The Superhero’s Guide to the Galaxies


The Multiversity Guidebook #1

It’s Grant Morrison’s long-awaited field guide to DC’s latest version of the multiverse, but luckily, we get some story to go along with it. Part of the tale follows Earth-51, home of the Great Disaster, Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth, OMAC, and the New Gods (in other words, it’s Earth-Kirby), where we follow Kamandi, Ben Boxer, and Tuftan as they look for a lost friend and learn the secret history of the multiverse. But most of it focuses on Earth-42, home of the child superheroes who made their first appearance in an old issue of Superman/Batman before the reboot. They’ve been invaded by the League of Sivanas, and many of them have been killed — but Batman meets up with the Atomic Batman, one of the Atomic Knights from Earth-17, and he learns that he and the rest of Earth-17 hide some sort of terrible secret. What is it? And what is the threat of the Empty Hand?

Verdict: Thumbs up. If you want a guidebook with all-too-brief descriptions of a whole bunch of alternate universes, it’s in here. If you want a nicely Kirbyesque story of Kamandi, it’s here, too. If you want a weird team-up between armored-future Batman and adorable-kid Batman, it’s in here, too. About the worst thing about this is the eight dollar price tag.


Bitch Planet #2

Kamau Kogo is trapped on Bitch Planet, the prison world for inconvenient and unwanted women, accused of killing a fellow prisoner, an abandoned housewife named Marian Collins. She didn’t do it, of course, but the authorities don’t care. However, they’re willing to give her a second chance — if she’ll form a megaton team — the sport of the future, generally played only by men. She initially wants nothing to do with it, figuring it’s just going to be a way for the Powers That Be to humiliate them and provide a twisted object lesson in forced female compliance. But her fellow inmates convince her it could be worth doing. What’s the scheme here?

Verdict: Thumbs up. The first issue just seemed like a weirdly generic space fantasy women-in-prison pastiche — but this one is developing the concept into something a lot more entertaining. I also dig the glimpses we get of life back on Earth, with the dictatorial Fathers lording their power over their cronies.

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