The Multiversity: Deluxe Edition

If the endless comic-film reboots and their indistinguishable merchandise are to be believed, comic books have only ever featured a couple dozen static characters. In reality, comics have offered hundreds of thousands of characters—refined over decades—that stretch far beyond Batman, Superman and The Avengers. With The Multiversity series, writer Grant Morrison travels between the 52 parallel universes of DC Comics, digging deep to dwell on some lesser-known characters. Across the nine issues collected in the Deluxe Edition, Morrison conducts a gigantic experiment in content and format—pushing both comics’ structure and the reader’s storytelling expectations. Intermittently successful, the experiment is most enjoyable when Morrison and a variety of artists celebrate what makes comics unique: fantastical characters and plots (The Multiversity: Mastermen); an evolving, cultural reflection (The Multiversity: Thunderworld Adventures); and convoluted, mythological lore (The Multiversity: Guidebook). Attending The Multiversity may seem daunting for DC novices, but there’s nothing like a crash course to bring you up to speed.