o Grant Morrison (Writer)
o Steve Yeowell (Artist)
o Daniel Vozzo (Colors)
o Electric Crayon (Color Separations)
o Clem Robins (Letters)
o Julie Rottenberg (Asst. Editor)
o Stuart Moore (Editor)

The Invisibles created by Grant Morrison

Dane is now living on the streets in London, begging for change. He meets Mad Tom O'Bedlam, another homeless person. That night he throws a dustbin through a glass window and is chased by a policeman. Mad Tom grabs him into an alley and when the policeman comes around the corner Tom tells him that he hasn't seen the Dane. The policeman believes him, even though Dane is standing right next to them. Dane is impressed, but doesn't believe that Tom can do magic. Tom takes him down into the tunnels under London and makes him smoke some blue mold and when he wakes they are in another London. Despite this Dane still thinks it is just drugs, so Tom turns out every light in London. Dane is convinced, but just as he wants to know more, Tom disappears, and in his place is an enemy hunting pack...


o Jack Frost
o Boy
o Kate
o Ragged Robin
o Tom O'Bedlam
o Lord Fanny
o King Mob


o Barbelith


The title is a reference to George Orwell's book, "Down And Out In Paris And London." [PV]

o [page 1] This is presumably Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park, London. It's a place which is supposed to embody the right to free speech, in that anybody at all can come along, stand up and say anything they like without fear of prosecution or libel action. Obviously this was a lot more significant in the days when failure to agree with the present government carried the death penalty. I should imagine the choice of location is deliberate, though--another token concession by the powers that be. [PO] The speaker in this scene is King Mob in disguise. Throughout this issue all individual members of KM's cell pop up monitoring Dane. [RL] [panels 1-5] Good sourcebooks for the study of electromagnetic mind-control technology are: "Matrix III: The Electromagnetic, Chemical and Biological Control of Human Consciousness, Volume 1 and 2" by Val Valerian, "Operation Mind Control" by Walter Bowart, "Mind Control, World Control" by Jim Keith, and "Psychic Dictatorship in the USA" by Alex Constantine. [JH]

o [page 2] "ELF": "Extremely low frequency" generators. [PV] ELF generators have been a staple of good conspiracy theories for a long time. [BK]

o [page 3] Boy wears the same earrings wore by Ruby in Sandman 43. And she's very similar to Ruby too. [PV]

o [page 4] [panel 2] The spiked-hair girl is a spy working for the enemy (as will see in 1.11). [PV] [panel 4] Ragged Robin [PV]

o [page 5] Ah, Tom O'Bedlam. The OED defines a Tom O'Bedlam as a madman discharged from Bedlam and licensed to beg on the streets. Cynics would say that this is more or less the Government's current policy on dealing with the mentally ill. Tom spends a great deal of this story quoting lines from Act 3 Scene 4 of Shakespeare's The Tragedy of King Lear. All the lines he quotes are more or less complete gibberish spoken by Edgar, who is IMPERSONATING a Tom O'Bedlam at the time. Presumably that's the point. BTW, Grant isn't quoting these lines in the order in which they appear in the scene. [PO] "Tom's a-cold... star-blasting and taking" is a quotation.[PO] panel 3: "Take heed... proud array" is another Lear quotation. [PO] panel 4: "Who gives anything... fire and flame" is another. [PO] Tom O'Bedlam: "You thing rike (like) jellyfish pretty soon now." This is a line from William S. Burroughs' "Nova Express" book. [JH] [panel 5] "This is... the harelip" is another Lear quotation. [PO]

o [page 6] [panel 3] Planet X is a comic shop in London. Dane is so upset because he sees the bracelets and the collar worn by the mannequins: perhaps they're another sign of constriction (?) [PV] Dane more likely trashed the building as it looks to be an expensive boutique, and he's currently homeless. [JBU]

o [page 7] [panel 3] Tom's slapping Dane always confused me. This clears it up a bit even though the results are different. (from "The Art of Dreaming" by Carlos Castaneda)

