Your stance on multiverse-fiction

For the discussion of movies and TV shows not distributed by Toho.

What do you think of multiverse-related media?

1. I love it
3
11%
2. I like it
8
29%
3. Meh
7
25%
4. I'm unsure
3
11%
5. I dislike it
4
14%
6. I despise it.
3
11%
 
Total votes: 28

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LegendZilla
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Your stance on multiverse-fiction

Post by LegendZilla »

Hey everyone, LegendZilla here. I'd like to bring up a topic that's been a bit controversial around here, and I'm hoping we can approach it with open minds. We've touched on this in private messages, but now I think it's time to bring it into the public domain for a wider discussion. I'm talking about the concept of the multiverse in movies and TV shows.

We all have our opinions on trends in the media we enjoy. Some we love, others not so much. In the past, when I've brought up the idea of the multiverse, the response has been surprisingly heated. Let's address some common criticisms of how the concept is often handled in recent media:

1. Decreased Stakes: When characters can simply be replaced by their counterparts from another dimension, does death really have any impact?
2. Rehashing Old Ideas: Is the multiverse just a lazy way to exploit nostalgia and repackage familiar concepts?
3. Corporate Showboating: Are companies just using the multiverse to flaunt their IP collections, as seen in examples like Warner Bros' Space Jam 2 and Multiversus?

My question to you all: Is exploring the multiverse inherently a bad concept? Does the recent saturation of multiverse stories affect our perception of it? Can it be executed well, and if so, how? When does a multiverse storyline succeed, and when does it fail?

One key to handling any story idea, including the multiverse, is thoughtful execution. Rather than abruptly introducing it, there should be a gradual build-up with proper context. Another aspect is to focus on characters' experiences and relationships within the multiverse, rather than getting lost in the technicalities or cramming in countless references.

I'm looking forward to a respectful and open discussion on this topic. Let's share our thoughts and perspectives on this multifaceted issue. Peace out.
Last edited by LegendZilla on Sun Nov 19, 2023 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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LSD Jellyfish
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Re: Your stance on multiverse-fiction

Post by LSD Jellyfish »

When you rely on the "multi-verse" as a concept for a mainline piece of work, it means ultimately you've run out of creative ideas and fear there is no way to keep your audience invested. There's exceptions to the rule (recent Spider-man films) and "just for fun comics" but I stand tall in my assertion that it's lazy.
Last edited by LSD Jellyfish on Sun Nov 19, 2023 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Your stance on multiverse-fiction

Post by LegendZilla »

LSD Jellyfish wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2023 10:48 pm When you rely on the "multi-verse" as a concept for a mainline piece of work, it means ultimately you've run out of creative ideas and fear there is no way to keep your audience invested. There's exceptions to the rule (recent Spider-man films) and "just for fun comics" but I stand tall in my assertion that it's lazy.
I understand your concerns, but I think it's worth considering another side. Yes, many dismiss multiverses as some sort of creative dead-end but for others (myself included), it can be the opposite. It's not necessarily about running out of ideas, but about exploring said ideas in new, expansive ways.

We all see and value different things in media, and what might seem overly complex or unnecessary to one might be intriguing and full of potential to someone else. Like I said, it's less about the very concept being inherently lazy and more about execution. The recent Spider-Man films are a great example of using the multiverse in a way that adds depth and freshness to the story, rather than just rehashing old ideas.
Last edited by LegendZilla on Mon Nov 20, 2023 1:50 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Your stance on multiverse-fiction

Post by Gojira18 »

When done right (The Spider-Verse movies), multiverse stuff can be a lot of fun. But when not done so well (MCU Phase 4 outside of No Way Home), it can be a serious drag.
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Re: Your stance on multiverse-fiction

Post by MC_Lovecraft »

There is just about no surer way to make me lose interest in a story than to tell me there's a multiverse involved. :roll:

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Re: Your stance on multiverse-fiction

Post by Handsome Shrek »

Fucking tired of it. In the superhero films, it's only been done well in the Spiderman movies.
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Re: Your stance on multiverse-fiction

Post by LegendZilla »

Handsome Shrek wrote: Mon Nov 20, 2023 4:44 pm Fucking tired of it. In the superhero films, it's only been done well in the Spiderman movies.
Can you please elaborate as to why it's only worked with Spiderman? Was is purely out of luck?

