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The Invisibles: Counting to None by Grant…
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The Invisibles: Counting to None

by Grant Morrison (Writer), Phil Jimenez (Illustrator), Phil Jimenez, John Stokes

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I'm reading these reprint collections of Grant Morrison's Invisibles comic in sequential order, and this is definitely the one that I have enjoyed the best so far. I don't know if it's because of the intrinsic merits of its own story, or whether it's simply that I've now read enough of the prior material to feel properly oriented in the story's world. Each of the main characters from the original Invisibles cell of the first series has now had some significant backstory narrative, and a time-travel plot provides some new perspectives on familiar characters.

This volume collects the individual issues making up three titled arcs: "Time Machine Go," "Sensitive Criminals," and "American Death Camp." Written and published in the late 1990s, these stories seem to accept the identification of Vernor Vinge's technological singularity with the end of the Mayan long count calendrical cycle in 2012 -- an idea later popularized by Daniel Pinchbeck, among others, but which may have been original with Morrison here, as far as I can tell. Still, that feature reduces the immediacy of the narrative when reading it in 2013. Ragged Robin, the witch from the future who is the current leader of the Invisibles, mentions other contra-factual events from the first decade of the 21st century, with similar effects.

Up to his usual tricks, Morrison provides some startling intimations of presque vu and psychedelia-through-language. Many of the motifs in this segment of The Invisibles also feature in his later, more contained and incisive work The Filth. Artist Phil Jimenez does an effective job of depicting key disorientations without entirely losing the reader, and manages to keep the violence as realistic as possible in the context.
3 vote paradoxosalpha | Mar 18, 2013 |
I'd have to go back through the cyberpagan world-underneath-the-worldness of the first couple volumes again to be sure, and certainly this one lacks their Riddley Walkeresque mythofaerie Britness; but nevertheless this may be the best Invisibles yet. Ragged Robin turns out to be from the not-too-distant future (2012), coming back to keep our shit together in the present day (1997); we get some Outer Church thugs that are also Aum Shinrikyo thugs, which is good for a creepy chuckle, and when Robin's friend Takashi sends us into the past we get a wonderful occult-flavoured Bright Young Things romp with a pop-art version of Julia from Brideshead Revisited and her pinstriped invert friend (the future Tom O'Bedlam, deliciously). The love story between her and King Mob is crosstime and affecting, we have a guest Invisible who does magic with scoo scat skibobble singing, and then the second half is all Robin taking charge with her future knowledge, Mob trying to master the psychic damage of committing constant grisly murder and channel it in a positive direction, Jack Frost confessing his interest in Boy, and Boy disappearing with the macguffin--the hand of god or something--and getting decompressed five times by weirdoes and it turns out she's some kind of absurd quintuple sleeper agent and her eyes aren't her eyes and her skin isn't her skin. Drughead palimpsest comics from a time when it seemed like the future would just be a more hallucinatory version of the present. By which I mean, we will go down as the generation that loved drugs and rock bands the most of all, but the new young kids will have us beat in point of shopping. ( )
  MeditationesMartini | Mar 28, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Morrison, GrantWriterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jimenez, PhilIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Jimenez, Philmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Stokes, Johnmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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