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

The Invisibles created by Grant Morrison

Ragged Robin in 2005 is telling the story. Quimper is horrified to discover that Robin was not his slave and that Fanny had taken her place. Fanny is immune to attacks from the magic mirror substance. Jolly Roger and King Mob make a break for freedom, and Roger may or may not be shot in the process. Meanwhile the Blind Chessman is leading Jack through the compound talking to him about the nature of the world. Fanny confronts Quimper, and they are both bathed in the magic mirror substance. Jack and the Blind Chessman walk into the substance. Roger and King Mob are cornered, but are released when Jim Crow threatens to break a cannister of a genetically modified Hantavirus. As they leave he drops it anyway, but it was only water. Meanwhile the adult Ragged Robin is preparing to enter the newly rebuilt time machine....


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


o Mystical Quaballah, The


The term "Schrodinger's Cat" in the title refers to a postulated experiment to explain quantum uncertainty (I think). Put a cat, in a sealed box, with a poison set to kill it if a single atom decays. Because you cannot judge what that atom will do or when, the cat is both dead and alive at the same time, you can only find out by opening the box and invalidating the experiment. [Loz] In the actual "thought experiment" the box is totally sealed, so that you cannot see inside it or otherwise sense what is going on with the cat. Also, the chance of the atom decaying within the first hour (and thus releasing the poison) is 50 per cent, and thus whether the cat is alive or dead after one hour is a 50-50 proposition. The application to quantum uncertainty (or indeterminancy) is then as follows: After one hour, and before opening the box, can we say that the cat is definitively alive or dead? In quantum mechanical terms the answer is no; rather the cat exists as a combination (or superposition, to use the technical term) of two quantum states, one in which it is dead and one in which it is alive. When we open the box to observe the cat we "cause" it to assume one of the two states; prior to our observation we cannot predict which state that will be. The conclusion usually drawn is that at the quantum level reality is indeterminate until we perform an experiment to observe it. (In this sense opening the box does not invalidate the experiment, as Loz has it; opening the box is the experiment.) Since at the quantum level we have no way to observe reality except by performing experiments, in a fundamental sense "observers create reality" (or, since we are all observers, "we create reality"). The application of this to Ragged Robin and the Invisibles (or "The Invisibles") I leave as an exercise for the reader. A fun discussion of the concept of reality at the quantum level (well, fun if you like this sort of thing) can be found in the book Are Quanta Real?: A Galilean Dialogue by J.M. Jauch. The book is cast in the form of a dialogue between three people (like one of Galileo's works, hence the title). One of the arguments in the dialogue is very reminiscent of "The Invisibles", and is worth quoting at some length: Sagredo: ...when we try to understand nature, we should look at the phenomena as if they were messages to be understood. Except that each message appears to be random until we establish a code to read it....But since the code is not absolute there may be several messages in the same raw material of the data, so changing the code will result in a message of equally deep significance in something that was merely noise before, and conversely: In a new code a former message may be devoid of meaning. Thus a code presupposes a free choice among different, complementary aspects, each of which has equal claim to reality, if I may use this dubious word. Some of these aspects may be completely unknown to us now but they may reveal themselves to an observer with a different set of abstractions. But tell me, Salviati, how can we then still claim that we discover something out there in the objective real world? Does this not mean that we are merely creating things according to our own images and that reality is only within ourselves? Salviati: I don't think that this is necessarily so, but it is a question which requires deeper reflection... If we equate "code" with "language" then I believe that this comes close to stating one of the central themes of "The Invisibles". [FH]

o [page 2] [panel 1] Binary systems (Dane's "ones and noughts," the Yes/No of Harmony House, and the I/You of the Outer Church) seem to be a recurring and ominous theme. We've also heard (from Coyote, issue 2.12) that the 26-letter alphabet is a device to limit our awareness. So is Robin's virtual-reality toy another instrument of the Conspiracy? [EB] [panel 2] "Ganzfeldt tank" - Ganzfeld (without the T) means "total field" in German. This name was given to a type of sensory-deprivation apparatus used in ESP experiments, the idea being that a subject cut off from sensory stimulation would be more likely to pick up telepathic images. [EB] Maybe I'm being too literal, but Robin in the Liquid suspension, the 'fluid' nature of reality according to how the 'universe work' by Takshi, and the liquid nature of the magic mirror, seems to be a huge implication of elemental symbolism going on. This is of course backed up by Dane now being the 'Water' member of this Invisibles cells (see issue 2:02), him being the budding Budda:-). [Flossy]

