o Grant Morrison (Writer)
o Chris Weston (Penciller)
o Ray Kryssing (Inker)
o Daniel Vozzo (Colors)
o Todd Klein (Letterer)
o Shelly Roeberg (Editor)

The Invisibles created by Grant Morrison

Jolly Roger is collecting Jim Crow, while in Philadelphia Fanny, Boy and Jack notice that King Mob and Robin have vanished. They contact Mason who says they are in New York. All the Invisibles meet up in NYC apart from King Mob. Mason reveals that the Hand of Glory is back in their possession. Boy says that as soon as she has taught Jack how to fight she is going to leave the group. Colonel Friday and Quimper explain to the Blind Chessman that it is all a trap, while Robin acts mysteriously...


o Jim Crow
o Jolly Roger
o Jack Frost
o Lord Fanny
o Boy
o Mason Lang
o Takashi
o Ragged Robin
o King Mob
o Colonel Friday
o The Blind Chessman
o Quimper


o Nommo
o James Bond


The clock on the cover is a reference to the nuclear clock, I forget the exact circumstances but it was a recurring motif in the 'Watchmen' series by Alan Moore. Looking through the issue, it appears Jim Crow wears a working timepiece in his hat. [Loz] The clock on the cover is the nuclear clock of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Also known as the Doomsday Clock, they recently moved the minute hand to nine minutes to midnight in order to reflect the current nuclear/political situation in India and Pakistan. [TD] As it happens the current Doosmday Clock setting almost exactly matches the setting of Jim Crow's timepiece at page 3 panel 4. A good prediction, but understandable: Jolly Roger and Jim were watching the video on May 30, but the official Doomsday Clock didn't get moved up until June 11; however the first test explosions by India were on May 11, followed by Pakistan's on May 28. Jimbo (or Grant or Chris Weston) must have been watching CNN on a regular basis. Another interesting coincidence: the Doomsday Clock first appeared in the June 1947 issue of the bulletin, just before the supposed Roswell UFO crash in July of that year. For more information on the Doomsday Clock and its history see [FH]

The title, "Newton's Sleep", has to do with the popular legend that Sir Isaac Newton was sleeping under an apple tree when an apple fell on his head and he was suddenly struck with the thought of the Universal Law of Gravitation. Apples, apples, everywhere. [Whisper] This may also relate to "The sleep of reason produces monsters," the title of an etching by Francisco Goya in which the space behind an unconscious artist/scientist is filled with winged beasts. [EB] The apple of the Bible, of course, refers to forbidden knowledge. Then there is Eris' apple, which "started" the Trojan War. There's the apple of "Snow White." And see page 18 of this issue. [JWB] It was William Blake (1757-1827) who coined the term 'Newton's Sleep'. One beautifully simple poetic aphorism, describing the implications of the manner in which Newton's theories were being used by the eighteenth century prophets of the Enlightenment ("single vision and newtons sleep"). During Blake's lifetime, the ideas of Newton were being used not only to describe certain observations about the operations of the universe, but to describe the whole universe; past, present and future; society, culture and politics. Newton himself bears some responsibility for this philosophical arrogance, since he did claim that his theories could be used to understand the mind of the Creator of the Universe, the Great Architect of Freemasonry. However, his claim was made with the appropriate deference to authority that belief in a supreme being brings, and was very close in spirit to the claims of metaphysical alchemists seeking the mind of God through alchemical research. The claims of his predecessors were not tempered with either humbleness or mystical awareness. On a purely operational level, Newtonian science works just fine for a limited number of relationships between phenomena. The problem arises when it is used as a model to describe ALL OF REALITY. Enlightenment science sought to reduce 'reality' to its discrete constituent units: time, space, matter, mind, etc., using the Newtonian model as its template. Blake lived during the period when this movement was just beginning to gain real ideological power. He very astutely understood its implications. Nietzsche also railed against the limiting and reductionist politics of the Enlightenment. In this century, in the aftermath of the Nazi experience, some historians and philosophers such as Michel Foucault and Theodor Adorno have claimed that the mechanistic paradigm leads inevitably to fascistic and bureaucratic societies in which people are just cogs that must serve or die the greater cause (sound familiar?). In a scientific sense, the mechanistic paradigm has been irrevocably undermined by the discoveries in quantum physics. These discoveries implode all the discrete and isolated categories of Newtonianism: time, space, mind and matter are, like they were in pre-Newtonian times, once again operationally understood as interconnected phenomena. Unfortunately, the philosophical implications of quantum physics have not filtered into the political arena. Those of us who live and work and play in the Western world, exist in a political and economic climate that still largely operates according to unconscious Enlightenment assumptions. Grant has already brilliantly interrogated the Enlightenment project in the "Arcadia" storyline, and, to a lesser extent, in 'The Philadelphia Experiment" (the Philadelphia Experiment of American Liberty being a very self-conscious attempt to create an Enlightenment Utopia on Earth). [Zenkidu]

