Multiversity: The Just depicts a world of superheroes that’s all style and no substance. At least, they haven’t had to have substance for quite a while, but that is due to change. Based, in Grant Morrison’s words, on the reality TV show, The Hills, The Just has TV-style captions that introduce a large number of characters of Earth-16, some very familiar from mainstream continuity, and some variations on characters we’ve seen before.
In tone, this ends up resembling Kingdom Come and its sequel in many ways. The characters are mainly second-and-third generation superheroes and supervillains, but unlike the setup in Kingdom Come, where the super-powered godchildren wreak havoc, these no longer do much of anything besides capture the public attention and play-act past battles as a kind of stage-acting while robots built by the first, and late, Superman solve every imaginable problem. The two main characters are the sons of Superman and Batman, calling to mind the ongoing “Super Sons” feature set in an indeterminate future, published in World’s Finest during the Silver Age.
Befitting the concept, the story arc is very simple but the surface details many. A list of annotations covers the details:
Sister Miracle, Sasha Norman is the daughter of Mister Miracle, Shilo Norman.
Megamorpho, Saffi Mason, is the daughter of Metamorpho, Rex Mason.
Megamorpho commits suicide, much as a similar character, Element Girl, did in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.
As soon as that reference is made, “Neil Gaiman’s Sandman” is mentioned explicitly, reinforcing the theme in Multiversity that comic books describing one Earth exist as publications in other Earths.
The Atom, Ray Palmer, is the only “adult” from the Silver Age seen in The Just.
Damian Wayne is now Batman, wearing the same outfit seen in three Grant Morrison stories set in an apocalyptic future. Alexis asks him if he believes in curses, which possibly reinforces his association with Doctor Hurt, who, as the Devil, gave Damian enhanced life span and invulnerability in those stories.
Alexis Luthor is Lex Luthor’s daughter. She is dating Damian, but
Superman is Chris Kent, using the same name as the adopted son of Superman and Lois Lane who existed between Infinite Crisis and Flashpoint.
Offspring, Ernie O’Brian, is the son of Plastic Man, Eel O’Brian, and was part of the aforementioned Kingdom Come continuity.
Kyle Rayner is the only Green Lantern in this reality.
Wally West is the Flash.
Connor Hawke is the Green Arrow. Cissie King-Hawke is Arrowette.
Kon-El is Superboy. He is beginning to turn into a Bizarro.
Jakeem Thunder is the owner of the Magic Thunderbolt.
Natasha Irons is Steel.
Garth is Aquaman.
Artemis is Wonder Woman.
Pieter Cross is Doctor Mid-Nite.
Bloodwynd, no secret identity.
Cynthia Reynolds is Gypsy.
Holly Dayton is Menta.
As in the previous issues of Multiversity, comic books, in particular the Ultraa story that will end the series, are haunted, bringing a threat from across the Multiverse. It is this infection that causes Saffi to commit suicide. Alexis Luthor takes control of Jakeem Thunder to attack Earth-16. This is another thematic connection to Kingdom Come, in which Luthor plans treachery by controlling that story’s lightning-bearing superhero, Captain Marvel. And as in the previous issues of the series, there is an unresolved threat as of the last page, with the Superman robots wreaking havoc under Alexis’ control, and an Multiversal invasion set to begin.
The basic pattern is clear. The one-shot issues of The Multiversity show us a new world, show more signs of a huge cross-Multiverse threat, refer forward to the very comic book issue that will end the series, and end on a cliffhanger of imminent doom. The concept is not without appeal, but if the pattern isn’t varied much, then we have three more issues before the finale with, like The Just, more style than substance.