"Justice League": Exploring How Superman Returns (Again)
Film, Comic Books
[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.]
Grant Morrison, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and the rest of the team behind the long-awaited Multiversity miniseries deliver some great moments in the first issue, including an homage to the satellite scene in the original Crisis on Infinite Earths #1. That first issue was rich in DC universe history, as Marv Wolfman and George Perez introduced a ragtag group of heroes and villains brought together by the Monitor from various eras and Earths to battle the Anti-Monitor’s universe-destroying forces.
Morrison and Reis do something similar here, as we return to the Monitor’s satellite and are introduced to heroes like the Savage Dragon-esque Dino-Cop and the fanboy Flash analogue Red Racer; witness the return of President Calvin Ellis, the Superman of Earth-23; and are treated to cameos by original Crisis heroes like Lady Quark and Harbinger. But my favorite was seeing the return of Captain Carrot:
Created by Roy Thomas and Scott Shaw! back in the 1980s, Captain Carrot led the Zoo Crew, a team that included Pig Iron, Rubberduck, Yankee Poodle, Fastback, Alley-Kat-Abra and, eventually, Little Cheese:
The Zoo Crew lasted through 20 issues of their own comic, then appeared in the three-issue Oz/Wonderland War miniseries. It would be a few decades before the Zoo Crew took the spotlight again, in 2007’s Captain Carrot and the Final Ark. That story ended with the animal heroes fleeing Earth-C and subsequently losing their anthropomorphic status when they landed on the regular DC Earth. In one of the most depressing endings to a funny animal comic ever, Zatanna adopted the former Captain Carrot, now a regular rabbit, as a pet for her magic act.
That wouldn’t be the end of the good captain, however; Morrison returned the Zoo Crew to their full anthropomorphic selves in Final Crisis #7 (seen below backing up Nix Uotan, who of course also returns in Multiversity):
Captain Carrot, as you’d expect, is a fun addition to the story, and Morrison takes advantage of Captain Carrot’s background as a comic creator in his secret identity and his cartoon-y “funny animal” status in some unique ways. His battle with the Hulk-like Behemoth gives us one of the many morals of this story:
Don’t mess with cartoon physics.
Anyway, if you enjoyed the first issue of Multiversity and want to read more about the many references spilling out of its pages, check out David Uzumeri’s wonderful Multiversity Annotations over at ComicsAlliance. And you can learn more about Captain Carrot at Sean Koury’s blog Captain Carrot’s Burrow. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t point out a Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew collection is due out in September.