The Invisibles by Grant Morrison
Cover Concept by Lorenzo Princi, 4 April 2013

The Invisibles

Author: Grant Morrison

Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi

“Enjoy your ignorance while it lasts.”
Beneath the perceived reality and the life beyond, between the subtext and behind the curtain. On the other side of every mirror is a one way window and those who look out from it fight an unseen war. Those on the side of truth and freedom are the The Invisibles.

When Dane, a rebellious London youth takes one of his pranks too far he is shipped to the reform centre Harmony House. There he will learn how to conform. Just as he beings to snoop around and uncover the nightmarish secret of what is truly being done to the in-mates, he is busted out by King Mob, a secret agent working for The Invisibles. King Mob knows there is something special about Dane and wants him to join the cause. From then on we are on a whirlwind cyber punk adventure like only the 90's could produce.

This epic series is ambitious, multi-faceted and extremely complex. Touching on the supernatural, the fantastical, science fiction and religion, it features all sorts of iconography and references from obscure myth to mainstream pop culture. Jam packed with ultra-violence, sex and action, within pages, you'll find yourself immersed in Morrison's psychedelic wet dream.

Perhaps where this book falls short of genius, is not in it's concept or dialogue but rather in structure and consistency. The plot jumps around too much, page to page, panel to panel, it becomes hard to follow as a flowing narrative and you start to just see it as a big picture. This is fine for comprehension but terrible in terms of emotion. I found in the end I didn't really care. The characters, though iconic, original and memorable, just seemed to become narrators. I became very detached by the end of the book, and maybe that's the whole point but in terms of preference, it's not my type of thing.

The real let down in the book though is the artwork. Though no piece is bad in itself, there are too many artists and styles throughout. The story is difficult enough to follow without having parts were characters change in appearance and then change back in later parts. A consistent and perhaps less comical style would have better served the dark tone of the story.

The Invisibles is required reading for comic book enthusiast and is certainly filled with iconic characters, interesting concepts and gives great insight into the mind of the interesting and talented Grant Morrison. On this basis alone I'd recommend reading it. However, you might want to see if you can get it as individual paper back issues. The hard cover Omnibus edition, though making a great coffee table book, is very uncomfortable to read. It weighs too much and contains probably 500 pages too many for it to be released as a single volume.
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