The Invisibles: Counting to None

December 21, 2008

Remember the last story arc involving the Invisibles having found the cure for AIDS? It is so stupid that it in no way prepares you for this next truly gripping collection. Volume 5 contains some serious mind-bending intertwining time-travelling narratives for all you secret cerebral sado-masochists. If you start to feel chronological vertigo at some stage just figuring out what happened on the page before, the good news is, Grant Morrison gives you not 1 but 2 of such crazy story arcs here.

First stop, you get an Invisible Japanese scientist on the verge of inventing a successful time machine. At this point, who should appear but some Japanese yakusa, and they jump right in shooting, slashing, and basically doing what they do best. Just a split second before their time bomb ends the party with a literal bang, King Mob mind-links with the injured Ragged Robin and transports them both to the grand metaphysical Invisible College. Here, while taking the time to relax (note the frequency of Invisibles relaxing), Robin reveals who she really is: yes, she’s from the future (ooOOh!), specifically the day of the Apocalypse itself on December 22, 2012. Go mark that date on your time-table pronto!

Quick flash to second time-travelling arc: you remember that mysterious 97-year-old Invisible, Edith Manning? We finally get to learn about her first meeting with King Mob and adventures during her younger subversive days (as opposed to her elderly subversive days). So now you know: every nice grandma was a feisty smoking hot chick to a lot of people once. Her romance with baldy Mob may or may not make the hair on your skin stand, depending on how sick a person you are. And if you don’t see what’s wrong with it because your mind doesn’t time-match very well, at some point Morrison will help you visualise…

Then, there is the whole business about a something called “The Hand of Glory” which looks pretty much like a hand, so that bit isn’t an exaggeration. The artefact ties the two stories together by means of a third dealing with the present: this time it’s spotlight on Boy, who, at the crucial moment, steals the Hand and runs off in the hope of using it to save her brother in a secret death camp on American grounds.  As it turns out, she is only being manipulated by another bunch of Invisibles who have learnt that she is only being manipulated by their enemy, the Outer Church. Come to think of it, give me time travel anytime.

Gweek gives this painful brain experience a 10-pointer because he is that perverse.

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