Should we bring the Morrison discussion over here now? I don't know how...

Views: 1274

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Jimenez pencils part 1 and 3. but only provides layouts for part two of ‘Hand of Glory’ and someone called Spaceboy does the pencils. (Perhaps the pseudonym is because it was penciled by someone under contract to Marvel at the time? Its the only reason I can think of.) There isn’t any jarring change in styles, but the 1924 King Mob suddenly has a goatee when the séance is taken up again in the Jimenez-penciled part three rather than the dapper mustache he'd sported in part two. Stokes inked both, so he should have picked up on that.

I meant to say something about this. The Wikipedia Invisibles article says "Issue #9 has Jimenez on layouts only, with the pencils handled by Chris Weston, credited as "Space Boy" That seems reasonable to me, but they don't say where the information comes from. I agree that the look is pretty consistent, always hard to achieve with different artists.
"American Death Camp Part One: Counting to None"

No Barbelith info for this issue, so I'm borrowing the Anarchy for the Masses summary: The Invisibles trace Boy to Seattle, where she has been abducted by Invisibles faction Cell 23 while trying to locate the REX84 internment camp her brother Martin was taken to in 1989. Cell 23 subject Boy to a series of conditioning processes, exploring a variety of alternate personalities before telling her that she is an Outer Church agent who had been lost in deep cover...

Boy doesn't know what to believe during her deprogramming, and the reader can't decide either. Jack demonstrates a previously unseen psychic ability: just by picking up a coin left by Boy, he can tell that she's been there, and has a strong intuition about where she is now, and that she's in trouble.

"American Death Camp Part Two: Counting to Five"

Boy has gone with the enemy - they say she has become lost in her cover identity with the Invisibles. The rest of the team are out looking for her and meet a guy who says that she has been looking for dissident camps in Washington. He says that they were supposed to meet but didn't. Back at their hotel, the team is discussing the use of the Hand of Glory. King Mob is recounting his experiences moving through time. While they are discussing things room service comes in - but they leave a bug on the salt cellar. Mason starts to discuss his company's research facility in town when Jack Frost intuits that that is where Boy is being kept. They are being kept under heavy surveillance as they approach the facility. Boy is pursuaded that she is a component of a device that will destroy the sun in the name of Abaddon, and is given King Mob, tied up and gagged to shoot in his name.

"American Death Camp Part Three: Counting to Ten"

Boy is holding a gun to the head of a tied-up King Mob. Earlier that day, King Mob, Lord Fanny, Mason Lang, Ragged Robin and Jack Frost had broken into Motech to find her. As soon as they enter they are under surveillance. The people who are watching them use a few viral words to disrupt their perceptions of the world and finally to 'turn them off'. When King Mob wakes he is being held at gun-point by Boy. When it comes to pull the trigger, she fights back only for one of the apparent enemy to reveal himself to be Oscar - her old partner on the force. King Mob gets himself together and starts to attack them only for them to reveal that they are Cell 23 who specialise in the psychodramatic debugging of Invisibles agents. She is given the opportunity to kill Leo Kravitz, who was in charge of killing both of her brothers, but she can't do it. At that moment she makes contact with Barbelith. King Mob's cell then leave Cell 23 - they are unthrilled with the treatment of Boy.

For some reason the cover reproduction in the trade leaves off the speech balloons. Robin makes reference to a drug called Sky that will exist in 2005; this, plus elements like the boom box with cassette tape earlier in the arc, demonstrate how the future always catches up with even the most self-consciously "futuristic" story. Everything seems to have worked out for the best: Boy is cured. But the team is deeply disturbed by the treatment of Boy; and Mason is shocked to find that one of his own facilities is being used for purposes he was not aware of. King Mob makes refrerence to Big Brother in the final panel. Cell 23 has behaved like the enemy, basically torturing Boy in order to cure her. This entire arc was equally disorienting to me, not only for the uncertainties created by the mind control tricks, but because it paints the Invisibles in a most unfavorable light. It's hard to feel that they're the good guys when they behave like Cell 23 does in this arc.
I read these three issues on the bus on the way home from the pub last night and was quite confused. They didn’t make a lot more sense in the cold light of day this morning.

