Friday, September 2, 2016

Review: The Invisibles, Vol. 7: The Invisible Kingdom

The Invisibles, Vol. 7: The Invisible Kingdom The Invisibles, Vol. 7: The Invisible Kingdom by Grant Morrison
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I made it through the extended hallucination that is Grant Morrison’s collected Invisibles, and I’m still boggled. One of the few things I know, though, is that the first six volumes have a coherence (if that’s the right word) that isn’t quite here for the seventh.

There’s a continuity of style in the earlier works, but The Invisible Kingdom feels like a sequel, as if Morrison, having once decided he’d reached the end, saddled up for another go-round.

Some of the best elements remain. I love, for instance, this sentence – uttered near the end by a character I still can’t identify, “What do people do when they know they’re on camera? They act! That’s why the world’s turning into a science fiction movie. Surveillance makes us all into stars.” If I heard the schizophrenic guy on the park bench next to me, I’d keep listening. I might not introduce myself, but I’d keep listening.

Still, the work to get to such good stuff is even harder than before.

Most notably, the art is thicker and less subtle. Morrison relies on a regularly changing crew of artists, and that both changes the tone and adds to the confusion. Sometimes old characters come forward, but they look different enough that you can’t be certain they’re who you think they are. Is that the “wealthy playboy” Mason Lang? Or is it another black-haired guy who’s put on weight?

And, if it was often bewildering when there was one team of Invisibles supported by key players (like Jolly Roger and Jim Crow) now there’s a whole rolodex of seeming allies. I’m still not sure how Division X ties into the crew.

So, while I liked this, I’d have been OK with stopping after the sixth collected volume. I’d like to get to more Morrison, but next time I’ll try to start at the beginning of something rather than get deeper and deeper into a rabbit hole he’s already dug out.

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