Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars10
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Set a year after his torture session with Sir Miles, King Mob is resting up in America with Robin while the others swan about New York City. They meet Jolly Roger, leader of another Invisibles cell, who has lost all of her team members after a failed strike against an underground government facility where they discovered the cure to AIDS, and decide to team up to liberate the cure.

Changing tack from the last volume, Grant Morrison gives us a slim, faster-paced volume collecting four issues of a singular storyline rather than the usual eight-issue volumes that gleefully jump about the place. And I suppose that’s a concession and/or appeal to make The Invisibles more appealing to a larger audience, but it’s only a half-hearted one that doesn’t quite work because Morrison just can’t do dumb action - he has to to throw in elements of history, cross-cultural magical rites, semi-philosophical discussions, and so on!

But you can more or less follow what’s happening - the Invisibles storm a Bond villain hideout and win, basically. This involves an interesting mix of stereotypical and original moments like lots of guns being fired while running around and messing about with plastic explosives, while also psychically battling a midget in a noh mask and masturbating to bring about a deadly hail storm.

I like that Morrison’s expanding the world a bit more by introducing other Invisibles cells who’ve only been mentioned so far and, besides Jim Crow, we haven’t seen yet. Phil Jimenez’s art is outstanding as well with incredibly imaginative layouts and awesome character designs - I particularly liked his rendering of King Mob’s hairy war mask that makes him look like both Han Solo and Chewbacca in one!

But there’s a lot of things about the book - and I suppose the series so far - that irritated me. We’re over the halfway point now and though we’ve gotten to know some of the characters a bit, they’re all still pretty much undeveloped. Robin in particular remains a complete blank but she’s now been made the new leader and features prominently in this volume. Yet all we know about Robin is that she’s apparently eight years old (but looks to be in her twenties), she wears clown makeup (ironically parodying makeup in general?) and she’s now in a relationship with King Mob (which, if she is really eight, makes him a paedo!).

The problem, for me anyway, goes beyond knowing very little about the characters - what little I do know about them just isn’t very endearing. When Lord Fanny, Jack Frost and Boy make their entrance (and it is an entrance), they stand in the doorway, posing and yelling out their arrival as if they should be greeted with a standing ovation. Throughout the book the characters do “cool” things like going to “spiritual” places and drop LSD while talking about visions they’ve had; other times proving how progressive they are by showing up ordinary peoples’ prejudices against trannies and/or homosexuals; they have tantric sex (because regular sex isn’t chic) and talk about the movies of the day and their secret meanings. Basically I realised the Invisibles are very self-aware that they’re “cool” and come off as obnoxious showoffs that in real life I would cross the street to avoid.

The book, and series, is very dated, especially in that scene where they’re talking about current movies like Speed, Pulp Fiction, and Independence Day, not to mention the recurring mentions of “smart drinks” (a staple of the 90s rave scene, which Morrison was a part of) and Kula Shaker records (Bing it). It’s not just the films though, it’s the banal interpretations of the films that I think a lot of readers of this comic would have already heard - that Marsellus Wallace’s soul being in the briefcase, etc. - being repeated, or else ascribing an overly-intellectual meaning to a piece of shlock, like saying Speed is an allegory about the end of the world. It goes back to not liking the characters and because they’re coming off as more and more pretentious. And you can’t get more dated than an actual date that was the future then and is now the past to us - Morrison puts the apocalypse down as December 22, 2012…

Morrison continues to pursue the theme of individual identity over conformity but fails to develop it further. The same arguments are brought up as they were earlier in the series. King Mob guiding one of his crew into reminding them of their training to overcome the mental conditioning of the evil government types, while the baddies sit around and talk about how they want everything to be homogenised and sterile. It’s getting repetitive now and has the opposite effect that Morrison’s going for - it’s become a stale and tired message.

The story didn’t grab me, partly because I’m not really into conspiracy theories so “shockingly” revealing that they’re true didn’t make it more exciting to read, and partly because there’s not much of a story here to begin with. It’s straightforward dull action featuring anti-heroes I’m increasingly becoming ambivalent to against cliched bad guys behaving in over-the-top evil ways, most of whom are actual monsters! I can understand what’s happening but I’m not really that invested in it or anyone in the book.