Perhaps it was my bad head, but I didn’t have a lot of patience with the 64-letter alphabet they used to control people’s minds either, and like you, I found the behaviour of some of these so-called Invisibles to be harsh medicine indeed.

Boy's cure seems to be Reichian shock therapy, something Morrison really believes in, but its hard to admire, especially as they make King Mob relive his fears of captivity and death along the way.

All in all, my least favourite arc so far, so I might as well talk about The Third Policeman, one of the greatest books in the English language, according to George, or perhaps Jack, in the Mr Six issue.

The narrator commits a terrible transgression at the start, and the subsequent events of the book seem like his punishment. The first of the three policemen he meets will do anything, commit any crime or incriminate anyone if he sees advantage for himself in it. (What an imagination O’Brien had!) The Second Policeman is a simpler soul who loves his bicycle.

Flann O’Brien, the author, was playing around with ideas that were just then becoming common knowledge. One of these was the idea of atoms and molecules. The Second Policeman spends so much time on his beloved bicycle that his molecules have become mixed up with his bike’s and his bike’s molecules have got mixed up with him. Consequently, the bike develops a personality and the policeman meanwhile can only stay upright while moving between points or while leaning against a wall.

At one point the First Policeman shows the main character some things he’s been working on. One is a lance that is so sharp that it draws blood even though it seems to be 3 feet away from the narrator’s hand.

The narrator is horrified by the unnaturalness of this, but then the Policeman shows him a beautifully carved box. It is indeed a thing of beauty. It is so well made, that the Policeman admits he was at a loss as to what would be worthy of being put into it. The answer was another, smaller box equally as beautiful, which the Policeman produces from the box. The Policeman then opens the lid and shows that it contains an even smaller box, equally well made. This goes on until the Policeman seems to be taking out motes of dust and eventually what looks like nothing at all from microscopically miniscule boxes.

At one point the narrator sneezes and the monstrous Policeman accuses him of losing one of the tiny boxes on the floor. Just as the cop is starting to lose his temper, the narrator, in desperation, picks a spot on the floor at random and pretends to pick up a tiny box. The Policeman tells him that he knows that the narrator is just pretending, but that he has in fact by an incredible accident picked up the missing box.

The Third Policeman is one of my own favourite books and I’d recommend it to anyone. As well as illustrating the kind of thing that goes on in it, I thought I’d detail that episode as it illustrates something Grant loves to write about. Namely the concept of what was called in one of the Planet of the Apes movies ‘Infinite Regression’, where something contains an element, which in turn contains another element and so on. In Escape from the Planet of the Apes, the idea was illustrated by a painting of a guy painting a painting of a guy painting a painting etc.

This is exactly what we’ve got in the Doom Patrol’s Painting That Ate Paris, a series of paintings within paintings. A prior example of it in The Invisibles, was where Jim Crow began travelling spiritually while his soul sat with his video-recording on the TV. It was quite subtle, but he entered the other realm and from there used a puddle of magic mirror to go deeper into the spirit realm. He actually went through several layers before he met Baron Zaraguin.

To bring us all the way back to American Death Camp, Boy’s personalities are similarly regressed, each encased inside another one. I’m not sure it’s well worked out though. The ‘Lucille’ personality seems to be the real one at the end, but it only seems one step removed from her ‘Boy’ persona. If so, where did the other ones come from? Which persona did the ‘Conspiracy’ implant their slave persona onto?

Also, the sequence with the Black Train and the man who killed her brothers would seem to be just some kind of hypnotic illusion. How can the train etc suddenly appear in Mason’s research lab? It makes me feel that the bearded guy and her brothers were all just illusory in the first place. Perhaps Cell 23 decided that allowing her to think that Lucille was her real personality was best for her?

