Invisibles Book 3: Entropy in the UK

Entropy in the UKOrder this bookStory: Sir Miles’ forces have captured King Mob and Lord Fanny, and Dane MacGowan is hitchhiking his way to Liverpool. Ragged Robin and Boy enlist the aid of Jack Crow and the Invisible agent known as Mister Six in an effort to find and rescue all three. Separate story threads gradually converge for one climactic fight to save the universe.

Review: The book’s opening arc, also entitled Entropy in the UK, is probably my favorite. King Mob is dying from a gunshot wound, and Sir Miles intends to take advantage of the opportunity. Miles doesn’t want to torture information out of King Mob – he wants to break Mob’s will, get him to “voluntarily” give up information about the Invisibles. In a war of ideology, that’s really the only victory worth winning. The battle of wills showcases comics’ unique potential as a medium; Phil Jimenez’s beautiful pencils display the dazzling, chaotic landscape of King Mob’s mind and thoughts, while the narration and script lay out the dizzying ideas and mantras of the two combatants. Text and pictures convey the information better than either could alone. We jump from the interrogation room, to flashbacks of King Mob’s training, to passages from novels that Mob uses as psychic defenses, to Miles’ exploration of Mob’s thought structures. It’s gorgeous, gorgeous stuff, full of adrenaline and enthusiasm. […]

Invisibles Book 2: Apocalipstick

ApocalipstickOrder this bookStory: King Mob’s Invisibles cell makes its way back to the 20th Century after its retrieval of the Marquis de Sade. Their opponents have moved in for the kill, and a maimed Jack Frost decides to make a run for it on his own. The conspiracy is on the move elsewhere, as a British aristocrat uses the downtrodden as hunting quarry and Chicago corporate leaders get their kicks from killing and re-animating inner-city crack users. Lord Fanny and King Mob’s search for Jack leads them to trouble, and gives Fanny reason to recall her journey from Central America.

Review: In many ways, the three chapters between Jack’s departure and his companions’ search for him are the emotional and thematic core of “Apocalipstick,” even if the “main” characters never appear. It’s very easy to get caught up in all the magic and madness of the Invisibles’ fight against the conspiracy and forget the purpose of that fight, the effort to free the human spirit. The interlude chapters explore the chains that bind that spirit – exploitation of minorities and the poor by the corporate elite, the corrosive effects of fear and hate and ignorance, the struggles of everyday people to achieve their dreams, and the crushing weight of their failure to do so. The best story of the three may be the one with no supernatural elements at all, in which we see a man’s life flash before his eyes through a series of disjointed flashbacks. The layout of this story is very effective, as scenes and fragments blend together before the story reaches its climax and they come full circle. It’s the story of a man who wanted more from life than what he got, and probably deserved more… the injustice resonates, and as a bonus, it reinforces why we want the Invisibles to win. A world this unjust is a world that needs to be remade. […]

Invisibles Book 1: Say You Want a Revolution

Say You Want a RevolutionOrder this bookStory: The Invisibles are a secret society that has fought for centuries to free humankind from the mental shackles imposed on it by forces of authority and control. The enemy is fond of torture and lobotomies to keep us in line; where that doesn’t work, magic and microwave transmissions will have to do. The turn of the millennium draws closer, and as King Mob, the leader of one Invisibles cell, says, “We’re in the final furlong of a race between a never-ending global party and a world that looks like Auschwitz.” To help turn the tide of that battle, King Mob’s cell recruits a juvenile delinquent as its newest member; after he spends some time being trained (without realizing he’s being trained), the group uses magic to project their psyches back in time to revolution-era France and ask the Marquis de Sade if he wouldn’t mind popping back with them to the twentieth century.

Review: “Say You Want a Revolution,” the first Invisibles collection, is one of the most truly creative pieces of writing I’ve ever seen. Grant Morrison packs so many ideas in here that there’s almost a palpable sense of your brain going places it’s never gone before – it’s easy to get swept up in the exhilarating rush from one idea to the next and then back again, and the sense of never quite being sure when the rug’s going to get pulled out from under you. […]