o Grant Morrison (Writer)
o Tommy Lee Edwards (Artist)
o Daniel Vozzo (Colors)
o Clem Robins (Letterer)
o Julie Rottenberg (Ass. Editor)
o Stuart Moore (Editor)

The Invisibles created by Grant Morrison

Boy is reminiscing about her life - writing a journal on the train. She was a cop in New York. On a snowy day while she was having a coffee with her partner, Oscar, a guy with a gun runs past being pursued by men in dark unmarked uniforms. Boy and Oscar pursue him, but as they are trying to get him to drop his weapon he drops down dead - he has been shot. The two cops are told that it is federal business and that they should keep out of it. Her partner does some investigation though, and discovers that the man who was killed believed that black radicals were being rounded up and taken away in trains. They receive a call to visit the location of a robbery in progress and are nearly killed when a bomb goes off. Later, her brother (Eezy D) comes to her and tries to talk to her about a conspiracy that he believes is going on. She ignore him, but when she returns to work the following day Oscar has vanished. Figuring out his diary, which contains train-times she goes to the train yard. Her other brother, Lieutenant Butler, is discussing his arrangement with a mysterious man, and when he says he wants out he is dragged off to be put on the train. Boy comes out of the shadows with a gun, and Butler screams for her to shoot him before he is put on the train. She can't do it, but then Eezy D leaps out with a machine gun and kills him. Then he is shot in turn. The troops are told to wait until the train has gone and then to shoot her, but once the train leaves Oscar appears and shoots them instead. He tells her to wait for a bald Englishman - she is going to join the Invisibles....


o Boy
o Oscar
o Martin Butler
o Leo Kravitz
o Eezy D


Our heroes confront their nemesis


o [page 4] [panel 1] A sign behind Boy's head says W.A.S.T.E., a reference to Thomas Pynchon's Crying of Lot 49 that will reappear in the next Boy-centered storyline--see the annotations for 2.11. [RM] panel 5: Oscar says that he talked with Boy's brother: this could mean the two men share the same ideas because they're are all Invisibles (see the end of this issue). [PV]

o [page 9] That wino yelling about the "Empire" and "Black Iron" looks a LOT like the real-life Philip K. Dick. [CAG] panel 4: "The empire never ended" comes from "VALIS" and "Radio Free Albemuth" by Philip K. Dick. (The second is a sorta darker retelling of the first). See either book for details. In VALIS/RFA, the fascistic administration of U.S. President Ferris F. Fremont, a thinly-disguised Richard Nixon (Fremont, Calif. maps onto Whittier, Calif., Nixon's birthplace and FFF=666, geddit?) is a continuation of the Roman Empire which suppressed the Essenes/Christians. [CAG]

o [page 10] [panel 2] Wesley Snipes is an actor (his first famous role was with Sylvester Stallone in Demolition Man) [PV] panel 3: "The Cosby Show" was a nice, happy '80s NBC sitcom starring Bill Cosby which portrayed a black family in an affluent suburb of Chicago (I think). [CG] panel 4: Eezy D is slang for Easy Dope. [PV] He's reminiscent of rapper Eazy E of N.W.A, one of the first gangsta rappers, who later died of AIDS. So calling yourself "Eezy D" is not very original. The whole stereotypical setup of Boy's family makes sense in the light of 2.11. [RL]

o [page 11] [panel 4] "I guess I never really knew him": right! [PV]

o [page 12] [panel 3] Rex 84. 23 detention camps. It this story true? [PV] U.S. concentration camps in real life: Various "reservations" for Indians during the wars against them in 19th Century. Chiefly marked by neglect Civil War. Both the North and South had 'em. Andersonville (Georgia?) was the most notorious. The camp doctor hanged, the Confederate officers in charge walked. Notable feature was the "dead line," marked by planks. If you walked past it, the guards shot you. Japanese-Americans kept in camps such as Manzanar during World War II. U.S. government eventually made some reparations to victims and relatives In sorta real life: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) - founded 1979, answers to the President, via National Security Council. A Miami Herald article published 5 July 1987 reported that U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North, then employed to draw up national security contingency plans, often met Louis O. Guiffrido, then head of FEMA, between 1982 and 1984, to discuss FEMA's role in the event of civil unrest and the imposition of martial law. Guiffrido produced a plan for mass roundup and imprisonment of subversives, recycled from a plan he devised in 1970 for the Army War College in the event of an uprising of black militants (!). The Miami Herald got a copy of the 2 Aug 1984 memo detailing the plan, to be included in an Executive Order or National Security Directive that President Reagan was supposed to sign. According to various right-wing web pages, this is NSDD 58. The Herald story says it's unclear whether it was signed. As for REX-84, the Winter 1990 issue of the Covert Action Information Bulletin reports a series of simulations designed to coordinate the various agencies, civilian and military, needed under the above arrangement. One of these wargames was called REX-84/Night Train (!!). Whatever the ultimate fate of this program, it may have cost FEMA the resources it needed to its ostensible job: disaster relief. FEMA was utterly unprepared for Hurricane Andrew when it hit Florida in 1992 and was therefore overhauled. Neither source cited above says whether camps were actually built, though a few web pages list possible sites. In the 1980s, some politicans wanted mandatory ID of AIDS victims, followed by relocation to hospitals little better than charnel houses. Didn't happen. In fiction: Vineland - Thomas Pynchon (1980s) - There's one in northern California. Unreconstructed hippie Zoyd Wheeler finds it. Squirrelly U.S. government (FBI?) agent Brock Vond dreams of raising families of informants to travel around the country busting opposition groups. It Can't Happen Here - Sinclair Lewis (1935). Fascists led by the folksy Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip win the 1936 election, defeating FDR. Detention camps for dissidents, victims of grudges and almost all blacks and Indians. Two coups follow, each worse than the last. Camp Concentration - Thomas A. Disch. Government experiments on political prisoners. Great! [CAG] The Number 23 shows up again (see 1.16, page 23) [BSI]

o [page 13] Notice the mannequins in the room that blows up, nearly taking Boy and Oscar with it? A similar fire starts off the Illuminatus! trilogy. While investigating its aftermath, cops Goddman and Muldoon find two burned dummies and initially mistake them for bodies. [CAG]

o [page 14] [panel 4] Eliot Ness is the man who put Al Capone in jail. For more info, see "The Untouchbles," a film starring Kevin Costner and Sean Connery, based partly on an old American TV series. [PV/JB]

o [page 15] [panel 1] Blood and Crips are famous L.A. street gangs. [PV]

o [page 16] [panel 6] The trains are shown running at 17:00 and 23:00. The 23 is showing up again. (17 is sometimes associated with 23 in Illuminatus) [BSI]

o [page 21] [panel 6] "It's not Oscar anymore": this could mean that Oscar was only a fake name. He could be an Invisible whose duty was to watch over Lucille/Boy until she'd join the Invisibles (like it happened to Dane/Jack). [PV]

o [page 22] [panel 3] The "English bald guy" is King Mob. This could be a proof that Oscar is an Invisible too. [PV]

o [page 23] [panel 5] Mr. Six is watching Boy's notebook burn. [BSI]