It’s not very satisfying. An interview with Jiminez in the Anarchy for the Masses link above reveals that he objected to Morrison’s script where Boy’s backstory turned out to be just a fiction. Jiminez wrote a long letter to Grant arguing that with her revenge motive and down-to-Earth personality, she contributed a lot to the overall story. If you read his interview in conjunction with the final issue of this arc, it looks like he persuaded Grant not to dispose of Lucille’s story as fiction. However this does mean that it’s hard to see now what the point of Boy’s seemingly deeper personae was or when/how they were grafted on. I’m beginning to think Grant changed the ending of this story in mid-flow. Jiminez also objected to the idea of a Boy/Jack relationship, and thought that Grant was suing that story to live out some fantasy of his...

I did like the flashback to King Mob’s dream adventure. Its fun to think that there might be some autobiography from Grant’s own life in these scenes. And what is Jack doing with the gloves and the green ‘witches brew’? Did you notice the scorpion forming on the stairs behind King Mob as he approaches the fateful door?

The door itself reminds us of the door in Philedelphia that John A’Dreams stepped through, but which KM was too scared to approach.

I’ve found that Jack’s lines read much better if you can imagine them being spoken in the querulous Liverpudlian accent that he must have, ey? His lines are more amusing if you imagine them being spoken by one of the Beatles in the Yellow Submarine movie.
It’s not very satisfying. An interview with Jiminez in the Anarchy for the Masses link above reveals that he objected to Morrison’s script where Boy’s backstory turned out to be just a fiction. Jiminez wrote a long letter to Grant arguing that with her revenge motive and down-to-Earth personality, she contributed a lot to the overall story. If you read his interview in conjunction with the final issue of this arc, it looks like he persuaded Grant not to dispose of Lucille’s story as fiction. However this does mean that it’s hard to see now what the point of Boy’s seemingly deeper personae was or when/how they were grafted on. I’m beginning to think Grant changed the ending of this story in mid-flow. Jiminez also objected to the idea of a Boy/Jack relationship, and thought that Grant was suing that story to live out some fantasy of his...

I read that Jiminez interview too (oh, and in it he confirms that Weston was "Space Boy," although he doesn't mention that credit specifically. He says that he had to do rushed layouts, which Weston finished, on one issue). I like Boy's back story a lot, and would have been very disappointed if Grant had just rendered it an illusion. But the whole question is left unresolved as it is, which isn't much better. As far as Boy being attracted to Jack, there's no predicting where the heart will go, is there? It could have been done believably.
Figserello said:
I've just discovered that there are extracts from Anarchy for the Masses on Googlebooks, an issue-by-issue collection of commentary and snippets of interviews with the creators.

There are some awful gaffes by the commentators - They state that Robin never carries a gun and the comic begins in 1987, for starters.

However you do get plenty of good stuff from the horses mouth. Ragged Robin was based on Jill Thompson in her looks (as was Brunhilde in P Craig Russell's Ring Cycle comics, fact fans.) Thompson herself says the Rob Liefield sequence was the hardest thing she's ever drawn. She had to unlearn everything she knew about anatomy and intelligible comicbook art.

There's probably lots of useful annotations in the sidebars, but I wasn't up to reading them this time around.

I thought I'd mention it here as it covers various pages of the book but only up to the Hand of Glory arc, where we are now.

I actually own this book. It's pretty interesting. I really enjoy reading annotations, so this was pretty cool to me. I didn't notice those mistakes, though. I'm going to have to pull that book back out.
The two guys doing the main commentary seem quite flippant and I'm not sure they are as rigorous as they could be. I think I noticed a few other mistakes too. The input from the creators and those involved at DC make it look very worthwhile however.

I'd like to get this book, but don't know how much I'd be prepared to pay for it!

I'm also interested in Our Sentence is Up. I really liked how the writer talked about the series in the posts of his I read online.

For now, I'm just trying to see how much I can get out of the series by just reading it as closely as I can myself, and measuring it against Morrison's other work that I'm familiar with. It's a kind of test of the series' intelligibility on its own terms.

