(Disclosure: this review was commissioned by the R/evolutionary Culture Shop)
The Invisibles is a psychedelic sci-fi series about a team of anarchist freedom fighters who employ time travel, magic, martial arts, and drugs in their battle against the tyrannous Outer Church. King Mob, the group’s leader, explains: “We want to show people how to make their own exits, even if they have to use dynamite… We’re trying to pull off a track that’ll result in everyone getting exactly the kind of world they want. Everyone including the enemy.”
Grant Morrison, a Scottish comic book writer, is fond of explaining that he wrote the Invisibles in response to his alien abduction experience in Kathmandu in the 1994. He also calls it a “hypersigil,” a form of magical fiction. Morrison says that he strongly identified with the King Mob character and found that the by incorporating real aspects of his life in the series, he could make fictional aspects of the series bleed into his own life. When the series was almost canceled, he encouraged readers to use a chaos magic technique to save the series. Apparently, it worked and he was able to finish the series as planned.
The first volume begins in modern times, with the Invisibles recruiting Jack Frost – a teenage delinquent from Liverpoor who may be the next Buddha. Frost’s first mission involves accompanying the team back in time to rescue the Marquis de Sade from prison during the French revolution. Later volumes continue to sprawl backwards and forwards in time, with characters’ actions from different time periods reverberating throughout history.
Although the Invisibles begins as a romantic “good guys vs. bad guys” story, the lines begin to blur as Morrison deconstructs issues such as conformity, activism, and violence. Brilliantly complex and inherently mind altering, the Invisibles is a countercultural “must read.”
Buy The Invisibles: Say You Want a Revolution from the R/evolutionary Culture Shop.