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Re: Your stance on multiverse-fiction

Post by LSD Jellyfish »

LegendZilla wrote: Mon Nov 20, 2023 4:45 pm
Handsome Shrek wrote: Mon Nov 20, 2023 4:44 pm Fucking tired of it. In the superhero films, it's only been done well in the Spiderman movies.
Can you please elaborate as to why it's only worked with Spiderman? Was is purely out of luck?
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Re: Your stance on multiverse-fiction

Post by LegendZilla »

LSD Jellyfish wrote: Mon Nov 20, 2023 4:48 pm
In another universe we elaborated extensively, but in this universe we shall not.
Regardless, is it wrong to challenge such a notion that multiverses always equate to laziness? Is it also wrong to actually enjoy and want to see more of it?
Last edited by LegendZilla on Mon Nov 20, 2023 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Your stance on multiverse-fiction

Post by LSD Jellyfish »

LegendZilla wrote: Mon Nov 20, 2023 4:51 pm
LSD Jellyfish wrote: Mon Nov 20, 2023 4:48 pm
In another universe we elaborated extensively, but in this universe we shall not.
Regardless, is it wrong to challenge such a notion that multiverses always equate to laziness? Is it also wrong to actually enjoy and want to see more of it?
In another universe writer's weren't lazy and effectively created great multiverse stories that were infinitely entertaining. This split off into two folds: In one universe, people who disagreed with the notion that they were bad were put in stockades and pelted with tomatoes. In another universe people were lauded for their bravery in regards to supporting multiverse fiction and states were erected in their honor.
Spirit Ghidorah 2010 wrote: Sun Dec 03, 2023 4:54 pm Anno-san pleasures me more than Yamasaki-san.

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Re: Your stance on multiverse-fiction

Post by LegendZilla »

LSD Jellyfish wrote: Mon Nov 20, 2023 5:48 pm
LegendZilla wrote: Mon Nov 20, 2023 4:51 pm
LSD Jellyfish wrote: Mon Nov 20, 2023 4:48 pm
In another universe we elaborated extensively, but in this universe we shall not.
Regardless, is it wrong to challenge such a notion that multiverses always equate to laziness? Is it also wrong to actually enjoy and want to see more of it?
In another universe writer's weren't lazy and effectively created great multiverse stories that were infinitely entertaining. This split off into two folds: In one universe, people who disagreed with the notion that they were bad were put in stockades and pelted with tomatoes. In another universe people were lauded for their bravery in regards to supporting multiverse fiction and states were erected in their honor.
What's your point?

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Re: Your stance on multiverse-fiction

Post by Handsome Shrek »

LegendZilla wrote: Mon Nov 20, 2023 4:51 pm
LSD Jellyfish wrote: Mon Nov 20, 2023 4:48 pm
In another universe we elaborated extensively, but in this universe we shall not.
Regardless, is it wrong to challenge such a notion that multiverses always equate to laziness? Is it also wrong to actually enjoy and want to see more of it?
Nothing wrong with that. I'm just so bored of the whole multiverse thing at this point in superhero films. Admittedly it was off to a good start, but after No Way Home it was just hard to care anymore for me personally (admittedly I only really wanted to see the three Spidermen on-screen as far as multiverse stuff goes). Especially since Kang is such a lame villain IMO

And now DC is doing it too. It's already burnt itself out
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Re: Your stance on multiverse-fiction

Post by LSD Jellyfish »

LegendZilla wrote: Mon Nov 20, 2023 5:54 pm
What's your point?
In one universe, we typed a foul rebuttal to your curiosity. There was a big kerfuffle, and we all walked away from our keyboards angrily. In another universe, I disengaged two posts prior, and everyone went about their merry day. In another universe I didn't respond to this message, and it ended in a way that made me slightly look like an asshole.

Thankfully, we exist in this universe, and in this timeline I choose to explain to you the problems of multiverse fiction: fiction involving the concept of the multiverse, at it's very end, is an endless series of completely incomprehensible hypotheticals
Spirit Ghidorah 2010 wrote: Sun Dec 03, 2023 4:54 pm Anno-san pleasures me more than Yamasaki-san.

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Re: Your stance on multiverse-fiction

Post by mikelcho »

Off-topic for a minute, just once I'd like to see DC finally make one universe and one timeline and then stick with it for good, just like they almost did for many years with the one universe that came about after Crisis on Infinite Earths and Zero Hour: Crisis in Time!. If they knew that they were just going to do reboot after reboot and multiverse after multiverse ad nauseum, why did they go through all that trouble to make it one in the first place? Couldn't they just have left well enough alone?

At least Marvel doesn't have to re-do its characters. They got them right the first time.
Last edited by mikelcho on Tue Nov 21, 2023 6:07 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Your stance on multiverse-fiction

Post by HeiseiGodzilla117 »

It's not inherently bad. But in general it is used as a crutch for lazy writers. Even then it often creates more issues than it eliminates. I'm going to mostly speak from the point of view of a comic book reader here.

