Me, I love the concept of the Multiverse. I mean, my moniker is “Doctor Multiverse”. The name allows me to focus on anything that I wish to. Everything is up for grabs in the Multiverse. As we happily trapes through the multiverse I begin to wonder, “How much is too much?”. Not so much is the way I utilized the concept, but more of how mega-media companies use, ignore and sometimes abuse it.
The over-use of the Multiverse can almost be a cop-out in the cinematic versions of the comics. I’m not going to blame lazy writers, I will blame companies who push writers into corners for a percentage of the time that they used to have, expecting the same results while spending less for a story. Cramming everything you can think off into a story doesn’t make it a good multiverse story, no matter how nostalgic each thing was.
I really enjoy the direction that DC is taking by being all over the place with their “Metaverse”. It leaves a foothold for older fans who, say, love the Justice Society the way it used to be. Those stories are played out alongside of comics with more modern and edgier tales. You are seeing tried and true teams and more experimental titles from the company, and I am here for it all. Something for everyone has its merits.
One of my issues is the watering down of a hero with too many versions of that hero. The thing that made them special feels cheapened by having a myriad of similar characters running around in the same narrative space. Why can’t Miles Morales have his own name. He now exists in a universe where Peter Parker is still alive and still is Spider-Man. Why can’t Jon Kent have his own name. He also exists in a universe where Kal-El is still alive and still is Superman. Why can’t Laura Kinney have her own name. She now exists in a universe where Logan is still alive and still is Wolverine. Why can’t Timothy “Jace” Fox have his own name. He now exists in a universe where Bruce Wayne is still alive and still is Batman. I could go on. The legacy characters I get and am down with 100%. Perhaps it’s time for the older heroes to step back and let their names live on with another generation.
Those are just the characters within the same universe. Then when you add the many variations of those characters from the multiverse, alternate timelines, and just those who have the same power sets for the most part, you can easily overload a franchise. The Multiverse characters are great, if they just pop in and back out for a story or two, but those that just want to crash on your couch for indeterminate amount of time gets a bit old.
There’s nothing wrong with characters moving on and growing beyond any attachment to older labels. I know why they don’t, it’s the fans who will never move on, or grow beyond their attachment to childhood labels. I get it. I just feel like too many of anything is going to cheapen the original who is still active within the universe. I can also see the issues that the creators face. Give them the same old thing, childish fans whine about the lack of anything new and original. Give them something new and original, childish fans complain about the lack of respect for a character’s history. It’s a catch 22, and I don’t blame companies just doing anything and everything without being concerned with bitchy little fanatics who are grown ass humans who get emotional over fictional characters not being how they “ought to be” in their eyes.
Having said all of that, it doesn’t really matter. In the end, if they can keep telling stories for so long, then good on ’em. Some of these characters are almost ninety years old.