Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Invisibles Vol. 3 #5: 'Karmageddon: Part 4: Smile'

This issue feels like Grant took some acid, and wrote down whatever was happening on a stream of consciousness level. It’s got a weird feeling, but that works, the book has always been more than just a piece of fiction, it’s been a spell designed to affect your mind, and in this case, reading the issue is like taking a drug.

The issue begins with King Mob comparing reality to the repeated backgrounds used in cheap animation. This is a motif we first saw with Robin’s New Mexico picture, the same cloud existing at different moments in time. Later, he compares the whole world to “a thought thinking itself,” That’s what the whole book is, it began as something fictional, immaterial, and eventually started writing itself, in the sense that the characters forced themselves into certain roles that Grant couldn’t originally have foreseen. They started to think for themselves....

I've taken down my posts on The Invisibles because they're all coming out in book form. The book, Our Sentence is Up, features revised and expanded versions of each blog post, covering every issue of The Invisibles, plus an extensive interview with Morrison himself. Visit your local comic store and order a copy now!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Crusade: 1x06-1x08

Crusade rocks on with three episodes that are of pretty much the same quality as the previous ones. The show is much stronger than Babylon 5’s first season, but it remains hobbled by the fact that almost every episode has the same structure, and it’s tough to really care about the standalone situations introduced in each episode. But, on a moment by moment basis, it’s thoroughly enjoyable, and I’m going to be sad to reach the end of the show without receiving any kind of meaningful closure.

‘The Long Road,’ like all too many episodes, begins with a mysterious direction from Galen, which prompts him and Gideon to go investigate a mysterious small town. The setup here reminded me a lot of The Wicker Man, with its secretive town, and innkeeper’s daughter. Unfortunately, the story did not lead to Gideon being seduced by the daughter in the night while she bangs on his wall, nor did it lead to him dressing up in a bear suit and beating up some women. But, we have a guest appearance from Edward Woodward, star of the original Wicker Man movie. He looks a lot older.

Like a lot of Crusade episodes, this was a good story that didn’t quite have enough material to fill the whole 45 minutes. Like a lot of early Babylon 5, the story drags on a bit, either with an extended coda that spends too much time wrapping things up, or just a series of extraneous developments that don’t add to what we’ve already seen. It’s a lot harder to write a consistent run of satisfying standalones than a big arc, and a lot tougher for the viewer to engage with. We have no particular reason to care about this town, and in the end, it’s mainly interesting for what it reveals about our characters. Considering the technomages supposedly left the galaxy, we sure do run into a lot of them around. They seem to be the all purpose way to show that a story is meaningful.

Next up was ‘Ruling from the Tomb,’ which brought back Captain Lochley, finally justifying her place in the credits. While Lochley was never a critical character on Babylon 5, she seems to be a JMS favorite, cropping up in most of the TV movies, and also in the upcoming Lost Tales. While I think it’s a big mistake to put her in Lost Tales, as one of only two Babylon 5 characters returning, she’s a good fit here. Having a Sheridan or Delenn on would be overwhelming, in the same way that it was to have Buffy on the first season of Angel. She was sucha strong presence that I wanted to see their old dynamic played out, ‘I Will Remember You’ was more like an episode of Buffy than an episode of Angel.

Lochley’s interaction with Gideon is fun, particularly their discussion of Sheridan. He has become such a legend in the galaxy, ordinary people can’t understand him as a human being in the same way we do. That’s something they played with in the later years of Babylon 5, and it works even better here, when he’s not actually there to counteract that perception. Lochley knew him back before he was an icon, and is able to puncture the myth.

This episode features one of the typical standalone issues that plagued numerous Babylon 5 first season episodes, namely a mysterious character from someone’s past returns, bringing danger. In this case, it’s a character from Trace’s past, yet, Trace has only been in one episode, so we don’t really care that he had a religious affiliation in the past. I’m not sure if it’s a result of the screwy viewing order, but it’s odd that Trace just all of a sudden returns here, after not being seen since ‘War Zone.’

The religious guy falls prey to another classic JMS standalone problem, the generally wrong, but morally ambiguous character who forces the characters to assess some kind of universal debate, in this case the validity of religion. Gideon’s way of defeating him, by revealing that the plague will kill everyone within a year, would likely have some really bad consequences, like causing a panic on Earth. They never talked about that, how they would take back what he said. Wouldn’t you be suspicious that the government was trying to cover up the truth about the plague by claiming Gideon was just lying?