o [page 1] [panel 2] The Nommo were last mentioned in 2.08 as being let into the world by the ancestors of Mr Skat. [Loz] panel 4: "Then in the year 1963...": The year Doctor Who started, with a story in which two 1963 schoolteachers get taken "all the way back in time" and help give the secret of fire to a tribe of white cavemen. [RJ]

o [page 3] [panel 1] Note the James Bond voodoo doll; I guess Jim really hated 'Live and Let Die' huh? :) [Loz]

o [page 4] [panel 5] Air is a new French techno/electronica band who have had a couple of hits. But, based on the symbolism of the team as established in 2.02 shouldn't Robin be wearing that T-shirt? [Loz]

o [page 6] [panel 1] Is that the wig Fanny wore when she was raped? It almost seems as if there's some kind of residual psychic imprint left from that experience that's channeled through a physical object (the wig); maybe it's just a memory trigger, a twisted memento of sorts? [STM] This is the first time Fanny has dressed up in public since the incident with the cowboys in 2.01 he seems to suggest he needs it to work his powers. [Loz]

o [page 11] [panel 2] This illustration looks like it's aping a famous photo of James Dean in Times Square; I can't remember the exact name of that photo though (is it 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams?') [STM] I remember seeing this as the poster for Taxi Driver as well, with Robert DeNiro taking King Mob's place. I suppose the Martin Scorcese film took it from the old photo, but the second volume is so film heavy... [DN] The CBS eye on Times Square has been modified by the addition of a triangle within the pupil. This is a reversal of the "eye in the pyramid" symbol. [Anagram Eckis]

o [page 13] [panel 3] What videotape has Mason seen? Is this the videotape from Vol. One, Issue 25, the one that Division X ended up with ("They've got a flying saucer from Scotland. They're making films...They're making girls do it with aliens.")? And don't forget Quimper from page 16 of that issue: "I have been known to make short films for a specialized clientele. Conoisseurs. Nothing to be ashamed of. "There was a mirror, yes. One particular scene demanded its use. rid of it after." [JWB]

o [page 17] [panel 5] My theory is that the Colonel is passing an orange rather than an apple. The only evidence is that it looks more like an orange than an apple, and that it was a curious request. So it was a curious orange, like in the Fall album and song title, 'Kurious Oranj.' [JBU]

o [page 18] The apple motif again: The Mysterious Stranger reappears, and this time he appears to be aiding the Enemy; "For the Prettiest One" was the inscription on the golden apple that Eres, the Goddess of Discord, left for Paris. The apple that started the Trojan War. It doesn't appear that he is helping the Enemy as much as he is playing a game in which both sides are pawns. This would not be incosistent with what he told Robin in 1.07. Notice Colonel Friday taking a bite of his apple. Like Adam and Eve, I think he's in for a very rude awakening. [STM] [panel 1] The reappearance of The Nameless Guy From "Arcadia" who has since appeared (presumably) as the prescient hitchhiker of 1.14 (more on that below) and as "himself" inside the Invisible College in 2.06 (Page 6, panel 1 to be hyper-exact). [JWB] [panel 4] Colonel Friday seems to have picked up on Mason's film habit. [Loz] Colonel Friday's ROTTEN apple looks like the moon with its craters. [CI]

o [page 20] [panel 4] Mason: "The hallucination has taken control. How do we take control of the hallucination?" Hakim Bey: "Any oppressor who works through the image is susceptible to the power of the image." [Check out] Follow the link to be initiated into occult procedures for screwing up those working as the image-minions of soul-Control. TV producers are used as an example; but the procedure is equally applicable - as the above quote indicates - to advertising companies (which are "run on pure magic"), film-makers, PR firms, art galleries, lawyers, even politicians (and web designers, too, no doubt). [Zenkidu]