One book that keeps getting mentioned when The Invisibles is being discussed is Valis by Phillip K Dick. Coincidently, I've had that on my shelf for a while now, so I should take the hint and read the damn thing one of these days.
One book that keeps getting mentioned when The Invisibles is being discussed is Valis by Phillip K Dick. Coincidently, I've had that on my shelf for a while now, so I should take the hint and read the damn thing one of these days.

I've read it, but it's been awhile. I do remember it being one of the better Dick novels. They've been reprinting his whole body of work in the last few years, and I've found that most of them aren't very good: full of cool ideas (Dick is one of the few SF writers who actually has original ideas), but not very well written.

And thanks for the mention of The Third Policeman. The library has it, so I'll definitely be getting to it.
The Invisibles Book Six: Kissing Mister Quimper

"Only Lovers Left Alive"

Colonel Friday and Sir Miles meet in dreams to discuss the current situation in the world. Meanwhile, Ragged Robin and King Mob have acid sex and S&M in a variety of places. Jack, Boy and Fanny are clubbing - Fanny has found himself a man for the evening. Boy and Jack talk about their situation and end up kissing. Meanwhile, Takashi and Mason pick up the Time Machine.

So Boy & Jack get together after all. Seems believable enough; Jack is really keen, but Boy seems uncertain, trying pretty hard to reject Jack's advances at first. Robin is acting very strangely--one panel depicts a Quimper silhouette in the mirror by Robin & King Mob's bed. New art team for most of the issues in this collection: Chris Weston on pencils & John Stokes on inks. I don't like it as well as Jimenez's work, but it has a similar look and feel.

"The Philadelphia Experiment"

Colonel Friday and Quimper are plotting - Ragged Robin is apparently 30% Quimper now. King Mob is dreaming about the past, and remembers what happened when he and John A'Dreams went to the Philadelphia church. Having found the crucified toad, they go into a back room which is full of bodies merged with each other and with insect parts - the bodies are still alive. Waking up from his dream, he and Robin decide to go and look at the church. Boy, Fanny and Jack are playing in an amusement arcade, before Fanny gets a feeling that something is wrong for them - they decide to jump onto a plane and rescue them. Meanwhile at the church, Robin and King Mob start getting paranoid - they are convinced that someone is in there with them, stalking them. And while all this is going on, did Takashi really give the time machine to the enemy?

Fanny has recognized that Quimper is taking over Robin; in fact she recognizes Quimper from her rape back in Brazil (I'll have to go back to that issue & look for clues).

"Scorpio Rising"

King Mob and Ragged Robin are in the Philadelphia church where John A'Dreams disappeared. King Mob is convinced that John has gone over to the enemy and that he is in the church trying to kill them. Robin doesn't believe that he is there. John is in fact not there, instead the enemy are testing Scorpio, the virtual assassin. On a plane, Boy and Jack are getting to know each other a bit better, while Jolly Roger collects Jim Crow from a club in Chicago. Meanwhile Robin and King Mob have been driven to distraction and paranoia by Scorpio, and even when they realise what is going on they still start to wonder - is there really a conspiracy, or is one of the richest men in the world (Mason) creating the whole thing?

Looks like a Phonogram cover. In addition to wondering if Mason isn't creating the whole conspiracy for his own amusement, Robin is questioning her own sanity. A powerful Archon had entered the world in the previous issue, so the Scorpio demonstration was for its benefit. The Archons certainly seem to have the upper hand here.
The Invisibles

Vol II Issue 14 "Only Lovers Left Alive"


I've read up to the last issue of Book 6, now under discussion, and it feels like the beginning of the end. Unfortunately, Grant himself has admitted that endings aren't his forte. I have been looking up some explication of The Invisibles, but even within the story itself it’s becoming clear that the resolution won't involve one side winning out over the other. So we don't have that drive to a definite conclusion that a more plot-driven writer would supply at this point. We now know all the characters and the set-up, but instead of things becoming more focused, they are becoming more disparate and diffuse. The storytelling is becoming less linear even as lots of mysteries are starting to be cleared up.