The stuff with Dureena and Max in the bar was fun, and gave some nice character shading to those two. They have a fun dynamic, Dureena has the most energy of all the characters on the show, and has the potential for a Londo like journey through moral ambiguity. However, I guess we’ll never see that.

And finally, we’ve got ‘The Well of Forever,’ another Galen gives a mysterious direction episode. This one also suffers from having about thirty-five minutes of content, and seemingly retreading some previous Galen stuff. The intent was clearly to make Galen more human by revealing this loss in his past, but it doesn’t quite work. It’s such an obvious way to build sympathy, it feels transparent. It’s also a bit of a copout at the ending, with a “Don’t do that again,” but no real consequences admonition by Gideon.

One of the interesting things here was more insight about how the Psi Corps has been restructured. That was cool to see, but again, we’ve got a trickery on the part of the Captain that lets everyone get what they want easily. I was talking about The Sopranos the other day, and realized that David Chase really hates his characters, but is fascinated by them. I think one of JMS’s problems is that he’s too in love with all his characters, and won’t let them do really ambiguous things. Everyone has to have pure motives.

The only characters he wrote who weren’t like that were Londo and G’Kar, and it’s no coincidence that they’re by far the best characters on either series. Morally ambiguous characters work because they make you want them to be better. If characters are always good, as in the case of Sheridan, you want to see them do bad things, and that works agans the moral universe of the series. It can be fun, as in Buffy season six, where I loved Buffy’s flirtation with darkness, but the closest we got to that here was Garibaldi’s season four arc, which was wiped out by the reveals at the end of the season.

With Londo, I always wanted him to do the right thing, and it was awful when he aided Morden in season two. The brilliance of his arc was to have him do the right thing for a brief moment, and then have everything go to shit by the end of the fifth season. JMS never put his human characters through that same kind of trauma, and the way this episode goes, it’s clear that the character he writes as good are given too wide boundaries, frequently getting too easy resolutions to their issues.

I’ll add that the visuals in this episode, and the series as a whole, have been fantastic. The effects made a big jump from Babylon 5, and make me eager to see what they bring out in The Lost Tales.

So, these episodes were strong, but no quite to great. The show has a lot of potential, and I would love to be proven wrong about these characters and their potential for moral ambiguity and complexity. Dureena is one of the more interesting people JMS has created, and Galen has a lot of potential if he moved beyond cryptic phrase sprouting guy and got real development. I’m eager to see more, it’s a shame there’s only five episode left.


I got sent a screener DVD of the film Diggers a couple of days ago, a movie I was intrigued to check out because it features Lauren Ambrose of Six Feet Under, along with a bunch of other strong actors, including Paul Rudd, Maura Tierney and Sarah Paulson of Studio 60. The film has some strong moments, but doesn’t really distinguish itself from various other small town indie movies, like Garden State, Kicking and Screaming and others that follow a group of aimless twentysomething friends both attached to and eager to escape from their small town existence.

Along with the success of Little Miss Sunshine came a lot of discussion about the idea of the indie movie as a genre. If you liked Garden State, go see Sunshine. Now, it bothers me that indie movies are becoming locked into this mold of reality based stories about quirky characters. Thankfully, this film avoids excessive quirkiness, and instead dwells in a generally realistic world, at times oppressively so.

The film follows a bunch of clam diggers on Long Island in the 1970s as their business is being overwhelmed by the intrusion of a big company that’s restricting the waters. The film begins with the death of Hunt’s father, which forces all the characters to reassess their lives. Hunt has more artistic aspirations than those around him, but has no way of conceiving an escape from the town. His story was the best part of the film, including his relationship with Zoey.

Ambrose could be playing Amber Waves’ sister here, with her huge purple sunglasses, and long red hair. It’s a good look, but the character never fully develops. She avoids the indie cliché of pixieish girl who saves the hero from depression through her quirkiness, but the film never gives us enough substance to make up for the missed clichés. Zoey is a believable character, and we understand her, but we don’t quite care about her. Same for Hunt, I get his troubles, but I don’t particularly care about the way things go for him.

Part of the film’s problem is that the introduction of the characters is rather haphazard. There’s a whole bunch of characters and relationships aren’t made clear for a while. A funeral scene at the beginning of the film brings all the characters together, and we know they are separately, but aren’t sure how they relate to each other, who’s family and who’s friends, who’s got issues with who. Because we don’t know the characters, it’s tough to care about them, it takes about a half hour for the film to settle into a groove, for us to understand the world that it exists in.