o [page 5] [panels 2-3] The dialogue in these panels is a direct quotation from 1.15, page 5. The mask/suit combinations are wonky (with the exception of the cat), and there's blood on the Pig and Rat in 1.15, but not here. Go figure. [CE] Is Quimper the grey alien on the cross? Is the word balloon in page 5, panel 6 and page 6, panel 4 mirror writing because its from the other side of the mirror-entity (god), one of the other realities? [DN] [panel 5] Quimper has spoken in backward print before, when he was injured and taken into the Outer Church in 2.03. [EB]

o [page 6] [panels 1-3] All of this dialogue is a quotation of 1.07, p16-17. In 1.07 it was spoken by the banker in the 120 Days of Sodom retelling, it's most likely a quotation from the actual 120 Days of Sodom. [CE] panel 4: "It's hard to walk in this world. Each step is pain." - Possibly the first Hans Christian Andersen reference in The Invisibles so far. Quimper = the Little Mermaid? [EB]

o [page 7] [panel 2] Robin says: "Must read more about Voudoun (get Maya Deren Book)" Maya Deren was an experimental filmmaker, ethnologist, AND convert of Voudoun (AKA. Hatian Voodoo) during the 1940's. (when such things were simply unheard of!!) The book Robin is refering to is probably "The Divine Horsemen." also the name of the doccumentary she filmed in 1951. [TW]

o [page 8] [panels 2-3] "Fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa": The Kinks' "David Watts" again. (See 2.01) [JWB]

o [page 10] [panel 5] The Stranger looks like Dane here, apart from the hair. [DN] The Blind Chessman speaks to the soldiers in the language of Babel ("the soldiers all heard something different"). This is the same language he described to Robin in 1.08, pages 18-19, the eternal language of the angels, in which "everyone hears what they need to hear," as the Ciphermen did with the head of John the Baptist. This language, where everyone hears what they need to hear, seems to relate to King Mob's assertion to the Marquis de Sade (1.08, page 6) that the Invisibles are trying to create a world "that'll result in everyone getting exactly the kind of world they want. Everyone including the enemy." Since language plays such a large role in the series, maybe the eschaton is the realization of the language of Babel into actual transcendental/physical form. Any thoughts on what seems an obvious connection between these open-ended concepts of language and reality? [JH] The "they all heard something different" comment maps onto not only the previously mentioned glossolalia in Arcadia, but also to the dialogue of the Barbelith/aliens in Dane's experience (v1.16 & v1.21) where cultural identifiers in were marked out /(like this)/. It even mentions "RVM Cultural Gloss" (probably the wrong etymology for glossolalia, but I digress) One could easily do that to ChessBastard's dialogue. So are John the Baptist and Barbelith and ChessBastard all speaking the same language? [CE] On the nature of reality, in the Dictionary of the Occult, it quotes Rimbaud which says, "La vraie est aillleurs" ("Real life is elsewhere") which points to the first step in hermetism. In Mutus Liber, angels sounded trumpets while the adepts slept; the mystic must awake to a form of reality his crude bodily senses cannot grasp. In this way, he can rediscover the 'true life', from which mankind was cut off by some original catastrophe; he can discover the 'lost speech.' Here's a Rimbaud link. [Flossy]

o [page 11] c.f. the concept of Grant(?) having sex with Robin(?): "Who needs girls when you've got comics? When it all comes down to it, how could you love anybody the way you loved Thundergirl?" (Flex Mentallo #3) [CE] Check out the eye-in-pyramid and scarab stuff on Robin's friend's clothing. And the poster for "Chinatown" in the background. [CE] [panel 3] Horrible as it seems, I believe there really is a "Che soda." I don't have the details at my finger tips, but it was mentioned in the most recent (Autumn 98) issue of Adbusters ( "The revolution will be carbonated." [RM] Some gourmet alcoholic beverage did name it's product Che very recently and was sued because of it. they lost and had to change the name. [KV]