These first 3 issues are all over the place. They don't compare well with the tightly focused Fanny or King Mob or House of Fun 3-parters.

Regarding the first issue of this collection, it’s good that we get to see the team enjoying down-time in New Orleans. It’s a traditional part of the rhythm of team comics. Still, not a lot happens to push the plot forward.

So Boy & Jack get together after all. Seems believable enough; Jack is really keen, but Boy seems uncertain, trying pretty hard to reject Jack's advances at first.

I don't have a problem with the Boy-Jack relationship. They are very different, but romance is common in a 'work' environment and this team go through very intense ordeals together as well, which can push unlikely partners together.

Jack himself has evolved far beyond the bratty child of the first volume and his thing with Boy is another way of illustrating this. Actually, it turns out there was quite a sweet kid in there trying to get out, and it’s another tribute to Mister Six/Malkie that he could see it in the repugnant Dane MacGowan of the first issue.

I can see the problems some critics have with the relationship - and with the portrayal of Fanny too - from a political correctness point of view, but Morrison is writing about these characters and they do what they do, regardless of PC.

Fanny's liaison with the handsome big lug doesn't do anything for the plot, but it may be Grant's way of making amends for the violent, manipulative and homophobic treatment Fanny received in her encounter with Brodie. Not that Morrison owes his fictional characters anything, but in a comic that breaks new ground in the depiction of a gay transvestite, I'm sure he felt that he had to show one of her physical encounters in a positive way too.

I've said that even though I only read the comic piecemeal the first time around, and found it hard to put together the 'big picture' as I went, this comic had a huge effect on my personal philosophies and how I looked at my own life. (Or it could have been all the Guinness I'd been drinking back then?) I think the wilder stuff might have done its work on some subconscious level, but some of its messages are expounded very clearly.

One example of this is where Sir Miles and General Friday relate the 'worst case scenarios’ of how the powers that be might actually be manipulating society to suit their own agendas. I work peripherally in education and the way children are becoming passive obese consumers to the benefit of corporations is a hot-button topic right now. Grant was ahead of the curve here too. Perhaps it’s not happening at the behest of foul Lovecraftian demon-gods from beyond the veil, but it is definitely happening. Working real-world problems like this into the fabric of the story is one example of how The Invisibles is a comic that's engaged with the world we live in now, unlike most of what’s out there...

Also, look how it’s done. Yes, we get a sort of lecture on how our world is being manipulated, but we get it from a pipe-chewing patrician with no pants on! The whole encounter in the dream graveyard is entertaining, but stuffed with intriguing ideas.

Robin is acting very strangely--one panel depicts a Quimper silhouette in the mirror by Robin & King Mob's bed.

We find out later that here Robin is building up power and/or getting a decisive understanding of her opponents by acting out as them. (I hope its ok to look towards the end of this book at this point) It also helps to throw their enemies completely off the track of what they are actually doing. All this is very central to what The Invisibles is about. Defeat your enemy by becoming your enemy, but in doing so the opposition between you starts to melt away.

Yesterday, I listened to a great talk Morrison gave at a Disinformation conference shortly after completing The Invisibles. It does more or less give away the ending, so I kinda wish I'd left it till later, but it is a fascinating talk, and puts a lot of what goes on in this series into context.

Here is the transcript and here is the complete 45 minute speech on video. It is the first video of the three embedded there. (You also get a very entertaining sequence from Doom Patrol - The Origin of Mr Nobody.)

I'm sticking it up here now in case I don't get around to it later, but you may want to wait until you've read the whole thing before going there.

New art team for most of the issues in this collection: Chris Weston on pencils & John Stokes on inks. I don't like it as well as Jimenez's work, but it has a similar look and feel.

I’m still wondering why Weston went by the pencil-name of Spaceboy earlier. Possibly because he wasn’t really drawing ‘as’ Weston, but trying to give us a closer approximation of Jimenez’ pencils so the reading experience wouldn’t be disrupted in the middle of a 3-issue arc. An admirable submission to the needs of the greater work of art if so…

His style is very suited to the quite baroque New Orleans background, with its accretion of details over the years. Weston is great at piling on the little details – which makes him a great match for Jim Crow’s complicated ‘look’, but he doesn’t let them get in the way of the story-telling.