It feels like there’s a lot of stuff deleted from this movie, there’s a bunch of characters who aren’t really developed, and subplots that don’t go anywhere. The movie’s pretty short, and I think it would have been worthwhile to either add some scenes back in, or tighten the focus to just a few characters. I suppose the goal was to do a portrait of the community, but that doesn’t work out so well.

The best scene in the film is a sequence at a bar near the end of the film, where all of the characters converge, the men and women flirt and the secrets they’re hiding come to the surface. It’s a really well constructed piece, full of fun moments, particularly the dynamic between Tierney and Paulson. By this point, we finally understand what’s going on with these characters and what they want.

I’m not one to demand character exposition normally, but this movie is so based around its characters, you need to understand them for it to work. The direction is there to spotlight the actors and the script, but the characters aren’t quite strong enough to carry the film on their own. Perhaps with a bit more energy in the direction, the movie could have worked. People have turned on Garden State, but that movie has a fine energy and well constructed shots. It’s all about providing the viewer with a true filmic experience, this is closer to a filmed play.

But, a run of the mill indie movie like this one is still a lot stronger than the vast majority of films you’ll see from the studios. The characters are complex and feel real, and the narrative is nicely minimalist, letting us enter the characters’ lives for a while, then drift on. It’s not a great movie, but it has its moments.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Invisibles Vol. 3 #6: 'Karmageddon: Part 3: Six Minus Six'

‘Karmageddon’ rocks on with issue six, ‘Six Minus Six.’ Isn’t that zero? This issue has another slick cover, with a stylish image of Mister Six, but it doesn’t quite live up to the previous two issues. The stuff with Edith is quite emotional, but the issue feels a bit light, not quite as much material as in your average Invisibles. Still, I guess Grant wanted to concentrate on Edith’s farewell, and that’s well done.

Now, the Key 23 alien language experiment isn’t anywhere near as bad as other recent Helga stuff. It’s actually pretty interesting. The experiment is narrated by excerpts from her recordings. She talks about how using Key 23 to create bliss can be just as dangerous sas using it for violence. I didn’t consciously remember this part of the book, but that notion is quite similar to what happens in my own Key 23 film. There’s an interesting bit where she talks about “authors we read because they make us comfortable and always give us more just what we want.” This ties in with Grant’s idea of the lazy acceptance of everything around us, not challenging ourselves. I think it’s also a meta comment on harsh reaction to the third volume, to readers who were annoyed that he wasn’t giving them the same team based adventure of the second Volume. That certainly frustrated me the first time through, I wanted more of the same, but in retrospect, it was smart to push the boundaries. Particularly with Robin gone, we couldn’t do more of what Volume II did. That team does not exist anymore....

I've taken down my posts on The Invisibles because they're all coming out in book form. The book, Our Sentence is Up, features revised and expanded versions of each blog post, covering every issue of The Invisibles, plus an extensive interview with Morrison himself. Visit your local comic store and order a copy now!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Invisibles Vol. 3 #7: 'Karmageddon: Part 2: Type Omega'

Morrison brings us another weird, great issue with the continuation of ‘Karmageddon,’ tying things tighter and tighter as we spin towards the conclusion. A quick note on this issue to start. A couple of months ago, I had this issue’s cover, Edith’s chess with death, as my desktop background, and the next thing I know, the computer crashes and won’t boot anymore. Was Death here the one who killed the computer? I’m not sure, but think twice before putting it as your desktop background....

I've taken down my posts on The Invisibles because they're all coming out in book form. The book, Our Sentence is Up, features revised and expanded versions of each blog post, covering every issue of The Invisibles, plus an extensive interview with Morrison himself. Visit your local comic store and order a copy now!

The Arcade Fire/The National @ United Palace

I started listening to the Arcade Fire back in 2005, when they were breaking big with Funeral, and I've been waiting to see them live since. They have such a superlative reputation, it'd be tough to live up to. However, for the most part they did, putting on a fantastic show that was marred by a couple of issues, only one of them actually their fault.

The major issues came from the fact that this was a pretty bad venue. The decor was nice, but it's tough to go to a show with seating after getting used to general admission. I actually had a GA ticket, and managed to get in on the bottom floor. There, I went and sat in a random seat shortly before The National started. There was barely anyone there at this point, and as they played, people filtered in, all accompanied by annoying staff people with flashlights, breaking the mood of the set. Now, with a GA setting, you don't have to worry about the new people coming in, but here, they keep distracting from the show, and I had the added trouble of being paranoid about getting thrown out of this random seat and sent back upstairs.

