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The Invisibles Vol. 5: Counting to None Paperback – March 1, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This is the third collection of the monthly episodic comic The Invisibles, continuing the saga of five time travelers who are waging a battle throughout history but go unseen by normal eyes, hence the name. The plot jolts the reader unsympathetically from time line to time line, each with its own story; however, reading the first two volumes would fill in some of the plot gaps. Morrison has done arresting work before (The Mystery Play, DC Comics, 1994), but here the shock value seems gratuitous. The artwork is representational and sensational: the characters appear in various stages of undress frequently, although little of consequence generally follows. If libraries are just beginning to add graphic novels to their collections and are looking for mainstream books, any Sandman collection (Vertigo: DC Comics) would be a better choice. However, libraries with advanced graphic novel collections should consider adding all three Invisibles collections.Stephen Weiner, Maynard P.L.,
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563894890
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563894893
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.6 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Grant Morrison is one of comics' greatest innovators. His long list of credits includes Batman: Arkham Asylum, JLA, Seven Soldiers, Animal Man, Doom Patrol, The Invisibles and The Filth. He is currently writing Batman and All-Star Superman.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joe Kenney on April 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
After the cryptic storytelling (and low sales) of Volume 1 of the Invisibles (collected in Books 1-3), creator/writer Grant Morrison took some advice from John Lennon for Volume 2: Morrison would now "put the message across with a little honey," as Lennon had once stated was his intention for the mainstream "Imagine" LP.

Morrison wanted Volume 2 (collected in Books 4-6) to be "American" in its approach: flashy, violent, sexy, extravagant. He also wanted to satirize all of the elements of big-budget action films, the desired effect being that his readers would eventually see the inherent problems with them: if "heroes" can cause so much death and suffering, then how can they be good? Unfortunately, this went over the heads of most readers, some of whom still claim that Volume 2 was a misstep, the Invisibles "Americanized" so the comic would achieve better sales. They're wrong. Volume 2 was the best of the Invisibles, as far as I'm concerned.

Book 5 is composed of three story arcs. The first, "Time Machine Go," finally answers many questions about Ragged Robin. We see into her "past," as we witness her life as an Invisible in 2012. Robin's future cell is composed of Takashi, a Japanese scientist who features in the 1997 portion of the story (aka the "main" storyline of the series), a few unknown Invisibles, a heavyset Lord Fanny (who asks Robin to tell him/her to diet in the past), and an older Jack Frost, who doesn't curse nearly as much. The 1997 narrative concerns a duo of Japanese Aum hoods torturing Takashi for information regarding his time machine. King Mob comes to the rescue in one of the goriest rescue scenes ever, a scene which features my favorite one-liner of all time: King Mob's "YOU look like someone with an interesting story to tell.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
I loved the first volume of THE INVISIBLES. It was intelligent and funky and far-out. The first story arc of Volume 2 (collected in 'Bloody Hell in America') was good, but not a patch on what had gone before. It seemed too much like an attempt to 'dumb-down' and 'bloody-up' the series for the benefit of the economically all-important Preacher demographic. But the stories collected in this trade paperback restored my faith in the series: the wit and wacked-out wisdom of Volume 1 tantrically coupling with a brash, pop-American sensibility.
How to describe the stories in here? Well ... imagine James Bond meeting Philip K Dick via Terence McKenna, Robert Anton Wilson and Alistair Crowley. Imagine a world (our world maybe?) where the 'good guys' use psychic time-travel, unashamed Situationist posturing, big guns and tantric sex rituals to ensure that the insectoid 'bad guys' don't bring about an holocaustic apocalypse. Imagine some of the finest and most intelligent writing in the comic industry marrying some of the finest line drawing. I loved every single page. Never has anything so profoundly cool also read as such an intricate and insightful critique of the way we live. Really, there's nothing like THE INVISIBLES being written at the moment. If only for the sake of posterity you should pick up a copy. That is, of course, if there is a tomorrow ... TimeMachineGo baby!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By OAKSHAMAN VINE VOICE on November 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading over the entire seven volume series for the third time now. The first term to come to mind concerning it is "mind expanding." I've always thought that about it. However, there is also the fact that it is about half profound and half sensational filler. It is up to you to sort out which is which. It will help if you already bring a more than superficial knowledge of Gnosticism, comparative religion, depth psychology, and ceremonial magic to the table. Otherwise it is going to seem like chaos to you, which isn't surprising since it is based in anarchy and chaos magic.

Is the Outer Church evil or just alien? Is it equivalent to our unincorporated shadow as a species? Do demons serve a positive purpose in forcing us to closely examine our lives and make tough choices? Is 2012 a moment of transcendence or destruction?

There is something powerful embodied in the full work. I saw it in the numerous synchronicities that popped up in my own life before, during, and after reading it. That was reinforced by the discussion at one point of the incredible and increasing occurrence of coincidence in the life of an old sorcerer. Morrison has called this book a hypersigil- a magical device for focusing the consciousness to produce culture-wide change. He may just have succeeded...

Morrison even points out that the anarchist anti-hero in literature and movies is dangerous because it turns the impulse to rebel against the system into one more commodity to be consumed. Did Morrison successfully use the system, or did the system use him? Read it and decide for yourself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin RE Watts on March 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
Volume 4: Counting to None continues the Invisibles vacation in America with three stories that really begin to flesh out what Grant Morrison is trying to get across.
I really enjoyed Time Machine Go, the first arc. Morrison can really sound like he knows what he's talking about, the story is very dense with mangled quantum physics and magic. It's really quite enjoyable.
My first worry about the Sensitive Criminals arc was that it was Acadia (from Volume 1) revisited, and would be hard to truly appreciate. This was not the case; this is a great time travel story, short and quick.
This volume closes out with betrayal and some interesting concepts, such as the 26 letter alphabet and out of left field creation theory. There are a lot twists and turns, and it's best to take it slow and try and absorb the facts, or else it begins to make little sense.
This volume starts a great stretch of stories in the Invisibles series, and it really begins to feel like Morrison has hit his stride.
A real solid effort and a great read.
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