And thanks for the mention of The Third Policeman. The library has it, so I'll definitely be getting to it.

Let me know how you like it. There is a character called De Selby in it that has some similarity to Morrison himself. His work expounds esoteric philosophy and he practices a kind of New Age Magic. Like Morrison, De Selby has a fanatical cult following that become very passionate in their discussions of his work.

I’d like to read some of the other ‘supporting texts’ of The Invisibles. You seem to have read most of the ones I’ve brought up so far, Mark … Have you read any more of them? We are almost just told as readers to go and read the Maya Deren book on Voudoun during the ‘Robin in 2005’ sequences later in this collection. It’s called Divine Horseman, and the title brings to mind Crazy Jane’s ride within the cage of the chest of the 5th Horseman of the Apocalypse in at the end of the Painting that Ate Paris arc in Doom Patrol. Jane herself had mentioned Maya Deren in her very first scene, painting in the garden of the asylum where she was staying.
We are almost just told as readers to go and read the Maya Deren book on Voudoun during the ‘Robin in 2005’ sequences later in this collection. It’s called Divine Horseman, and the title brings to mind Crazy Jane’s ride within the cage of the chest of the 5th Horseman of the Apocalypse in at the end of the Painting that Ate Paris arc in Doom Patrol. Jane herself had mentioned Maya Deren in her very first scene, painting in the garden of the asylum where she was staying.

Nope, haven't read this one, nor have I ever had any interest in Voudoun. But a lot of the other ingredients in the Invisibles stew have been interests of mine at some point. What are the other 'supporting texts?'

I followed up on Fanny's recollections of her rape, and couldn't find any definite foreshadowing, apart from her sense at the time that there was something demonic present. So I think Grant is putting more into her memories here than he revealed during the "She-Male" arc. A sort of retcon, maybe? Seeds he wished he had planted at the time.

I'll have to watch that video. But as you suggest, I think I'll wait until I've finished the series, which should only be a few weeks away now.
So I think Grant is putting more into her memories here than he revealed during the "She-Male" arc. A sort of retcon, maybe? Seeds he wished he had planted at the time.

If you are looking for the little guy with the mask and the clunky feet then you won't see him. He looked different then. He's quite sketchily drawn, but he's there.

What are the other 'supporting texts?'

A big one would be The Illuminatus Trilogy - According to wiki - The trilogy is a satirical, postmodern, science fiction-influenced adventure story; a drug-, sex- and magic-laden trek through a number of conspiracy theories, both historical and imaginary. Sounds familiar! I've never read it, but have heard of it often. I'd be slightly worried that it might be dated now and perhaps aimed at a younger reader than me!

The Sirius Mystery seems to be the main sourcebook for information about the Dogon people and their Nommo benefactors from the Dog Star/Sirius. This book does seem to be in Von Danniken's Chariot of the Gods territory. All the same I do love a well-argued 'we came from outer space!' book. Valis apparently draws a lot from this.

Those are possibly the big ones. Once you start, the other texts are endless. Biographies on the Romantic poets, Blake's prophetic books, Gnostic gospels and exigesis, Aleister Crowley etc etc etc.

The Da Vinci Code seems to be a primer for complete novices covering a lot of the same ground as The Invisibles, although I've never read/seen it. Same for The Matrix. It's funny how the times seem to throw up these similar works all at once. Must have been something in the air...
The Invisibles

Vol II, Issue 15 & 16 – The Philadelphia Experiment/Scorpio Rising


At last we get the full story on King Mob and John A’ Dreams encounter in the church in Philadelphia. I was disappointed that a lot of the action in these flashbacks were just reprisals of scenes we’d seen earlier, this time done by a different artist.

