Multiversity is an ongoing DC comics series written by Grant Morrison. Every month sees a story in a different version of the DC universe (eg kids of the well-known heroes who have nothing to do because their parents created a utopia where the bad guys can never win) loosely tied around a seemingly haunted comic book. Footballiversity and the various numbered Footballiverses are a shameless rip-off of the comics device (found elsewhere too, of course) of using parallel universes when you have nothing else to write about, and is an idea that came to me while reading Multiversity, although in a parallel universe Grant Morrison got the idea from me.
Footballiversity Bumper Issue #1 – Footballiverse 8
The 2014 World Cup
Footballiverse 8 is a world in which football really is a gladiatorial sport. Elimination from the World Cup, the only soccer event that anyone cares about, means players are executed (banished to the Conference). The stakes are higher, the crowds are larger, the co-commentators are marginally less awful.
David Luiz, his patriotism enhanced by the threat of career death, ascends to the level of superhero. He develops lightning speed, which helps them beat Croatia, although then gains the ability to duplicate himself, which he does in Brazil’s second match, getting them eliminated from the competition for having too many players on the pitch. Luiz burrows to the centre of the earth and is not seen again, though gives an interview via morse code in 2035. Cameroon and Mexico progress.
In groups B and C, the same teams go through as in real life so as to save time: Netherlands, Chile, Colombia, Greece.
In group D, Costa Rica, their players largely in countries where the gulf between top league and non-league is not so great, do not benefit from the fear factor that boosts the performance of other nations. England still contrive to draw 0-0 against them. They had already beaten Italy and Uruguay though – the latter victory an automatic one as Suarez, getting carried away and thinking himself a real gladiator, turned up with a sword and throwing spear. Italy and England go through.
As with B and C, in the latter groups all of the same teams go through, apart from the USA who are replaced by Ghana in a confused but well received attempt by FIFA to further punish Suarez.
Nothing of interest happens in the round of 16. Italy’s quarter-final against Colombia takes the form of a court case, as Colombia argue (successfully) that their opponent’s previous history in gladiatorial combat puts them at an unfair advantage. As the ‘match’ is going on, Neymar, back in Spain after Brazil’s elimination, finds himself absentmindedly drawing the iconic picture of Bane breaking Batman’s back, though for some reason draws his own face where Batman’s should be, and draws Bane in Colombian colours. He shivers, then goes back to training with his new team in a rubbish Spanish league.
The semi-finals are between Colombia, Germany, England, and Argentina. England’s stars are driven this far by not wanting to have to play against Luton, mainly.
Germany’s efficient and organised style of play displeases Emperor Blatter, who gives them a thumbs down. They are promptly executed on the spot. The other semi-final is a tie to end all ties, a mammoth battle between the English, who don’t wish to leave their life of luxury in the Best League in the World™, and Messi, who is so driven by the prospect of being executed to a non-league team that he gains the ability of an invincibility star in Super Mario. In the last minute, he wins a free-kick on the edge of the England box. He gains the Force and uses it to score an amazing goal, but midi-chlorians are found in his blood in a post-match drugs test and England are sent to the final in Argentina’s place.
England lose. Colombia win the World Cup. Wayne Rooney is dragged physically by shady FIFA officials to the Conference, screaming so hard that he becomes an orc, while Leighton Baines quits football to become a Gallagher brother.
“‘Issue’ #2: Start of the season-December”, coming 18/2/15; “‘Issue’ #3: January”, coming 25/2/15; “‘Issue 4 etc': Appropriate Month”, on the first Wednesday after the end of the said appropriate month