o Grant Morrison (Writer)
o Phil Jiminez (Penciller)
o John Stokes (Inker)
o Daniel Vozzo (Colors)
o Todd Klein (Letterer)
o Shelly Roeberg (Editor)

The Invisibles created by Grant Morrison


Roger and Boy practice martial arts, while Mason, King Mob, Austin, Jack and Emilio trip on a mesa. Robin watches herself as a young girl get out of a car. They prepare for their attack. That evening, Roger, Robin, King Mob and Boy break into a small house, locate the door behind the clock and enter the underground complex. King Mob sees something extraordinary in a cage. Meanwhile Fanny, Austin, Emilio, Jack and Mason are attacked by spirits. Back in the complex Roger suddenly aims her gun at King Mob - she is being controlled by Quimper. Troops appear all around them....


o Mason Lang
o King Mob
o Boy
o Jolly Roger
o Ragged Robin
o Austin
o Emilio
o Lord Fanny
o Jack Frost
o Quimper
o Colonel Friday




[page 2] Oppenheimer actually said "I am become death, destroyer of worlds" after the first detonation. The quotation is from the Bhagavad-Gita, a Hindu holy book, and I've seen translations of "shatterer" and "destroyer." [CE] To summarize from James Gleick's Genius (pp154-6), his biography of Richard Feynman: "The atom bomb test was carried out at Jornada del Muerto (trans. Journey of death) on 16/7/45. As far as Oppenheimer's comment goes: "The jubilation, the shouting, the dancing, the triumph of that day have been duly recorded. On the road back another physicist thought Feynman was going to float through the roof of the bus. The bomb makers rejoiced and got drunk... Later they remembered having doubts. Oppenheimer, urbane and self-torturing aficionado of Eastern mysticism, said... (while Feynman was thinking "Clouds")... he had thought of a passage from the Bhagavad Gita, "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds". The test director... supposedly told him "We are all sons of bitches now"... In the actuality of the event, relief and excitement drowned out most such thoughts. Feynman remembered only one man 'moping'-his own recruiter to the Manhattan project, Robert Wilson (!). Wilson surprised Feynman by saying 'It's a terrible thing that we made.' For most the second thoughts did not come until later." [JBU]

[pages 2,3,6-9] According to an interview, Morrison culled the dialogue for these pages from actual conversations he and friends taped while using LSD on a mesa. [CE]

[page 3] Ganesha is the Hindu god, destroyer of obstacles. He has an elephant head. [CE]

[page 5] [panel 4] I recall hearing that Austin and Emilio are actual friends of Grant he just put in for the hell of it. [RD]

[page 6] [panel 1] "If it wasn't for bats [=Batman], insects [=criminals] would take over the world." More evidence of Mason-Bruce Wayne similarity. [PV]

[page 7] [panel 1] "The first atomic bomb..." If you consider the 4th of July to be the "birthday" of the United States, you can also say that America is a cancer. [RM] panel 5-6: "That's called Barbelith, that is. Don't you remember?" Dane assumes that he and Mason share this knowledge because they've both been abducted by aliens (or whatever they are). [RM]

[page 8] [panel 5] KM flashes forward to page 20, panel 1. Easy to miss with all the babbling going on. [RD] "Driving the porcelain bus" is a British euphemism for throwing up after a night on the piss. [JBU] But in this case it probably refers to the Porcelaine train carrying the pure-information alien. [L] The background could be the Nazca lines made by ancient shamen floating around by remote viewing. (In Mexico?) This issue has the invisibles doing some astral peeping themselves. [DN]

[page 9] [panel 3] "It is always the day of nine dogs", eh? See 1.13-15 for Fanny's take on this. [RD] [panel 6] Is that a bat symbol I see reflected in KM's shades? [DN]

[page 10] [panel 2] All the activist cells of the Invisibles are organized according to elemental symbolism. Every member represents an element that defines his role inside the group. Roles changed at the beginning of volume II. [Character] [Volume I] [Volume II] King Mob: Air : Earth Ragged Robin: Fire : Air Boy: Earth : Spirit (???) Fanny: Water : Fire (???) Jack: Spirit : Water [PV] According to Edith in volume 1, Spirit has a mind of its own, so probably Boy is Spirit (see 2.10). [RL] Boy's holding a white slip of paper, which would definitely imply spirit more than fire. [CG] Note that the weight of leadership has already settled on Robin: her hair no longer floats around from this point on. [RD]

[page 22] [panel 5] "The implants were in our polio immunizations": A reference to The X-Files. [PV]

[page 23] [panel 3] The White Flame technique, which will be explained in 2.03, pages 12-13. [RD]

Invisible Ink

Welcome to the second volume of THE INVISIBLES - a bit of radical posturing which talks about anarchy and insurrection while being published by a multinational corporation bent on enslaving the world. Which side are you on?

