I've read other Michael Moorcock tales involving his "multiverse", I've read Grant Morrison and I've read William Burroughs and it's fair to say that not only did I enjoy their reality-warping tales but, generally, I had at least a vague idea of what was going on.
Michael Moorcock's Multiverse - a trade paperback collection of a 12-issue series published by a DC imprint in 1997 - tells three separate, but linked stories, that become increasingly more entangled with each other as the overall story progresses.
All involve characters, connected to Moorcock's grand creation The Eternal Champion (of which Elric is just one facet), on the hunt for an elusive person known as 'The Silverskin'.
The first story thread, Moonbeams And Roses (illustrated by Walt Simonson), is the most metaphysical, being densely populated with bizarre, hyper-intelligent sounding concepts - dealing as it does with the very nature and structure of the Multiverse and the factions of Law and Chaos that fight over it.
The second thread, The Metatemporal Detective (illustrated by by Mark Reeve), introduces us to time-travelling detective Sir Seaton Begg whose investigations take him from pre-war Nazi Germany (and a sub-plot involving Adolf Hitler) through a very Dickensian London underworld and finally to the lair of The Silverskin.
The final thread, Duke Elric (illustrated by John Ridgeway), is the most straight-forward. It centres around 'our' Elric, now living in Europe of the year 1000, reclaiming his soul-sucking sword Stormbringer and embarking on a cross-continent quest to find the enigmatic Silverskin.
He meets some familiar faces along the way and ultimately he is the manifestation of The Eternal Champion that faces off against The Silverskin, while a thousand years "in the future" the fate of the Multiverse is being decided in a game of chance.
Or something like that...
This is not your typical comic book collection. Michael Moorcock's Multiverse is not an easy read, but perseverance pays off. The plot is one of those that was either made up as the author went along and means nothing or was intricately planned out so that EVERYTHING means something. I suspect the latter with this story, although most of it went way over my head.
A prior knowledge of Moorcock's many characters is not essential, but would help in grasping the numerous subtleties and cameos of the multi-dimensional action (I think I recognised a fair number of characters, but certainly not all).
If nothing else Michael Moorcock's Multiverse fired a few neurons in my brain and got to me to thinking that rather than wasting too many hours every day on the Internet I really should get back to my own creative writing.