The marquee installment of The Multiversity may have been last month’s Pax Americana, but I was especially excited to see what writer Grant Morrison and artist Cameron Stewart (with colorist Nathan Fairbairn) would do with the Captain Marvel Family in this week’s Thunderworld. I was not disappointed. The Marvels have long been a sort of unicorn for DC’s superhero line, personifying both its potential and its abuse, and even its history (acquired as they were after the demise of Fawcett Comics). However, many modern takes on Cap and company often elicit negative comparisons to the character’s previous treatment. These boil down to some form of “why can’t it be like the old days?” (which, after all, is a common enough DC complaint).
Here, then, is a comic which wants nothing more but to evoke those old days, albeit burnished with a dash of 21st-century practicality (the new-look Lieutenant Marvels) and seasoned with some perhaps-unavoidable metacommentary (the various Sivana counterparts). Let’s be clear, though — I am not picking The Multiversity: Thunderworld Adventures for Best Of 7 just because it pushes my happy buttons. This was my favorite comic of the week because it embodied the joy and thrills of a superhero story that wasn’t ashamed of being a superhero story. “Captain Marvel And The Day That Never Was” combines a couple of simple ideas (Sivana’s frequent attempts to duplicate the Marvels’ powers; the “Suspendium” from the first DC issue of Shazam!) into a tale of monster armies, time-traveling heroes and a giant battlestation. Morrison and Stewart craft enough genuine tension that the final resolution feels earned, even if it is a little hokey. The only cynicism comes from the villains.
The conceit of The Multiversity is that we’re reading the comics that actually exist on its various vibratory planes. I hope more of these kinds of comics will be making their way to our Earth.
[Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]
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