With this, the second volume of Grant Morrison's INVISIBLES, Morrison opens up on all cylinders and tosses a seemingly limitless supply of ideas onto his canvas. Short, self-contained stories focusing on the main characters of King Mob's terrorist cell, with Lord Fanny, the transvestite bruja as the centerpiece, APOCALIPSTICK is a stunning stylistic tour de force that spans as many written styles as it does visual styles. Most amazing is that while several tales here seem like self-contained one off shorts, Morrison's structure of INVISIBLES gives certain small moments the most important events in the entire three-volume work. Believe it or not, the moral and emotional core of the entire book happens almost (pardon the pun) invisibly between APOCALIPSTICK's covers, but it's not understood as such until the near-end of the entire saga.
Playing with the hoary old cliché of the Comic Book Origin story, Morrison forces main artist Jill Thompson to adapt a stunning array of styles spanning the entirety of comics history from scene to scene, sometimes even panel to panel to best suit whichever facet of his tale he addresses at the time.
Short, sharp, and briskly paced, APOCALIPSTICK is the perfect antidote to the stilted, academic second half of the first INVISIBLES volume and more indicative of the series as a whole. Utterly essential reading for anyone interested seriously in the comics form.
Matt Fraction splits his time between motion graphics and design house MK12, writing comics, and reading comics. He is the author of the graphic novels The Annotated Mantooth and Last of the Independents, both available from AiT/Planet Lar. He can be found on the web at mattfraction.com. His wife is hot.