Anyway, I listened to a lot of Boxer and Alligator, and came to enjoy the albums, however they're not the kind of music that I usually really enjoy live. I like bombastic shows, with lots of instruments, or tightly constructed, dancable songs. The National's solid rock isn't instantly captivating live. i think the major issue here was that the crowd wasn't particularly into them, I was staring at that pipe organ, eager to get to the Arcade Fire's set, and The National weren't quite good enough to win me over here.

However, they did play a nice set, heavy on songs off Boxer. The band had an army of guitars arrayed across the stage, and occasional punctuation from some well placed violin. The highlights of the set were "Slow Show" and a scorching version of "Mr. November." They did their best, but ultimately couldn't compete with the looming specter of Arcade Fire. It must be tough to be an opening band, crowd reaction is such a crucial part of a show, and particularly in a seated venue like this, you don't even get the benefit of having your fans clustered in the front. I bet they'll do a much better job at their run of shows later this month, and I'll probably go see their free show at South Street Seaport later this summer. When I saw The New Pornographers open for Belle and Sebastian, I was a bit underwhelmed, but when they headlined, I was blown away.

Before going into the Arcade Fire set itself, I've got to talk about the way the staff ran the start of the set. A bunch of people had gathered in the aisles, and the entire first song was sent sending them back to their seats, I was a victim of this bouncing, getting thrown out of "my seat," and off to an aisle that thankfully wasn't too far back. However, throughout the entire first half hour of the set, people were still coming in. This is a major issue with seated shows, it feels a bit ridiculous that someone who can't even show up for the start of the set, two and a half hours after the listed doors time, should get to be up front. And, you wind up with a bunch of older people who aren't as into the show up front. I understand that the staff has to deal with this and keep order, but they frequently killed the mood. That's why it's bad to play a seated venue, or at least more venues should be like the Nokia Theater, which offers both seats and standing.

Black Mirror
No Cars Go
Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
Black Wave
Neon Bible
The Well and the Lighthouse
Ocean of Noise
Antichrist Television Blues
Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
Rebellion (Lies)
Encore: Keep the Car Running

All this distraction took me out of the first two songs, "Black Mirror" and "No Cars Go." "No Cars" is my favorite song off Neon Bible, and I was a bit disappointed by the live rendition. I think it's impossible to live up to the recorded one played at ultra high volume. All the movement distracted the crowd, so people weren't as into the show as they would be later. I think that staff messing around really took the momentum away from the start, and it wasn't until midway through that people got really involved and the show picked up.

After "No Cars," they segued into a miniset with Regine in the spotlight. I hadn't realized how strong and unique her vocals were before, I heard that high pitched stuff on the record, but didn't connect it to her. She did a lot of cool motions on stage, particularly during "Anti-Christ Television Blues," and had a great pair of gloves. Not since Goldfrapp have I heard such a transcendent high voice at a live show.

Next up was a bunch of tracks off Neon Bible, starting with a great version of "Black Wave." Many of their songs ahve these moments where the music just takes off to a transcendent place, and you can just sort of drift in this atmosphere of sound. I love when they use wordless vocals over a sea of instruments, as in 'Ocean of Noise.'

While I prefer Neon Bible on the whole, I have to admit that Funeral's tracks were superior live. They offer more space for crazy drum banging and general insanity on stage. "Power Out" tore things up, my hands were practically sore from clapping so much, and the segue into "Lies" was phenomenal, that song was definitely highlight of the set, by this point the crowd was fully into the set, and I think everyone in that theater was yelling back "Lies! Lies!" as Win sang.

The encore went on, and ended with a stellar performance of "Intervention," and I was expecting them to do one more song, surely the show couldn't end without "Wake Up." The lights came up, then went back down, and I was like, okay, it's on now. I was hoping for a Bowie cameo on the song, but I'd settle for just the song itself. However, the lights went back up, and house music came on, and it was apparent we were not going to get "Wake Up." Now, that doesn't ruin the show, but it's my favorite song of theirs, and seems the most suited to full crowd singalongs. Now, maybe they're saving it for the next couple of shows, but still, I needed the song. I suppose this means I'll have to see them again.