Welcome, as we boldly fly in the teeth of the comics recession and relaunch the only comic that dares to tell you, the reader, the Secret of the Universe! Readers of Volume 1, I'm glad you're back! New readers, pull up a sofa, hang on tight and let's hear what you think.

Remember at the start of '96, I mentioned that Terence McKenna's theoretical Timewave graph showed a massive spike toward the zero axis of ultimate chaos/ultimate novelty during this year? If the theory holds water, then we should have witnessed an increase in turbulence and rapid change in the world. So far this year we've seen the creation of the world's smallest engine, cybernetic chips to cure blindness and the announcement of the discovery of life on Mars! Add to this the almost viruslike spread of the "Communion" alien head icon and other images of alien cultures impacting on our own. Sprinkle in the personal turmoil practically everyone I know has been involved in over the last few months, top it all with the rumors that it's not over yet and that NASA has a "major announcement" to make before the end of the year and you have one hell of a weird cake on your plate. This may be spontaneous eruption of millennial archetypes, my lunatic interpretation of a series of random events or something genuinely unusual. I'd be interested to know if anyone else out there has been experiencing what I can only call "turbulence." As far as I can see, it's hitting the vulnerable and unstable areas of people's lives, the areas most inclined to register increased change; for some it's manifesting in sudden financial problems, for others it's been health collapse or the unexpected capsizing of seemingly stable relationships. You may even have noticed an increased tendency for your shoelaces to come undone.

And while you're thinking about that, hi! Woo! Rock 'n' Roll! to all the groovy people I met at the San Diego Con and my apologies to anyone I didn't get much of a chance to talk to in all the conclusion of the weekend (the charming girl who asked me about that mysterious man in Mary Shelley's coach from volume I, issue #7 springs vividly to mind). Sorry, but I kept getting dragged away to panels or signings or interviews every time we were about to have a conversation. Write me a letter. Same goes for anyone else who wanted a chat but couldn't get through. "Invisible Ink" is only as good as its contributors, so please get writing and may the Lord have mercy upon us all!

Finally, thanks to everyone who's been writing through the hiatus between volumes. I can't print them all, but I have read every one several times and... here are some of them...

JOHN EGAN: "Grant, The Last Temptation of Jack was one of my favorite characters in this story so far. I liked the first half hecause it reminded me of a Nick Fury comic. I liked the second half because I was just as fooled as Jack was. Yes, I too seek nirvana. A worthy goal, to be sure, but like most people, ifyou wave a carrot right in front of me, common sense and even the instinct for preservation be darned, I'll jump up and down and bark like a little dog.

"If I were asked to sum up THE INVISIBLES in three words, I suppose that 'It's All Bullshit' would be close enough. In a world where 98% of religious teaching consists of fantasy and lies and 2% might be true for you (I'm talking Christian, occult, whatever) this could be the safest approach, but how safe is too safe? You practice magic, so you've taken a leap, shown some faith. At times in my life, I've been pulled in a variety ofdirections (picture a 14-year-old suburban kid reading Anton La Vey's Satanic Bible thinking, 'This is it!' That lasted about a day and a half. At 16 it was the Bhagavad Gita.) But deep down I have so little faith in my fellow man and myself that I've never found the resolve to actually take steps. What book do I read, what discipline do I follow? Traditional therapy is turning me into a chain wreck, so maybe some of that Reichian treatment would pave the road, but was he a brave visionary (as played by Donald Sutherland) or just a nut? Both? Oh, that's a help.

"By now you're probably afraid that I've mistaken you for Ann Landers and am looking for some sort of advice. No way. Just letting you know I'm out here, reading and reacting. I'll stop now, as you're surely all worn out after ringing heaven's doorbell and running away. I was worried about you for a while, but as my cat, Topaz, is staying overnight at the vet, I've only got enough worry to go around right now. Besides, I suspect that neither God nor the Devil needs the hassle, eh?


You get to open Volume 2, John, thanks for the letter. Healthwise, I'm out of the woods and onto the tarmac waving a flag and I hope Topaz is fine too. Now, I'm no Ann Landers, but... Traditional therapy is based on talking and, in my experience. talking about problems often only serves to dig them in deeper. I regard the orthodox psychiatric methods, for all their useful insights, to be highly inefficient and self-indulgent, leading to reinforeement of negative personality traits (which is why so many people spend years in therapy and are still as neurotic as when they started). Reich's methods don't allow you to hide behind endless ego-derived speeches about how wrong you are or how bad you feel. The techniques are directly physical and effective. In Reichian therapy, you don't talk, you scream and howl and sob and actually relive and discharge trauma as opposed to farting away years just talking about yourself and your imagined problems. My general rule of thumb in murky areas of "magic" and personality engineering is that if a technique produces results for you when you try it, then it's a good technique. If it doesn't produce results, move on. So, it doesn't matter to me whether or not Reich was a genius, a nut, or Donald Sutherland being taken away in a black car; the bottom line is that I found his methods to be practical and effective and would recommend them without hesitation to anyone who's not afraid to shake hands with their own inner demons.