o [page 20] [panel 1] Guy Debord was a major figure in Situationism, a sort of avant-garde revolution in the early to late '60s to seperate the divisions between art and audience and amalgamate life nonstop with the message of art, with expression. King Mob makes an appropriately snide comment since Mason is going on with his "It's cool to be a Truman Burbanks" analogy. For more info on Debord, check out [Whisper]

o Speculation:

o Paul Melancon: In the lettercol to 2.05 someone wrote in asking about the hippie and mentioning his suspicion that they were one in the same. Grant's response: "Hmm. Kinda. But I hope you guessed his name..." Which would seem to say that the hippie is certainly the devil, but not necessarily the man with the apples. Which really doesn't help at all. Although it does dovetail nicely with the speech by Quimper at the end of the 1.25 where he says that it doesn't matter which side is right or wrong, good or evil, only that THEY are winning. And judging from the hippie's rant turning out to be nearly completely true, it would seem that the devil is on the side of the Invisibles. Check out Some Thoughts Regarding the Harlequinade for a brilliant theory regarding the identity of the Nameless Guy/Stranger/St. Germaine/Satan.

o Carl Roth: With respect to Mason directing the team. Come on kids, play with me here. Does anyone else remember the electronic device in Robin's head that stopped a bullet from spliting her skull!? Mason does not have the technology to decipher the Time Suit, let alone a device that enhances latent psychic abilties. Someone, somewhere, ( perhaps 'Cell 23'[?] ) has encouraged Mason to play some games. Where did he find a video tape of the 'entity' at Roswell? Someone explain that. Who does Mason have contact with? I feel we have two wild cards in Mason and St. Germane.