"So, to make my assemblage point (the essence and energy all humans have) shift to a position more suitable to perceiving energy directly, don Juan slapped my back, between my shoulder blades, with such a force that he made me lose my breath. I thought that I must have fainted or that the blow had made me fall asleep. Suddenly, I was looking or I was dreaming I was looking at something literally beyond words. Bright strings of light shot out from everywhere, going everywhere, strings of light which were like nothing that had ever entered my thoughts . . . "'I made your assemblage point shift,' he went on, ' and for an instant you were dreaming the filaments of the universe. But you don't yet have the discipline or the energy to rearrange your uniformity and cohesion. The old sorcerers were the consummate masters of that rearranging. That was how they saw everything that can be seen by man."
Don Jaun claimed that by shifting Castaneda's assemblage point from the habitual placement (between the shoulder blades), he could shift Castaneda's consciousness to different planes of reality. [Jason and Sarah]

o [page 8] [panel 5] "Swithin... foal" is another Lear quotation. [PO]

o [page 9] [panel 2] "The Prince of Darkness... Mahu" is another "Lear quotation. Incidentally, it doesn't even seem to be a true statement. My dictionaries reveal that "Modo" and "Mahu" were indeed names for demons, but suggest that they were high-ranking officers in the Army of Hell rather than actual names for Satan. "Modo" was responsible for the 7 Deadly Sins, as near as I can make out. "Mahu" is thought to be a corruption of "Mahound", and ultimately a reference to Mohammed. No references to either name is listed for after 1603, and both are (not surprisingly) labeled obscure. [PO] [panel 5] "Through the sharp... warm thee." Another "Lear" quotation. [PO]

o [page 10] [panel 1]: "Pillicock sat..." is, again, from "Lear." A pillicock, incidentally, is an obsolete word for a penis. The word survives in modern English as "pillock." [PO]

o [page 11] [panel 3] "Little Winstons..." Tom's referring to Winston Churchill (the statue is dedicated to him). Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (Blenheim Palace, Oxford 1874 - London 1965) was a famous politician and the man that lead the UK during World War II. An interesting note: it seems that Churchill was taught the V-for-victory sign by Aleister Crowley, the famous occultist. The V-for-victory is a powerful magickal sign. [PV]

o [page 12] [panel 1] The Big Issue is a newspaper about issues affecting the homeless which is sold on the streets of British cities by homeless people and whose proceeds benefit the homeless. [PV/JB] panel 4: Lord Fanny. [PV]

o [page 14] This is the first appearance of Sir Miles Delacourt and his cronies. The significance of the girl is unknown: is she another Invisible or do they hunt the general homeless? It is odd that the hunters--the forces of evil--can would work so openly. After this, however, they tend to be shown working more covertly. [L]

o [page 15] [panel 4] Blooding a child during a hunt is a ritual of initiation: the boy becomes a man and a hunter, leaving childhood. [PV] "blooding a child": See 1.18 p. 11. [RM]

o [page 16] [panel two] Tom is going on about trains running underground through the dark "with what passengers? What freight?" he asks. I have no idea if Grant intentionally thinks this far ahead, but it did remind me of the 'porcelain trains' of the enemy, which carry the results from the Roswell Autopsy in "Black Science." [LR] panel three: Tom says "It's a place of initiation. We've always had our caves and deep places'. There's a lot on this subject in Joseph Campbell's works on prehistoric/early historic society, such as The Masks of God, where he considers how effective ancient cave systems, filled with awe - inspiring carvings and paintings, would have been in introducing young tribesmen to the secrets of the universe. There is quite possibly an intentional reminder of this during the Australian Aboriginal sequence with King Mob in 1.18. [LR] panel 5: A cross here. Does it relate to Dane's religious edge to his Invisibles life (cf. 1.23)? [PV]

o [page 17] [panel 3] "Luan-Don" is old Celtic for City of Luan, Lune, Luna, Moon. Lon-don. Also, as London was a moon city, it is interesting to note, that where the Houses of Parliament now stand once stood a Roman temple to Apollo in an attempt to spritually subjugate the landscape [R]. [panel 4] "The strange lights of the spires": This is where Tom goes after he finishes teaching Dane in 1.04. Possibly it is heaven, as Tom says on the previous page "The road to Heaven runs through the depths of Hell." [L]

o [page 18] [panel 3] "Everything's speeding up. Breaking." A reference to Eschaton/McKenna Timewave theory...but also apparently part of the initiatiate's state-of-mind experience during initiation. [JB] [panels 4-6] Barbelith might come from the ancient Greek language: barbaros (read "barbaros") and litos (read "lithos") meaning respectively "alien" and "stone". It could be the implant/third eye in Dane's head. More about this "stone" concept in 1.16, page 10. [PV] "Barbelith": Morrison has used the word Barbelith before. In the 7-page comic "The House of Heart's Desire (A1 issue 3, b/w art by Dom Regan, Atomeka Press) in which the protagonist carries a door through a surreal landscape. On his way he crosses through the city called Barbelith, the "city of whispers". Quote: "Half of the population were silent, the other half only existed as disembodied voices, screams, mutterings." [RL] I swear in the great name of Grant that this is true. When recently on a visit to some friends in London, we broke into the old Morningston Crescent Tube station and written on the wall in black spray paint is the word "Barbelith" ["pArAdOxUs"] The bad news is that Mornington Crescent is just about to reopen and has no doubt been decorated. [ADE] panels 10-27: The lost button, the aliens in the surgery room and the traffic light could symbolize the loss of something that could tie or that was attached to Dane's mind. We'll learn the real identity of the aliens in 2.06. [PV] [panel 22] What is this? [L]