I think at this point in the series, if I’m not liking the characters, I don’t think I’ll ever like them - that might change, and I hope it does, towards the end, but I’m going to bet that it doesn’t. I’m starting to get the creeping sensation that The Invisibles will go down as one of those Grant Morrison titles that simply wasn’t for me. I’m still going to see where the series ends though (not least because I’ve bought the remaining three volumes already!) and hope I’ll become more drawn in as we near the end.

By the way, the correct Oppenheimer quote is “Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds” not “shatterer of worlds” - what a weird thing to get wrong!
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 July 2000
The Invisibles Volume One was brilliant, but almost claustrophobically dense in places. Right at the end, it accelerated to what I like to call "The Speed Of Woo". This, the beginning of Vol. Two, picks up where that left off, and the only words are : Oh My God. Comics story-telling at it's most intelligent and exciting.
0Comment|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 19 April 1999
Somewhere along the line in "Bloody Hell in America," you realize you're in over your head, that whatever well-worn turns you may have been used to in comic book storytelling have been turned completely around, and this ride is jumping the tracks.
How writer Grant Morrison manages to spin the end of time, the crash at Roswell, the Hindu god Ganesh, Aztec magic, and Quentin Tarantino movies into one story is a secret he'll probably take to his grave. But it all works, and the threads crackle and hum so intensely with pop-zeitgeist electricity you'll love getting sucked into the web.
Translation: It's really, REALLY cool. And one hell of a mind ride.
And honestly, if you can't get past the "swearing and blood," you should stick to the JLA. Or Bil Keane's Family Circus.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 May 1999
This collection is meant as a jumping-on point for new readers, and considering how esoteric, deep, and complex 'The Invisibles' usually is, this book is a nice change of pace. The amazing thing is that Morrison slows down the merry-go-round without derailing it. He *wants* you to get on, but he also wants people who've been on it for a while to stay -- no mean feat. He pulls is off very well, somehow. Check this out, then dive in to the rest of this amazing, brilliant series.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 July 2014
better than anything.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 19 February 2015
WIN as always!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 September 2009
This is the first part in volume 2 of The Invisibles and continues where vol 1 left off. It's highly original, dark, erudite and immensely entertaining - can't recommend the whole series highly enough!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 19 February 1999
If Bloody Hell in America is, as the back cover proclaims, "the perfect introduction" to Grant Morris's series The Invisibles, I don't think I'll be sticking around for the ride. Under the premise of an ultra-hip secret group's attempt at securing the possible cure for AIDs from a heavilly guarded military base in New Mexico, Bloody Hell in America quickly reduces itself to just what its title implies: bloody. Soon after the introductory first issue is done with, the story becomes little more than an all out gore fest of bullets, blood, and various body parts, all captured in painstaking, ultra-real close up. I don't know what type of gun King Mob uses, but acid must play some part in the bullet's make-up, judging from the results. And never mind that the group's mission seems to take a comfortable back seat to all of this.
In addition, Morris's story relies too much on swearing. Constant swearing. I understand that a bit of swearing can go a long way (it can build a character, set the mood, or it can even be funny at times), but you know there's problem when for almost every single thing said an explicitive simply has to be thrown in. This must be where the "mature" part kicks in. A questionable maturity indeed, when a story must rely on heavy, unrealistic doses of gore and blatant abuse of the four letter word to entertain its readers. A pity, really. The Invisibles are a great concept, and Phil Jimenez's art is truly wonderful. If only the story were set to match.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 October 2000
Grant Morrison is still working for the forces of conspiracy encouraging false revolutionary praxis and making revolt another product to consume. There is nothing you can do. Buy the product, be the rebel.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 September 1998
If your a big fan of comics, do yourself a favor and pick this book up. The story pushes the limits of story telling to the edge and the art shocks you sane. Grant Morrison and Phil Jimenez do it for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)