From Publishers Weekly
The mutant child of Alan Moore, Terence McKenna and Robert Anton Wilson, Morrison has emerged as one of only a handful of comics writers with a true voice and vision. He's as fascinated by paranoid conspiracy theories and the Kabbalah as he is by superhero archetypes. They're all played out in this psychedelic science fiction adventure. Like his best-known works The Invisibles
and Doom Patrol
, this story follows a subterranean organization with terrifying science at its disposal—but in a break from Morrison's previous works, covert government agency the Hand is actually working to maintain the status quo against the mass hallucinations of a society that needs to dream. The story follows Greg Feely, a balding, middle-aged man who wants nothing more than to look at porn and care for his sick cat. It soon emerges that Feely is actually Ned Slade, special negotiator for the Hand. As Feely/Slade tries to decide which personality he really is, he takes on such twisted entities as deviant superman Spartacus Hughes; Anders Klimakks, a porn star with black semen and irresistible pheromones; the Libertania
, a giant ocean liner that's its own country; and Dmitri, a deadly communist monkey assassin. Artistic collaborators Weston and Erskine capture this insanity with razor-sharp precision, dead-on characterizations and such memorable vistas as a decaying miniature world and planets covered with machines. The Filth
isn't always entirely coherent, but for sheer audacity and density of ideas, it will stand up to many readings.
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Morrison follows the multivolume The Invisibles
(1996-2002) with another disquieting saga about a shadowy outfit working to save society. The story opens when sad, middle-aged Greg Feely, whose only companions are a dying cat and porn videos, learns he is actually Ned Slade, top agent of the Hand, an organization dedicated to maintaining the social status quo by eliminating unhealthy variations--biological, technological, or sexual. As another agent observes, the Hand "wipes the arse of the world": the likes of Spartacus Hughes, an artificially grown personality who occupies various bodies; Anders Klimakks, an amnesiac porn star with super pheromones; and Max Thunderstone, a sociopath with drug-induced superpowers. Greg-Ned constantly struggles to reconcile his two wildly contradictory personalities. The Dan-Dare-meets-William-Burroughs epic encompasses such standard Morrison themes as nanotechnology, the absurdity of superheroics, a wide range of sexual expression, and, above all, conspiracy theories. Chris Weston's straightforward but imaginative art makes the wildly outrageous story convincing if not always comprehensible. Not everybody's kettle, but ideal for fans of "challenging" comics and sf. Gordon FlaggCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved