Grant Morrison

Connor Hawke character design for The Just by Ben Oliver

Alexis Luthor character design for The Just by Ben Oliver

Multiversity map sketch by Grant Morrison









The Multiversity teaser ad page 3

The Multiversity teaser ad page 6

Channel 52 teaser for The Multiversity

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