I want to go against the grain here a bit and say that even in the Spiderverse movies, it's still not good. Certainly not as egregious as most multiverse stories, But when you have a million different Spider-People, it takes away from what makes Spider-Man special. But this isn't an issue inherent or unique to multiverses necessarily. "Legacy" characters have been employed by both Marvel and DC over the last decade or so to the same effect.

So I'll say this. It's not necessarily that multiverses (or legacy characters) can't be used to good effect. But it has to be done in moderation and within a limited scope. In the past, when the occasional Spider-person or Bat-person crossed over into another universe or popped out of nowhere to shock the reader, there was a sense that the writers knew where they wanted the concept to go and how long they wanted it to go on. Then we moved on to a new story focused solely on the main character again. Bendis understood this with Spider-Men. As much as I dislike Miles Morales (except for the Spiderverse movie version) and legacy characters in general, Bendis made the story engaging and kept it contained. He technically utilized the multiverse concept in an effective, responsible way. Writers like Dan Slott, however, who like cheap gimmicks and shock value to try to boost sales will just let it drag on and add more and more with no regard for the character(s) they're supposed to be writing for. It's all novelty that adds nothing of value to the story. Unfortunately, most writers who use a multiverse in their story approach it like Slott and not like Bendis.

TLDR: Most writers who include the idea of a multiverse use it for shallow novelty with no regard for telling a quality story. But, when limited in scope to tell a contained story, it can be used successfully.
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Re: Your stance on multiverse-fiction

Post by JVM »

I'm not super excited about the way multiverse films have been done in the last five or so years, but that hasn't lead me to blind hatred of the concept. Just like time travel and magic, it is one of those science fiction tropes that can be used in many different ways, even if at times certain ways feel oversaturated and overdone. I never think it's wise to call any tool in fiction inherently lazy because it's being used in a lazy way, as I feel this completely discourages anyone from using it intelligently.

A lot of this topic feels like it is hyperfixating on how multiverse films have been done, most of which have been pretty much superhero crossover films and Space Jam 2 with a couple minor exceptions, almost all of which are less than a decade old, but this is a trope with a history in television, games and comics going back for decades to much greater success. Quantum Leap isn't like a superhero multiverse crossover at all, it's a completely different kind of story, but it's still multiverse fiction. A lot of video game usages have been pretty noncontroversial but that's outside my wheelhouse. There is plenty of potential to the concept outisde of how comic book movies and Space Jam 2 have used it, and potential to be interesting.

I personally don't think movies are the best venue for this sort of trope though. More than any other narrative art form, consistency of tone and message is prioritized in film, while television and video games have more flexibility to jump between different tones over different episodes or levels, so I do think this is where the real central creative conflict lies.
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Re: Your stance on multiverse-fiction

Post by Spuro »

I'm not sure I can vote anything other than, "meh." Like with any trope, execution is everything. But the Multiverse concept is also one that's easy to do wrong. It can easily come across as lazy or creatively bankrupt. Into the Spider-Verse is a great example of doing the concept right, as is Everything Everywhere All At Once.

A poor example would be... well... probably one of those new live action superhero movies? Dr. Strange 2 and No Way Home, for example, used the multiverse concept as a way to deliver nostalgia and fan service to the audience. The concept was used as a pretty heavy-handed way to draw in a crowd by marketing characters like Professor X and the previous Spider-men. It worked. I saw and enjoyed No Way Home because of that draw. But the tactics here of drawing in a crowd are pretty... blatant... and I hesitate at the idea of relying on that concept to keep the MCU alive. Even Deadpool X Wolverine: The New Empire slightly disappointed me when its trailer brought up the cinematic universe. Isn't Deadpool meeting Wolverine enough? Does it really have to be tied into the Avengers as well?
Last edited by Spuro on Thu May 09, 2024 2:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Your stance on multiverse-fiction

Post by LegendZilla »

Insisting that everything regarding the multiverse by default all comes down to laziness is a reductionist way of thinking. It's one thing to dislike something, every time I bring the subject up, people here get entitled and act like they know for fact it can never work.

I for one do believe it can work given the right conditions and it's a hill I'm willing to die on.
Last edited by LegendZilla on Sat May 18, 2024 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Your stance on multiverse-fiction

Post by Voyager »

It's over-saturated, that's all I'll say.
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Re: Your stance on multiverse-fiction

Post by Vakanai »

I don't care for how the MCU seems to be using it - but...

1. Turtles Forever (2009)
2. Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010)
3. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
4. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Yeah, I'm still pretty happy with multiverse stories on the whole when done well.
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