Top critical review
Disappointing weak original stories, 50% reprinted material.
Reviewed in the United States on April 28, 2020
This collection of five “Dark Multiverse” stories got off to a shaky start when I found I wasn’t crazy about the art. Personal preference, I would suggest checking it out as there’s no respite from the fuzzy colors and lacy of detail. Some artists forget it’s not “museum art,” it’s a narrative meant to tell a story.
Stories here I can say are not so interesting. Premise is that the “dark multiverse” is a layer of worlds essentially identical to ours, with a single event having gone the wrong way. The outcome is a pretty bleak list universe. What it isn’t, and what I’d thought it would be, is a universe populated with different and more interesting characters. There’s no Ultraman or anything like him. Same settings and characters, different outcomes. Pretty much “What If?” with, armed with the premise, one can reliable predict similar outcomes.
The five stories are “Knightfall,” “Death of Superman,” “Blackest Night,” “Infinite Crisis,” and “Judas Contract.” Of these, the revised “Blackest Night” came the closest to fulfilling the promise, if only in its assemblage of characters. I don’t see a more unlikely and near-perverse group than Sinestro, Dove, and Lobo, all three of whom are immune to Black Lantern power for different reasons. The story was actually suspenseful precisely because there was actual doubt as to the outcome. The other four seemed rushed, dry toast, all reminding me of the look and tone of Knightfall, namely, a paint by the numbers version of the grand story it intended to be.
I was unhappy that the volume included parti asL reprints of the original stories. Perhaps I should have read the description more thoroughly. On the whole, when DC sells a recent printing at such a deep discount there probably is a reason. That, too, is a story with a predictable ending.