comics, like all the other spin-offs from The Matrix
films (such as Animatrix
and The Matrix
games), are meant to enhance the central storyline of the cinematic trilogy. In the world of The Matrix
machines rule, but the vast majority of humans don't even know this. The world that most of us see is a supremely realistic virtual reality: in the real world, our sleeping bodies are kept alive (and dreaming) by the machines, who cultivate us as living fuel cells. Only a small number of humans--inhabitants of the underground city of Zion--inhabit the "real" world, acting as freedom fighters against the machines.
It's in this world that the 12 stories of The Matrix comics are set. Written and illustrated by some of the top names in comics--as well as some lesser-known creators--the stories don't focus on any particular characters or places, allowing for greater creative freedom. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Neil Gaiman's prose story about a heroic double-life outside of the Matrix is inspiring and beautifully written--it easily stands out amid the gloom and bleakness of the other stories. Conversely, The Matrix creators Larry and Andy Wachowski's back-to-basics science-fiction story (ably illustrated by Geoff Darrow) provides a gruesome and thought-provoking prologue to the whole Matrix trilogy. Other standouts include David Lapham's tragic tale "There Are No Flowers in the Real World" and Paul Chadwick's hopeful "The Miller's Tale". The remaining stories are less successful. Though few are bad, several do suffer from the pretentiousness and bogged-down ideas of their cinematic counterparts--they're just not as clever as they think they are. Still, fans of The Matrix films will find this an entertaining addition to the canon. --Robert Burrow
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Larry and Andy Wachowski wrote and directed all three Matrix films, as well as the cult classic noir Bound. Geof Darrow co-created Hard Boiled and The Big Guy & Rusty the Boy Robot. Steve Skroce has illustrated Wolverine, Youngblood and many more besides. Tim Sale illustrated Batman: The Long Halloween and Batman: Dark Victory.