MultiVerse: An Anthology of Superhuman Proportions is a new poetry anthology that blends the geek of poetry with the nerd of superheroes, producing a fandom ode to all those who wear capes and tights. It is produced by Ryk McIntyre and Rob Sturma through Write Bloody Publishing, the folks who brought you Aim for the Head: An Anthology of Zombie Poetry.
This is just under 100 pages of poems that run the superhero/villain spectrum. Many of your favorites are here. Wonder Woman scores a couple of poems. Spiderman gets four. The majority of the work goes to The Joker, Batman, and Superman (take that Marvel!), but even the Dazzler gets her moment in the spotlight (pun intended).
If you wrong me, boy, I’ll be the phosphorescent thump at the back of your head, the drum confounding your pulse, I will own your eyes.
From No Matter the Ending, the Beginning is Light.
There are several approaches to the theme in this anthology. There are villain pieces that explore what coming to villainy feels like in sparse terms and tight meter. These poems bring out the empathy and personality that is so often implied for the Bad Guys but not really detailed. A super villain was a person just like anyone else, before they took that left turn into madness.
My role models were Lex Luthor, the Joker, Black Manta
Like them I wanted the world to accept me on my own terms.
These juxtapose well with the hero poems that lean heavily on the angst of loss and responsibility – not just for Spiderman and Batman but even the Hulk and the Flash know pain and separation.
Know how lonely it is waiting for everyone else to catch up? I
can serve myself in tennis. All your small-talk looks like glaciers playing golf.
Not all of the hero poems are sad. A couple, some of the best, are classic boasts, designed to impress:
three-quarters of the whole ball of wax, like the inverted section of an iceberg…you do remember what icebergs meant to the Titanic, don’t you?
from Thus Spoke Aquaman.
There are even funny poems, told in the dialects of Popeye or Bizarro:
Me hate you.
Me hate you more than kittens.
Let me explain.
From Bizarro Hate Poem.
But my favorites are the pieces on “regular” people who may or may not be “super”. There are odes to sidekicks, unknown saints, and The Dry Cleaner:
The Ten-Second Martinizer? A valuable ally. And Tetrachloroethylene Lad’s sacrifice
will never be forgotten.
From The Dry Cleaner.
And of course, as a mom, the closing poem gets me directly in the feels:
And I get it. My son thinks I’m super
but what I want him to remember always is that he is my hero.
From Super Hero.
I recommend this book as a fun addition to any poetry shelf. It is good stuff, designed to be read aloud to anyone who will listen, or memorized for use in your darkest moments, when you need to remember that you are super too.