o Dave Komlos: Note that even this early in 1.23, Jack refers to the King of All Tears and the demonic visions visited upon him as "shitty special effects" - more reference to the events as part of a film, and possible reference to Mason's hoax. The image of the perfect soul as a red globe above the lotus may be a metaphor - that the red light is the "stop" for our universe. from Zenkidu: Despite holding out for a while, I now concede that the Stranger encountered by Rags and Mary Shelley and Colonel Black is the Devil. Or at least, a Devil. He is acting more like the Gnostic Devil than that repressed little spoilt-boy, the Christian Devil. Our Devil ("I hope you guessed his name...") is acting as a force of change and evolution. The Gnostic interpretation of the Garden of Eden scenario sees the offering of the fruit of the tree of knowledge to Eve as a necessary transgression against God. For the Gnostic God of the World is not a foo-foo father of Love and Light. He is rather a Tyrant, whose goal is to keep humanity incarcerated in the prison of the material world. As long as the Tyrant-as-global-Prison-Warden succeeds, he will keep that part of humanity which is connected to the real, trans-material Realm of Light under his CONTROL. (The story of how humanity came to be receptacles of Light trapped in the Darkness of materiality is a bit convoluted. Check out the Gnostic Library is you want the original texts: But the Lord of Light sends his son (aka, Lucifer in some texts, the Cosmic Jesus in others) to remind humanity of their spiritual potential, their essential FREEDOM. The Son of Light (the Morningstar) accomplishes his task by offering Eve that Apple. Thus, in the eternal battle between FREEDOM and CONTROL, the Gnostic Devil is very much on the side of FREEDOM. This Gnostic myth parallels the story of Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods in order to kick start the evolution of humanity towards FREEDOM from the CONTROL of Olympus. Maybe the Stranger's conversation with Mary Shelley is thus that much more poignant. Perhaps he was -- in a Promethean sense -- responsible for giving humanity 'fire' (the fire of knowledge, the passion of the new, the knowledge of their divine souls), and was punished as a result. Jay suggests that this Stranger/Guy is responsible for punishing those who strive for FREEDOM. On the contrary, perhaps he is personally cognisant of the consequences of FREEDOM, and is offering Mary Shelly, and hence Percy Shelley, some well-meaning advice. Perhaps. Perhaps this is all shite, and I'm reading too much into everything. Anyway, not to give up now, the Erisian connection is also obvious (to me): he is introducing chaos into order, as a means of moving everything to the next higher level of order. "For the Prettiest One," indeed. Let us not forget that Lucifer was always the most beautiful of God's angels... I think that this theory fits well with the theory that the Stranger is also the Harlequin, who was the medieval sublimiation of the Devil figure: legitimated transgressor, prankster, trickster. Trickster: that's what our Stranger is (wow, sudden flash of inspiration!). Like Coyote, Prometheus, the Gnostic Devil, the Harlequin and Eris, the Stranger (even if he is actually none of the above) is acting to mix things up -- just like every Trickster figure in world mythology. Whether the Trickster is acting according to a plan of arcane convolutedness or whether he has no plan beyond creating a lot of fucking chaos his essential role is, and has always been, just this: throw a spanner in the works, see how they react. It'll be a gas. from Josiah Bancroft Given Grant's insistance (despite his habit of borrowing from other sources) on not being directly predictable, or even sometimes comprehensible, I'm leaning away from the Stranger/Lucifer theory. It's too commonplace for Grant to try at this point; mainstream writing, yes, but on his baby? He's gone so far as to place the existence of good and evil in a relativistic light, and put the existence of Manichaen influences on our plane down to the influence of the home dimension and victimization of the 'magic matter', that I'd be willing to lay money on his veering FAR away from taking the Stranger in so straightforward of a direction as to be a commonplace historical/mystical figure as Lucifer, or for that matter, the Comte De Saint-Germaine. "They talk in emotional aggregates." This is mentioned by Mason, regarding the homeopathic Grail experience, and by the Harliquinade.... Has anyone questioned as to whether the 'homeopathic drink' was not, in fact, 'magic matter'? Much of the entire second act of the Invisibles has been centered around blatantly obvious themes, this among them.... If Mason has, in fact, ingested what he is incapable of utilizing, what has it done to him? Most who have encountered the 'magic matter' have been practitioners of some belief system (read: Fanny, Jim Crow, King Mob), and those who haven't and have encountered it (Brodie, for instance) have had a disjointed recollection/recognition of it for what it was. from E. Lloyd Olson: The pornographic tape the doomed boyfriend is watching in Kill Your Boyfriend when he is killed may be one of Quimper's productions... I recall a mention of tentacles. Note the emphasis in KYB on mutability of identity -- is this connected with _Invisibles_? From Picosecond Mirror: It was some kind of porno fantasy/D&D thing, and there were no tentacles mentioned, but there was some line like "Oh baby squeeze my tits with your claws". Another thing about KYB is that the pair of rebellious young killers turn out to be brother & sister in the end. That's very reminiscent of Gideon Stargrave & his sister's incestuous relationship, though the kids in KYB were unaware of it. I wonder if there's a relation between these two bro/sis characters, or if Grant was just trying to be outrageous or kinky & reused an earlier idea. From Mr. White: In the last two issues (2.16&17) Mason's presumed involvement in the overall conspiracy is perhaps significant. He is trying to hint at this often, without actually giving anything away. His comparison between life and movies has been constant, and his telling of the death of Diana significant as the first death by media. In issue 1.05, the start of "Arcadia," was Grant foreshadowing Mason's involvement with the shadow puppet guy that KM saw, the Dalang? If so, how much else is foreshadowed in Arcadia? It's obviously an extremely signifcant story arc. Quimper is working for Mason, right? In 1:25, Quimper tells those '70s detectives, he makes films for rich clientele. And Mason is pretty fucking rich, so he's the likely suspect. Mason has more significance than is recognized.

o Josiah Bancroft: The latest extension of the idea regarding both the Stranger and the Harlequinade is this: The dual universe theory, which Mad Tom (in Dane's training) and King Mob have both explained, may well apply to the Stranger/Harlequinade. Neither the Stranger nor the Harlequinade are generally recognized as being human; perhaps they're emmisaries (Manichaen influences) of the dual universes. To further confuse things in the intrest of illumination: The 'sick' universe and 'our' universe overlap, and this point is our reality? The Outer Church and Saloman's House exist on the periphery of our reality, where it contacts the exterior influence, or universe. Much as these interspatial systems (for lack of a better phrase) have cojoined in conflict to create our world, they may have collaberated at lower levels. "As above, so below." To wit: It has been mentioned/alluded to there being several Manichaen 'messiahs', emmisaries of a higher power, most recently with Dane. It's possible the dual universes contact one another at 'soft places' (to steal from Gaiman) through a human, animal, or plantlike (Lovecraft?) medium to create agitators for their cause. (As if any of this helps to explain where I'm going.) The Stranger and Harlequinade may not merely be the same person, but polar influences acting through the same medium. They're the SAME EXACT thing, capable of being in multiple places and times at once (all times are one) but follow certain parallel courses that betray their similar intent. The Stranger is Harlequin is the Dalang. (Arcadia part one.) The Dalang is a very clever man. He makes us think there is a great war between opposing forces (demonstrated through a shadow-play) but there is only the Dalang. He is the principal motivator for both sides. So what's the goal? (Note: The most recent issue, there are two versions of the Stranger present.... Am I onto something here, or am I just rambling?)

