Multiplicity kicked off with a strong start for a story that feels like a big event. The use of Grant Morrison’s Multiversity was used as a great foundation without confusing readers with what happened in that mini-series. Now the current Superman getting involved with the Justice League Incarnate as he is out to save Super-Man and other Supermen from the grasps of the Gatherers and their mysterious leader. Will Superman and Justice League Incarnate’s team-up save the multiverse from whatever threat is attack every world? Let’s find out with Superman #15.
Writers: Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Artists: Ryan Sook, Ed Benes, Clay Mann and Jorge Jimenez
Colorists: Ryan Sook, Dinei Ribeiro, Ulises Arreola and Alejandro Sanchez
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: On Earth-14 the Justice League of Assassins are fighting an army of Gatherers. The Justice League of Assassins are able to defeat all the waves of Gatherers, with Batman being the only casualty.
Before the Justice League of Assassins are able to rest a mysterious voice congratulates the team’s ability to protect their leader, Superman.
A wave of energy suddenly strikes all of the members of the Justice League of Assassins, killing all but Superman in an instant. The energy wave destroys Superman’s armor. Superman unleashes his heat vision into the sky as the mysterious voice says he needs Superman’s power.
At the House of Heroes on the Orreay of Worlds, Earth-0 Superman tries to understand the Justice League Incarnate mission of protecting the multiverse. Earth-5 Mary Marvel, Earth-11 Aquawoman and Earth-17 Batman clarify that they only get involved with big picture threats that endanger the multiverse as each Earth have their own Justice League to protect it on a day-to-day basis.
Earth-0 Superman brings up how strange it is that with all of the Supermen and Superwomen being targeted that only Kenan Kong (Super-Man) was taken from his Earth.
Before Earth-0 Superman’s question can be answered the Justice League Incarnate suddenly get a message about Earth-14’s Justice League of Assassins being terminated. Earth-0 Superman wonders how many Supermen kidnaped this makes. Red Racer says that this makes fifteen of 52 Supermen attacked.
Earth-0 Superman says they are wasting their time waiting for Earths and Supermen to be attacked. He says they should all go on the offense.
On Earth-13 the Justice League Incarnate fight the League of Shadows as Earth-0 Superman tries to convince Superdemon he is in danger and they got to stop fighting. The League of Shadows reject Earth-0 Superman’s offer with Superdemon attacking him with his flame breath. Earth-0 Superman fights through the fire and knocks Superdemon out, saying he’ll just have to help him whether he is conscious or not.
The Justice League Incarnate continue to reach out to other Superman as they visit Earth-10, Earth-12, Earth-18 and Earth-16. Though Earth-10 Justice League fights back the Justice League Incarnate are successful in getting all the Supermen they visit on their side.
Sometime later President Superman tells everyone they have gathered that the Ultima Thule ship they are on allow them to access the 52 known worlds in the multiverse. Superdemon wonders what the plan of attack is. Earth-0 Superman says that the plan is that they lose.
A little later Earth-12 Superman (the version from the Timmverse) thinks the plan is insane. Earth-0 Superman says that that they will be able to get Prophecy’s attention since there are so many Supermen signals in one location.
As they re-enter the space time continuum they get a message that Prophecy is nearby. Earth-0 Superman suddenly activates Ultima Thule teleporter to get all of the Supermen off the ship except for himself.
Prophecy senses that most of the Supermen signals have vanished and wonders where they are. He sees Earth-0 Superman and asks who he is. Earth-0 Superman says “I am Superman.” End of issue.
The Good: Picking up from the momentum created by the opening chapter of Multiplicity, Superman #15 continues to treat us to a story that feels like a big event. Even with the focus being on Superman and the various versions of the character Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason create a sense of importance that reaches beyond the ‘S’ shield. This sense of importance makes the moments that bring out the inner fanboy in us so much better.
Prophecy’s show of power to open the issue was very much needed for the story to continue the pace the first issue was on. This helps the story move on from just being about the Supermen and the Justice Leagues fighting the Gatherers, who are nothing more than fodder for Prophecy to use. It also establishes that Prophecy himself is a powerful threat that Superman cannot take lightly at all.
The opening with the Justice League of Assassin’s also further showed us how far reaching this threat from Prophecy is. Even with our Superman now getting involved it does not mean that Prophecy is at the end of his plan. It puts a greater sense of urgency to Superman stopping Prophecy as he has the opportunity to stop things before it gets worse. This choice also avoids the typical trope of seeing even more world heroes unprepared for a threat that stretches beyond their world. Instead we are able to see how our heroes can actually be proactive about figuring out how to stop someone like Prophecy.
And with the heroes being more proactive Tomasi and Gleason are able to give an actual reason why we do see scenes of familiar heroes fighting other versions of allies. At the same time, while we do see heroes fighting heroes Tomasi and Gleason never spend a lot of time with any of those fights. Instead we see the conflicts resolved fairly quickly so that the attention continues to be where it needs to be with Prophecy’s threat against the multiverse.
These scenes also help to show us a rarely highlighted character trait for Superman, his leadership. Even though he faced different obstacles our Superman was able to rally together each universe through his skills to lead people. And even with so many fan favorite versions of Superman that could easily take the lead Tomasi and Gleason show that the current Earth-0 version of the character is the one we need to pay attention to. He is the one that the focus should be the focus of this story to further establish how much this Superman is connected to the multiverse.
Speaking of the multiverse, it was also great to see Earth-0 Superman bring up how Prophecy only went after Kenan Kong on his Earth. As we have seen the Superman Family books expand there are plenty of Super-related characters that could have also been included in this story. With this Tomasi and Gleason set up a strong mystery around what Prophecy is really up to. They also set-up how the current Superman, an in extension the Super-Family, has a lot of unanswered questions surrounding him his existence in the current DC Universe.
While I am never a fan of a comic book featuring artwork by committee Ryan Sook, Ed Benes, Clay Mann and Jorge Jimenez all delivered good artwork for what scenes they were assigned. With how many splash and double-spread pages we got they all stepped up to show us how big this event is. The battle scenes in particular were very dynamic as we saw the severity of the Justice League of Assassins being decimated and Earth-0 Superman showing off his power.
The Bad: With that said, as well done as the artwork assigned to each artist was there was a lack of cohesion between the artists. The change in styles between scenes was distracting at certain points in the issue. If DC continues to go with this direction for their stories they need to do a better job in finding artists that can match each other styles. Because writing and artwork work side-by-side to make the story work. If one is off than it does affect the flow of the story, which it did at points in Superman #15.
Overall: Superman #15 is a strong second chapter to Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s “Multiplicity” story arc. While the choice to have multiple artists work on this issue leaves something to be desired this chapter still delivered the impact it needed to. There is hardly a wasted moment in the story, which allows it to execute moments that we usually see in big blockbuster event comic books. With the threat of Prophecy clear and our Superman gathering so many fan favorite versions of himself “Multiplicity” has quickly turned into a must have comic for DC Comics fans.