And in the issue 16 we find out that this cathedral was the first and best use of the technology that Friday’s people use to induce paranoia and extreme fear in the enemy. The implication is that the whole episode as remembered by King Mob was an illusion brought on by their heightened fear. If so, it is like Morrison pulling the rug out from under his own narrative build-up.

It has to be some kind of illusion, because otherwise I have trouble integrating the combined insect people that Boland depicts on the cover into the rest of The Invisibles. They are just a horrible fear rather than anything ‘real’. Perhaps they do reflect the Outer Church’s love of insect imagery and forms to embody a loss of human identity. However, the caterpillar/butterfly metaphors that are used to such good effect throughout the series are also insect imagery…

We do hear that the Lovecraft-type monsters were brought into our world by a cult that believed in Lovecraft’s fictional creations. We have here a version of fiction becoming real through belief and magic, much like what happens later with Robin.

Again we see the Hand of Glory leading more members of the Invisibles to their doom. They don’t seem to get the hint. But perhaps in the larger scheme of things, it is working to their benefit?

The first person perspective of the guest/outer church Archon being received by Quimper and Friday works well. The guest may or may not be the Blind Chessman that is sitting in the same room in the next arc.

“You were there. The violation.” Says Quimper.

The Blind Chessman being there when both Fanny and Quimper were violated would accord with him being from the Outer Church, but he seems eventually to be more ambiguous than that.

Why does he draw Friday and Quimper? (A blind man who draws?) Why does Quimper want the drawing of himself? “For my collection.”

I was thinking that Friday’s guest might have been the writer/artist in some way, and the sketching supports this. Checking it now, the first ‘guest’ scenes, while KM and Robin are going spare in the church, are dated May 1998 and end with Friday talking about the guest leaving for England, whilst the scenes with the Blind Chessman in the same room with Quimper and Friday are dated June 5th 1998, so the scenes probably show Quimper and Friday receiving two different guests on two different dates.

Quimper wanting the drawing of himself might be because he realises that he has been trapped on this plane of existence perhaps by the artist capturing him on the paper. A bit meta, I know…

Who do you think the ‘John’ is that Mason is talking to on his mobile at the start of issue 16? John A’ Dreams maybe? In that case, John has been letting King Mob fret over his whereabouts for years in the same way that the Invisibles let Jack think he was on his own the first time he was homeless in London, and the same way Cell 23 almost broke Boy in the previous arc, as a learning experience.

There’s a certain magic in the writing when King Mob and Robin’s paranoia infects the readers too, so that the final scene of Mason Lang urinating over New York seems to have a lot of menace. Just as the icky fluids would be blown to the four winds before they could hit anyone, Mason’s moment as possible villain is short-lived.

As I say, these first three issues don’t have the focus of earlier arcs. John A’ Dreams’ apparent stalking of King Mob doesn’t really lead anywhere and neither does setting up Mason as a villain. The extended coverage of the episode where John A’ Dreams disappears doesn’t really tell us much more than we already knew, just as Mason’s flashbacks don’t really expand what we already know about him. Even King Mob’s throwing down of his weapon isn’t conclusive. He’s spraying bullets around like confetti at a wedding in the next arc!

Morrison wanted his series to end in December 1999, so perhaps that explains why there is a lot of ‘treading water’ at the start of Volume Two. The rest of Volume Two is eventful and draws some hanging plot-points together nicely. It’s good from an ‘action comic’ point of view, but thematically, it seems that all the ideas he wants to explore are already on the table and the series would benefit from tying them up rather than dragging things out.

Ironically, it turned out that he put too much padding in and the series overran the auspicious date by a few months.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Welcome!

No flame wars. No trolls. But a lot of really smart people.The Captain Comics Round Table tries to be the friendliest and most accurate comics website on the Internet.

SOME ESSENTIALS:

RULES OF THE ROUND TABLE

MODERATORS

SMILIES FOLDER

TIPS ON USING THE BOARD

FOLLOW US:

OUR COLUMNISTS:

Groups

© 2019   Captain Comics, board content ©2013 Andrew Smith   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service