UPDATE - More has been released on the Multiversity and you can read about those new details by clicking here.
The Multiversity is a seven-issue series of one-shots, written by Grant Morrison, that will establish seven different Earths from throughout the Multiverse. These seven issues, while telling separate stories, will link together to reestablish the connection between the DCU and the Multiverse. In Morrison's own words,
I've started a series called The Multiversity, which will pick up a bunch of strands from 52 and Final Crisis. Back when we laid out the return of the Multiverse in 52, I asked if I could establish some of these books as potential ongoing series. We wanted to set up each universe as its own franchise. [...]
So this is my big project for the next year, and I'm working on books for seven different parallel universes. Each one is a first issue with a complete story and series bible. Each one spotlights the major superhero group of a different alternate reality. And they all link together together as a seven-issue story that reimagines the relationship between the DCU and the Multiverse.
One title Grant Morrison mentioned with quite some enthusiasm was an Earth-5 book, which most will know is home to the Fawcett Comics characters, most noteably of which includes the Captain Marvel family. To everyone's delight, I'm sure, Morrison has described this Earth and the potential book as "a line of books with the Marvel Family done in a more traditional, all-ages, All-Star Superman style." Yes, he specifically describes it as an All-Star Superman style. Please, please, please let Frank Quitely be attached to the Captain Marvel book. I think I could die happy if that were the case.
Watchmen 2 - Watching Harder
The only other Earth mentioned was the little known Earth-4, home to the Charlton Comics characters, best described as 'the Watchmen Earth' to comic fans. Morrison had all kinds of things to say about this story.
On the reasons behind choosing to do a new Watchmen,
I thought it would be interesting to pick up on that sort of crystalline, self-reflecting storytelling method, so the mad notion I came up with was to do the Charlton characters in a story I'd construct as an update on that ludic Watchmen style - if Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons had pitched the Watchmen now, rooted in a contemporary political landscape but with the actual Charlton characters instead of analogues!
But, wait, it gets even better. He goes on to talk about several of the characters involved, particularly Dr Manhattan and Rorschach. Dr Manhattan will revert to Captain Atom, but with a twist. This Captain Atom will actually be Captain Adam from Morrison's Final Crisis: Superman Beyond story.
Rorschach will return to being The Question again, but, instead of the black and white, right and wrong viewpoint of Rorschach, Morrison described his Question as someone who's Randian viewpoint had been "shattered through the prisms of his experiences as a crimefighter so that he sees the world through the multicolored lens of Spiral Dynamics."
For those wondering what Spiral Dynamics are, I did a quick Wikipedia search and came up with this brief explaination:
Spiral Dynamics argues that human nature is not fixed: humans are able, when forced by life conditions, to adapt to their environment by constructing new, more complex, conceptual models of the world that allow them to handle the new problems. Each new model includes and transcends all previous models. According to Beck and Cowan, these conceptual models are organized around so-called Memes: systems of core values or collective intelligences, applicable to both individuals and entire cultures.
Basically, we can expect him to be an 'I can haz cheezburger'-meme spouting, 4chan user. Okay, okay, I admit, I might be a little off on my interpretation of Spiral Dynamics. It does sound like an interesting take and very Morrisonian-like in nature, though, which could be a good or bad thing, depending on who you ask.
Like Final Crisis, But On Crack
What will further divide fandom into love/hate groups in regards to Morrison's work is the so-called description of The Multiversity and the Watchmen followup, in particular. Speaking about the murder scene from the Watchmen issue, Morrison described it as such (emphasis mine),
There's a very different kind of murder mystery at the heart and the whole thing can be read backwards, forwards and sideways.
Further describing the book, Morrison was quoted as saying,
It's been fun to do that kind of style but rethink it and try to play a new version of that 'sound' without copying anything directly. We've got 12-panel grids and pages where you're seeing the events leading to a murder, the murder itself and the investigation all happening simultaneously across the same background. I'm right in the middle of that one, so it's fresh in my mind.
His use of the word, 'sound', might bring up bad memories of Superman singing Darkseid to death in Final Crisis, but it's hard not to feel Morrison's enthusiasm for the project throughout the interview. While it does not guarantee a 'Watchmen 2', as I doubt anyone could duplicate that level of work, especially in a single issue, it's hard not to be excited over the prospect of a Morrison written Watchmen.
Answer The Question
It's still a long ways off, but use the words Morrison, Watchmen and All-Star anything to describe a project and I doubt there's anyone not excited on some level. It does raise some interesting questions, though.
The Biggest question is, if two books will be focusing on Watchmen and All Star Captain Marvel, what are the other five about? I assume one will be Earth-51 and the New Gods and I can imagine Morrison returning the Crime Syndicate on Earth-3 (formerly Earth-2) as another easy sell. With Morrison focusing on a Watchmen reimagining, would he also be willing to take a stab at the Marvel Comics analogues of Earth-8 and do a Squadron Supreme-like story? Earth-20 seems like a lock as well, as Morrison has described that Earth as a home for alternate, 'pulp' versions of super-heroes and he even had character designs for a Doc Fate character for Final Crisis that never made it into that book, but were in the sketchbook.
Another question arises with who else is attached to the project. Morrison is writing the books, but there's likely to be some high profile artists attached, especially to something like Watchmen. Frank Quitely is a likely candidate, as he and Morrison collaborate on many things, but I'm sure almost anyone would be willing to jump at the opportunity to work with him on these books. Will Doug Mahnke get the call after his work finishing up Final Crisis? Will JG Jones get a chance to redeem himself after Final Crisis?
There are literally a million thoughts going through my head with regards to the possibilities for these titles, but I want to know what you think. What Earths would you like to see Morrison visit (see here for a list of DC Earths)? What artist would you like to see Morrison work with? What projects are you excited for? Are you excited? Is Morrison trying too hard to be the next Alan Moore or overstepping his boundaries / committing mortal sin by doing a 'sequel' to Watchmen? Let everyone know in the comments below.