ROB WALTON: "Grant, I've only just learned the extent of your recent illness through your letter column. I sincerely hope that by the time this letter reaches you, you will have made a full and blithe recovery. I've been writing you the occasional sycophantic letter since issue one of THE INVISIBLES, and at the risk of playing flatterer yet again, I'd like to say that yours would be a loss this industry could not sustain. I really don't know how to express my regard without sounding toady, so I'll leave it to you to filter out the true sentiment from my words. I wish you only the best of health.

"With regard to THE INVISIBLES, I just recently sat down and reread the series in one go and I'm sorry to say that it all makes perfect sense. So much as we know. Waiting in the wings are several mysteries yet to be clarified, among them the tale of John-A-Dreams, who is the man whose name we never catch (could Lucifer.Satan be the original lnvisible?-I am reminded of God's words to the Satan in the Book of Job: "Where have you been?" "I have been roaming All over the earth," the Adversary replied), and what is Division X?

"For those readers who feel confused, I offer these words of comfort: relax, you're reading a beautifully-constructed and thoughtful novel. What appears to be a mystery to you in chapter one will surely be explained in chapter eight, if not by the book's conclusion. The name of Mr. Six was first dropped by King Mob very early in the series, but it wasn't until issue #21 that we learned who he was. The important point being we learned who he was. This is a work in which the author is in full control, a serialized novel not unlike any published by Dickens in the last century (a self-publisher, I might add). By the end of Great Expectations we learned who had given Pip his inheritance, and by the end of this work we shall know if the Invisibles were successful in creating a world in which everyone is happy, even the enemy.

"THE INVISIBLES is an ambitious, groundbreaking work for the comics industry, far more complex in its subtleties than any work before it. This is a comic truly written for "mature" readers and the very first to justify Vertigo's claim of publishing comics for people who 'read'."

You're too kind, Rob. Nice to hear from you again. I'll be starting to explain a lot more about the background to THE INVISIBLES now (as we find out more about Ragged Robin, for instance, a great many things will at last become clear), but anyone who wants to find out just who "The Invisibles" are and how the Universe works will have to sign on for the long haul. Only four years to go!

PAUL HOUSTON: "I just finished reading INVISIBLES #24 and the "Invisible Ink" column and I have a few questions and comments. I'm so glad that you didn't pass away, by the way. The comics world would he very lacking without you. Anyways, mainly I want to talk about your sick hallucinations, that one about Jesus or whoever in particular. I'm a big, oh...nut, I guess, about the apocalypse and weird shit like that. Now, what you said about you being part of an oncoming apocalypse, does that mean that you are to play a big part, a bit part, or you don't know? Hey, I couldn't think of a better person besides myself to play a role in some kind of apocalypse. I'd love to know more about that hallucination. Do you think it was just your sick mind or do you think it was more? And, like, what kind of emotions and feelings were you experiencing and receiving? And also, do you know what caused you to get sick? Was it just sudden?

"Well, enough about that, now about issue #24. I thought it didn't have the same punch and edge-of-the-seat effect as the previous issues had. Maybe it was just because you were sick. Not to say it was bad, though! INVISIBLES is the one comic I pick up before any others. It's the one comic I must read. I also think "Invisible Ink"is one of the best letters columns in comics."

And now you're in it!

Based on my own experiences, Paul, I'm expecting some kind of unprecedented, radical transformation of society and culture within the next fifteen years. Whether it's a classical Apocalypse scenario, just the End of the World as We Know It, or nothing at all, remains to be seen. My own ideas about What's Going Down are contained in the ongoing INVISIBLES stories. As for my part in it, I don't think I'll be any more of a major player than anyone else, except in the sense that I have a forum to discuss these ideas and promote them in this comic book. THE INVISIBLES is simply my attempt to send out a signal, which will hopefully inspire others in the way that I've been inspired over the years by people like Robert Anton Wilson, Phil Hine, J. G. Ballard, the Sex Pistols, Terence McKenna, William Burroughs or whoever. The comics field< is a small and silly one but I love it, and doing this bollocks has provided me with one useful way of reaching out into the world and making connections with people whose heads are as fucked as mine own. My fondest wish is that some proportion of my readership will be moved enough by what I'm doing to go out and start their own comics, or bands, or Internet sites or whatever and not only spread the "message" further but feed it back to me in a new and mutated form.

Anyway...looks like a space crisis again so I'll wave goodbye. Next month we'll do "meet the creators" but for now I remain your, like, Humble Narrator and look forward to your comments on this "bold new beginning" - The Artist Currently Known As "Prince."