o [page 19-20] [page 19, panel 1] The airships setting the scene in the 'alternate London' are interesting - they may be (possibly) a reference to 'Watchmen', in which airships noticeably patrolled the sky of an alternative universe. They may also have connections with Michael Moorcock's work - his character, Sir Oswald Bastable, for instance, arrived in 'The Warlord of the Air' in an alternate universe where airships, not aeroplanes, were the primary form of transport. Equally, airships are occassionally mentioned in the 'Jerry Cornelius' books as features of the late 20th century life of alternate realms. On the other hand, though, there might be nothing much in this - to have airships operating in the 1990's, rather than to have had them fall into disuse during the '30s, is a fairly easy shorthand way of revealing that a new location isn't quite the world we know and live in. [LR] The "alternate London": could it be in the same place where is the Invisible College (on the edge of the universe A - see 2.06) [PV] This place has similarities with the Invisible College we see in 2.06. However, in 2.06 the College looks like a single building whilst this place looks like a city. Unless it's purely how different artists respond to Grant's script, I would say this is a different place. [L] [panel 1] See some of the writings of the French Situationists about a city as an ecosystem, as an artform, etc. A good sourcebook is "The Situationist International Anthology." [JH] Major Situationist works: Raoul Vaneigem's "Revolution of Everyday Life" [whose major points are paraphrased by Tom here] and Guy Debord's "Society of the Spectacle." A good SI page is [JB] [panel 4] Urizen is a Greek/Roman water god, like Poseidon, I believe. [BK] "Urizen": Urizen (pronounced 'You Reason') was considered by Blake to be the Demiurge, the Gnostic 'secondary' or 'false' God of matter; a god of restriction. It is fitting that in this (astral?) world, he is chained. Albatross V Urizen in chains, the so-called "Celery-Headed, Vaginal-Eyed Monster" in issue 1, is in chains. Could they be one in the same? [R]

o [page 21] Canary Wharf is a building in the London Docklands. Southern Dragon Line: according to Feng-shui (the Chinese art of building in selected locations to gain the positive energy from the earth), there's a huge dragon sleeping at the center of the Earth. His nervous system corresponds to several energy lines that flow through the Earth. This concept is very similar to the Ley Lines. To learn more about Ley Lines, go to [PV] Canary Wharf is a horrible building usually thought of in Britain as a symbol of what went wrong with Thatcherism. Millions of pounds were poured into redeveloping the Docklands, with Canary Wharf as its centrepiece. It was completed just in time for the property crash, lost a fortune, and remained empty for quite a while. It's now in use as a set of offices, as far as I remember. [PO] Canary Wharf is Europe's tallest building, capped with a scale model of the Pyramids of Aegypt... It was originally to be a pair, and stands on a junction of (at least) 2 Ley lines, connecting to Buckingham Palace(!) in the West, and connecting the BBC transmitter at Crystal Palace in the South up to a place in North London called Leytonstone and beyond... Ley stone town...! Look at it as a battery of occult power... since it has been built a large part of it has stood empty! [R] This building will appear again in 1.04 and 2.10. [JB]

o [page 22] [panel 1] The Dog Star is Sirius. [PV] Note that the Dog Star is Sirius, the star which the burial chambers in the pyramids were aligned to, and to which the god Isis is aligned to. As opposed to Osiris, her 'dark twin'. Recently it has been discovered that Sirius has a 'dark twin'... Hunt down references to Aegyptian mythos, also RA Wilson's Cosmic Trigger 1 2 and 3, and references to the Dogon and Bozo tribes of Africa and their worship of Nommo the fish god... [R?] [panel 6] "Child Roland... British man" is a quotation from Lear once again. It's Tom's last line in this issue, and Edgar's last line in the scene. [PO] "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" is a poem by Browning (sp?). Among other things, it was a major inspiration for Stephen King's Dark Tower series. [BSI]