o [page 12] [panel 2] Since we already know the Blind Chessman, who plays both sides, was at Quimper's violation ("You were there. Violation."), might the man with the camcorder be Mason? He is, after all, a film buff, and he also seems to play both sides. This could be Mason's contribution not only to the Quimper-capture (sounds like a horrible new scratch-off game at McDonald's!), but also to the final stage of Fanny's initiation, immediately before being approached by John-A-Dreams. It may be a stretch, but it makes a kind of sense and, based on what we can see, his posture, the suit and dark hair, not to mention the prominent camcorder, it certainly looks like it could be Mason. [JH] [panel 5] Another reference to unearthly beings being physically deformed by the pressure of existing here. Previous examples were the Moonchild in 1.11 and the big mushrooms in 1.09(?). [EB] panels 3-4: Another sign that the Outer Church has read Orwell too literally; see O'Brien's confident statement in 1984 that the future is "a boot crushing a human face, forever." [EB]

o Speculation From Iao Adonai: There are a number of parallels between this issue and the last part of Black Science 1. The ones I spotted where a parallel between Robin and the fictional(?) world of The Invisibles in the story(/history?) she is telling and the idea of the magic mirror alien being trapped in the world of its own creation. The similarity between her universe of numbers and letters and the Outer Church, and Jim quoting Oppenheimer quoting whatever it was in his "I am become death..." speech. There are also links with the Arcadia storyline in one of the animal heads "If I could make this boy pregnant in defiance of nature..." Also the last time we saw people speaking backwards was when Boy was being deprogrammed, and the tale Oscar told her then is very similar to the tale Fanny tells of Quimper as an angel antibody being stripped and defiled as it falls to Hell. [Loz] I find it interesting that the "Liquid Logic Processor Suit" that Robin wears on page 3, panel 3, and page 21, panel 1, looks very similar to: the time suit she is about to step <"back/forward"> into on page 22, panel 4 of the same issue; King Mob in his head dress on page 16, panel 5, of again said issue also bears a striking resemblence to the Logic Processor Suit ; Miss Dwyer in her 4D "Liquid Armor" on page 24, panel 4 in Book 1's issue 19, #3 of "King Mob in Entropy in the UK" is very much the same as the Liquid Logic Processing suit. And even the Lord of All Tears in his many appearances appears as a similar 'silhouette' to her Liquid Logic Suit. Notice that Quimper and Fanny merge into liquid on page 14, panel 5, of Schroedinger's Cats. As does Jack and the Stranger on page 15, panel 4-5, of Cat's. AND Robin,>> who on page 21 says she is "scared that if I write myself in [ to the story ] _she's_ afraid she'll never get out. _she'll be trapped in her own words." Add this to what Takashi says about " Language _word's_ being the binding agent within the fluidic structure of time. The Time Suit operates via an intravenously fed (LSD anyone??) "Logic Proccesing Solution"." >> Robin is about to step into the Time Suit (pg22,pnl5) and complete the "iteration" program of her story, using language as her binding agent , that makes it.. To make it a living, breathing story, she's writing herself into the [her] story so she can meet the person that makes the whole story come true.. to do something that the "Invisibles can see? So they can find her and get her out of all said shit??"

o From Antonio French There is an underlying current relating KM, Dane, and Quimper's original nature. Note that in the final issue of the first arc, there was some ectoplasmic residue which changed in accordance with persons' proximity, left over from the 'reality virus' Mr. Six circumvented. It briefly changes to a rabbit, then to a small woman; that along with its green tint leads me to think it's in some way related to the fay, perhaps a changeling of sorts. The fair folk of the Irish came in many forms, some related to rabbits. This is all supposition, of course, and leads nowhere.... Back to the topic at hand. Dane comments that "--You used to talk to me through my toys." The dying soldier, as a child, says "--Edith says to call him Boody," referring to his bear. KM, while being exposed to the 'higher alphabet', sees things similar to faeries, (which are talking to him, no less) and comments that he used to 'have one' as a child. Quimper's true (?) form, while crucified, resembles an alien, and he was known to have been similar in nature to everything I've just mentioned. Creatures from either the well or ailing metaverses, when distorted through time, can only communicate or interact through objects (physical reality being a reflection of time proper) and so the 'antibody doctors', lost people such as Tom and J-A-Dreams, and emmisaries of the Outer Church may well all be at various times faeries, aliens, or other fantastic creatures. Again, language is the ultimate key. The mention of the 'reality virus' residue can tie into this: residual matter from the sick metaverse acts to reflect intent or capability of its target audience, either when being controlled or when disconnected from the source. I could be wrong. But, then, so could Grant.