o Paul Melancon: Well, I'm trying to take in the debate as a whole. And the conclusion I seem to come to right now is this: I'd have to agree with Josiah Bancroft (annot for 2.17) and take it a step further. The Hippie and the Stranger and the Harlequin are separate entities, but are all connected. They are a physical manifestation of the 2 universes (the hippie and the Stranger) and their intersection (the Harlequin). And the Harlequin, like the Dalang, is merely performing a shadow-play with the rest of us, a chess game where he plays both colors. And when the final issue rolls around and the true conspiracy is revealed, it will bear no resemblance to anything we have been shown so far.

Invisible Ink

Repeat News Flash: "Disco 2000," edited by Sarah Champion, is now on sale with a hand grenade cover no less. It's published as a Sceptre paperback by Hodder and Stoughton and is filled with startling stories of the last day before the next millennium, including, as I've mentioned before, an INVISIBLES-related story by me.

Meanwhile, Dave Mitchell's Oneiros imprint is about to release a book collecting all of my prose stuff including the two plays and, hopefully, a new story. So far, it looks like this sinister artifact will be called "God & Chips," but I'll keep you posted. I'd also encourage everybody to pick up the first Oneiros release, "Metal Sushi" by David Conway, the greatest and most original new "horror" writer in these final moments of the 20th century. If you can't find 'em in stores, try the publisher direct at B Short Street, Mt. Pleasant Swansea SA1 6YG Wales, UK.

It's true! New York is a Go-Go. I'm here for a month, soaking up the crackle of human electricity and finishing up volume 2 of THE INVISIBLES. Basically, I want to wake up in a city that never sleeps, instead of sleeping in a city that never wakes up.

PAUL HOUSTON: First of all, where's the letter column? I haven't seen it in months! I always enjoyed the letters because they were usually more than just letters of praise and criticism. The reason I believe it's been absent is that Grant Morrison has been very busy. I've noticed his name on many a recent comic. More power to you if you can do it, but I miss the letter column and Grant's banter.

I also noticed Brian Bolland stopped putting the squiggly in King Mob's eyebrows. I prefer them without the squigglies. So is the Hand of Glory King Mob's hand or Boy's? I thought at first maybe it would be someone like Jesus or someone ancient, but it isn't, is it?

Also, okay. Jack has this psychic awareness thingy, right? So why hasn't he noticed Mr. Quimper's control over a certain redhead of the band? Is he just not that adept?

Also, do you, Grant Morrison, believe in this Meta universe interlapping theory or is it just part of the story? One last question: Who of your contemporaries in this field are you enjoying (writers and artists)?

The letter column's right here where you left it, Paul, and by the grace of God, will be here every month from now on.

Jack's psychic abilities are, as you suspected, still unrefined and largely untapped, although he knows more about what he is and what he can do than he's told us or anyone else. He only knew where Boy was because he'd sneaked a peek into her mind and was able to recognize her psychic signature.

The meta-universe theory is one I cut-and-paste into the storyline because it dovetailed with the conclusions I'd reached following my own curious experiences in the area of the occult and hyper-dimensional. I think it's a beautiful model of how things work, but the true secret of the Invisibles-see volume 3 #11-lies beyond even the meta-universe in the...ummm... meta-meta-universe.

I'm reading Garth Ennis, Mark Millar, Mark Waid, Warren Ellis, Alan Moore and Joe Kelly (and I'm still reeling from the deep soul shock of being able to read, enjoy and make sense of the X-Men after fifteen years). I like too many artists to list, but I have to admit I'm less inclined to seek out even the most glorious artwork if it ain't allied with a good script.

And just for the hell of it, this month's favorite music is by "Kid Loco," and "Air," with honorable mentions for the "David Arnold James Bond Project" and the "Vampyros Lesbos" soundtrack (hmmmm... three lesbian references in as many months. Must mean Jolly Roger's coming back soon...)

I can't believe it. I can't. This column was the last late thing on my schedule and it's still late but now it's finished. It's actually finished! From here on in, it's roses and warm winds from the west for me. Back next month after I've stopped shaking and sobbing with pitiful, childlike joy.