So, even after all the hype, I was not disappointed by the Arcade Fire. They put on a fantastic show, and by the end, had the crowd completely captivated. However, I really wish I could have seen one of the Judson Church shows earlier this year. Most of the crowd seemed to know their stuff, but there were a couple of fratboy types behind who spent the entire show chatting up some girls and commenting on the fact that they only knew the three big songs. Why did these people go to the show, and is this the future of the Arcade Fire audience? Of course, on the other side were three people mouthing the words to every song, so it's not all bad. I wish I was still in New York later this week, I'd love to go to the Radio City show and see them again. Hopefully they'll make another visit before the summer's out.

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Sopranos: 'Walk Like a Man' (6x17)

After last week’s odd, substandard episode, the show roars back to full strength with the fantastic ‘Walk Like a Man.’ This episode continues the season’s focus on Tony’s two sons, AJ and surrogate Christopher, as each struggles to live with the legacy of Tony, in the same way that Tony struggles to live with the legacy of his predecessors. This entire season has been obsessed with legacy, and fathers and sons, something that’s been present in the series since the first episode. The mob is on the decline, so many of the characters feel that it is impossible to live up to the people who came before them. With each generation in decline, where will things bottom out?

This episode, much like ‘Stage 5’ was notable for the sheer amount of events that happened in the episode. While I get what they were doing with last year’s season, I think the show is stronger in this more compressed mode. The writers have the uncanny ability to express complex ideas and developments in a very concise way. There’s more to analyze from single scenes of The Sopranos than from entire episodes of other shows. I think the show’s best season was five, in which they focused primarily on standalone stories that all tied into the show’s mythology.

So, one week you follow Uncle Junior and have a story that sends the character through an entire arc, letting him recede into the background later in the season. But, none of these episodes are forgotten, for example, ‘Irregular Around the Margins,’ in which Tony and Adrianna nearly have sex, has cast a shadow over this entire season, laying the groundwork for the tension between Christopher and Tony. Things have never been since that episode, and it’s critical to understanding the way Christopher behaves here. He’s always looked up to Tony, and Tony has spent the entire series grooming Chris to be his successor. However, Christopher has never been certain about his role within the family, and that uncertainty crops up in this episode, where he feels nothing but disdain for the world around him.

Part of the reason people have trouble with the sixth season is the loss of Adrianna. She was the only character who wasn’t corrupted through her association with this world, and as a result, she offered hope that perhaps she and Christopher could leave this life behind and live a better way. After her death, the show returned with characters resigned to their world. Much of last year was focused on showing that these characters can never escape their imprisonment in this world, both because of outside forces and their own dependence.

Part of what’s been exciting about this year’s Christopher arc has been the return of hope, that maybe he’ll see the light and leave this world behind. I think the essential tension of the show is our hope that the characters will act better, even as we know that they won’t. I am hoping that maybe Christopher will get out, but that’s likely just a false hope. As the scene with JT shows, he’s not equipped to deal with people in the way that ordinary people do.

This episode is filled with images of generational transition, in the images of Chris and AJ, we can see Tony’s own evolution. Christopher is at the grill, his house now the site for family barbecues. Tony looks over him, offering suggestions about how to prepare the steak, but it’s clear that Christopher is taking on Tony’s role. Tony previously expressed concern about how with all the old people dying off, he is now becoming the old generation. Junior looks pretty out of it, and Tony is now the elder man at the barbecue.

It’s tough to watch Christopher continually get heckled for his sobriety, though I’ll make a quick note of the well placed use of Crazy P’s “Lady T” in the scene with Chris and Paulie at the Bing. As Christopher says at the AA meeting, Tony is the worst kind of enabler, something we’ve seen since season five’s “Cold Cuts.” The AA meeting scene doesn’t articulate anything we haven’t heard before, but it gives us a good insight into how Christopher is feeling right now. The scene on the stairwell was also deeply uncomfortable, but incredibly revealing. Christopher has not gotten over Adrianna’s death, his depression a worse version of what AJ is going through in the present. He is deeply resentful of Tony, something that’s been building since last year. Christopher keeps up the façade of a happily married man, but $40,000 of landscaping can’t cover up the troubles within.

The scene at the Bing is deliberately tied to a similar moment in season five’s “All Happy Families,” in which a slow motion shot of everyone laughing was used to show that Tony isn’t a beloved boss, they laugh out of fear. Here, Christopher attempts to say something meaningful, but no one will listen to him, and after Paulie’s joke crosses the line, he sees that none of them really care about him.

