Page 45 Review by Stephen
Hahaha! Well, now.
Like Morrison's DOOM PATROL - and so many more Vertigo series besides - THE INVISIBLES is now being repackaged in chunkier books (as opposed to "volumes") and this contains #1-12.
I've always described Morrison and Case's DOOM PATROL as one of those high-altitude, serpentine water slides: once you've started you cannot get off, so you might as well lie back, prepared to get wet and enjoy the white-knuckle ride. It was deliriously fine, mind-frazzling fun and, however crazy, it never once slipped over the albeit worryingly low edges to plummet into the suicidal insanity and the crowds down below.
THE INVISIBLES managed a mere four issues of rebellious, revolutionary insight and incite - illustrated with vigour and a singularly British flair by ZENITH's Steve Yeowell - before not just slipping but jettisoning itself over those imaginary railings.
Normally I would lambast myself for inadequate comprehension, for being far too stupid to understand the great Grant Morrison because on the whole, though not always, I am a fan. See WE3, KILL YOUR BOYFRIEND, ARKHAM ASYLUM, BATMAN INCORPORATED, ZENITH, DOOM PATROL (obviously) and ST. SWITHIN'S DAY (you can't).
But our Mark independently came to the same conclusion halfway through the fifth issue and (I learned last week) so did our Jonathan.
We would, of course, all stand a much better chance of synching ourselves up to this self-indulgence if DC were prepared to level the playing fields by issuing these collections with the same recreationals which Morrison notoriously consumed in elephantine quantities while writing the scripts.
If you doubt me at all, please read Grant's autobiographical SUPERGODS.
Your best hope is to buy two copies of each collected edition, snip out all the panels, rearrange them into something vaguely resembling chronological order, then perform a brief, drug-enhanced ritual involving a Tibetan mountain and no less than 39 missing letters of the Urdu alphabet. Even then, like the average pension scheme, we offer only the flimsiest of guarantees.
Wizard magazine for comicbook speculators whose demise was pithily greeted by MILK & CHEESE's Evan Dorkin as "the end of an error" once published a devastatingly succinct and howl-inducingly accurate piss-take of THE INVISIBLES in the form of an April Fool's advertisement aping cover artist (the brilliant Brian Bolland) to perfection:
"The End Of The World... Or a Cat On A Bowling Ball?"
But you are due, at the very least, an objective if rudimentary summary, so for those of you new to this provocative meander-thon (pilfered, Morrison maintains, for The Matrix), The Invisibles is a secret cell of anarchists talented in various aspects of what could loosely be described as the occult, determined to see our lives freed from the threat of a trans-temporal, inter-dimensional, pan-sexual straightjacket.
Reality, sexuality, order, chaos, language and control, it's all here for the decryption. Join Lord Fanny, King Mob, Ragged Robin, Jack Frost, Edith Manning, Jolly Roger and the rest of these mentalists in their fight for your future's freedom!
I leave you with a guide as to what to expect using the original volumes' seven-volume titles:
Say You Want A Revolution: Did it really all begin here, with a young boy named Dane and a secret world which he suddenly saw lurking behind what passed for reality?
Apocalipstick: Things go from bad to worse - you can always count on that. You can also count on things not being what they seem.
Entropy In The UK: They say that everyone has their breaking point. But it's what's being broken that really matters - and who's breaking it.
Bloody Hell In America: Secrets are hard to keep, unless they're too big to be believed. The bigger the government, the bigger the secrets become.
Counting To None: Time is of the essence, it transpires. But the essence of what might surprise you.
Kissing Mr. Quimper: Learning from history is one thing, but writing the history yourself is another, particularly when it hasn't happened yet.
The Invisible Kingdom: Who even knows?