Know about nanites?
That, but made from ideas.
Like Von Neumann memes.
Alright, now we're talking! This is the sort of stuff I think of when someone mentions The Invisibles. Grant Morrison manages to weave his gonzo style of spiritual revelation-- which usually works for me, since there are areas of overlap in the Venn diagrams of our gnosis-- with an actual narrative. A narrative in which a "World's Greatest Dad" mug is the ultimate weapons. Yeah, so I liked this comic front to back, from King Mob's identity as "Kirk Morrison," the science-fiction author-- Grant Morrison isn't always a subtle writer, & I like it when he's not-- to the fact that the frame story is set at the end of the world, December 22, 2012. Just a week away, everybody! I for one am ready, chummer. Heck, at one point King Mob is staggering around saying "one foot in front of the other," which is the first level of the Hierarchy of Mordicai-ness. There are a lot of other great moments-- one that stuck with me were when Gideon Stargrave is racing along Himalayan mountain passes in a careening tour bus, arguing about comparative religion. The magician, defleshed, is stitched back together with a foreign element, a magic bone or stone introduced into his body. You'll forgive my vanity for immediately thinking of the three titanium plates put into my skull, yes? & the bit with Edith Manning as Kali? Especially using the connotations of King Mob's sexual proposition in Apokalipstick as a bridge between Maiden & Crone? Thought that was quite clever. I also found his interface with race issues less problematic; still not perfect, but I think with Jim Crow focusing more on voodoo & Boy's story focusing on the effect of crime on race & class, it worked.
In general, the whole collection just worked. If I had to pick a problem here, it would be that the forces of the Conspiracy-- it's Archons & transhuman agents-- appeal to me too much. Oh, the human agents I think Morrison has a deft hand with. A combination of selfishness, cynicism, privilege & banality. It is the non-human agents where things start going against the book's message...H.R. Giger & H.P. Lovecraft both had crazy imaginations, & throwing in those stylistic elements undermines the message, maybe? That is, The King-of-All-Tears & the King-in-Chains from the first volume are both imaginative & inspiring. Morrison's words, his description of the feelings they evoke-- shame, violation, doubt-- anchors them as worthy villains, but their depictions are just too "cool" in a dark beauty sort of way. I don't know-- it reminds me of some of the problems Changeling: the Dreaming had with the banality fueled Dauntain. You can't make them too interesting, since the struggle...well, largely is about just that conflict, of conformity versus beauty. & not unity, either; as a hive mind partisan, there is a difference between collectivism & slavery. A Wrinkle in Time hits the right notes, I think. & while I'm comparing things to things, I sort of realized that the conflict in The Half-Made World between the Line & the Gun is sort of like the struggle between the Conspiracy & the Invisibles, only from the point of view of the people stuck in-between.