Illustrated by a variety of talented artists including Phil Jimenez, Jill Thompson, Chris Weston, Tommy Lee Edwards, John Ridgway, and Morrison's longtime collaborator Frank Quitely (New X-Men, Batman & Robin, All-Star Superman), Grant Morrison's The Invisibles is a fit of dizzying genius.
In 1994, five years before The Matrix, The Invisibles' King Mob and Lord Fanny did mind-expanding fisticuffs in leather and vinyl gear better than Morpheus, Neo, and Trinity ever would. As Morrison explained in 2009, "When The Matrix came out, it was covering a lot of similar areas. There were bald guys in fetish amounts doing kung-fu." If it's so similar to a movie everybody has already seen, why does the world need an Invisibles movie, let alone an interconnected cinematic universe?
Buzzing with allusions to the Tarot, shamanism, visionary trances, rock-n-roll, transcendental meditation, tantra, New Agey pseudo-philosophy, and reality-bending mind-fights, The Invisibles is more than just a wacky action series. Morrison's inspirations ranged from the traditional to the flat-out bonkers. Like Akira and other psychedelic sci-fi masterpieces, it owes an indirect artistic debt to Jodorowsky and Moebius, and has direct connections to everything from the poetry of Percy Shelley and Lord Byron to the Marquis de Sade and Robert Anton Wilson's Quantum Psychology. Morrison once suggested that if The Invisibles never made it onto the big screen, then perhaps we'd "see it as a video game." Why not both?