To try and sum up The Invisibles is to do it an injustice. This volume, which collects together the first eight issues of the series, serves as an introduction to Grant Morrison’s extraordinary world-view and a slap in the face for anyone picking the book up without any expectation of what they’re about to embark on.
The basic premise of the two stories presented here are simple – introduce the group that calls itself The Invisibles through the eyes of a new recruit, and show what its members are capable of in their first ‘adventure’. The route Morrison takes through this otherwise innocent sounding scenario is brutal, chaotic and fascinating, with elements of magic, psychadelia, time travel, sadism, religion – the list goes on. And don’t expect too much by way of explanation, because almost as many questions are raised as answered.
Morrison’s imagination is undoubtedly special, creating characters and situations that push the boundaries of expectation. Whether he’s breathing life into the Marquis de Sade or fleshing out an arrogant street urchin, his characters have a three-dimensional quality to them that keep them human despite the unusual setting. Yeowell and Thompson do an adequate job of translating Morrison’s fantasies onto the page, with occasionally stark but mostly sympathetic colouring enhancing the transition between perceived reality and wild fantasy.
This certainly isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste as it takes concentration and a certain amount of persistence to follow the story. It’s unlikely that you’ll be much the wiser when you emerge from the end of this book, but those who like a smattering of chaos in their world will appreciate its qualities.
More books by Grant Morrison:
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