Christopher is caught in an unfortunate bind. He gets no sympathy from the people in the mob, who have no interest in understanding what he’s going through. However, when he goes to JT, he’s rejected because he’s in the mafia, in one of the rare moments where a character actually acknowledges what these people do, and the way that prevents them from making any real moral change in their lives. The scene with JT is full of tension, and split sympathy. Christopher is really in pain, and just wants someone to talk to. JT takes the by the book hard line the program encourages, but what Christopher really wants is just someone to talk to. I think back to Christopher’s acting class in season two’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” when he cries while acting next to someone playing his father. Here, he reaches out for a father figure, but finds nothing, betrayed by Tony and his other father.

During his ranting, he mentions a lot of things that are still in play, Ralph Cifaretto, Adrianna’s death, and the possibility of going into witness protection. He’s never been someone who’s deeply committed to the life, but could Chris really sell out the others like that? I think he’s at the point where he would, but I don’t think Chase would let him escape like that. Of course, it would be the ultimate betrayal to Tony, and even if Tony himself isn’t arrested, it could rip his crime family apart.

The death of JT was shocking, as was Christopher’s assault on Little Paulie. Clearly, we’re being set up with the idea that he’s unhinged and could do anything. There’s a lot of potential directions for this story to go, and even though Christopher props up that tree at the end, it’s clear that things aren’t all good with him.

Concurrent with this, we’ve got AJ’s story, which in the end brings him to a place where he could enter Tony’s world. That’s always been the great question mark of the series, what would become of AJ? Blanca gave him the drive to work hard and attempt a legitimate life, with her gone, he reverts to his malaise. In season three’s finale “An Army of One,” Tony asked Melfi, “What are we gonna’ do with this kid,” and it’s a question that’s echoed ever since. In season four and five, he was on the periphery, now he’s moved to the center.

The major issue for Tony is that he doesn’t know how to relate to people outside the world of the mob. He can’t help AJ with any suggestion but to numb his pain with strippers, drinking and anti-depressants. I love the scene where Tony cries at therapy, thinking about the legacy he’s passed on to his son. More than ever in this episode, we see AJ as the echo of Tony, getting drawn into the crime world of his father. Tony must have known what he was doing when he sent AJ to hang out with the two Jasons. Isn’t this the same kind of behavior that Tony resented when his father sent out to do his first hit? I think this episode makes clear why so much time was spent on Tony’s early mob experience in “Remember When.”

Seeing AJ involved in low level gangster violence was an odd experience. It’s been a possibility since the series’ beginning, but I was never sure if it would come to fruition. The question now is, is AJ going to continue to move in this world, and how will Tony react when he finds out what’s really going on? Seeing the gang of young guys beating up their debtor made the generational transition clear. Tony is on the way out, these guys are on the way up.

Tony is torn with his two sons, one moving closer to his world, the other further away. How will he deal with all this, and what will Christopher do? I’m eager to find out, and if nothing else, this episode makes clear that things are happening, the world is changing, and Tony’s generation will soon come to a close.

With such focus on Tony’s sons, there’s still one great enigma, and that’s Meadow. She’s back at home, hanging out with Carmela. That moment was the first time we’ve seen the family together, just the four of them, in a long, long time, I liked the silent look between Tony and Carmela, how happy they were to be united in that way. Meadow went on a “mystery date,” but we really don’t know much about what’s up with her. I don’t think she’ll play a huge role in the end of the series, but I feel like she deserves at least one more big storyline before the end of the show.

Still, even though there’s a lot of loose ends, I do feel like the show will be able to give us a satisfying conclusion in the remaining four episodes. Because Chase can compress such complex ideas into a brief amount of screentime, it won’t be a problem. This episode has me really excited to see where things go, and if nothing else, this season has reasserted the show’s position as indisputably the best thing on television.

The Invisibles Vol. 3 #8: 'Karmageddon: Part 1: Tantrika'

‘Tantrika’ is a really complex issue, recalling ‘Arcadia’ in both form and content. After the surprise return of Division X in the storyline, we go way back to check in with Marquis de Sade. I like the fact that Grant takes the time to do this, it makes it feel like the characters have lives that go on outside the page, the Marquis said he was going to start this kind of commune, but in how many books would we actually bother to check in and see how it’s going?

It’s a new age, and that’s reflected in the method communication. No more handwritten letters for Edith, it’s e-mail now. On the first page, she describes the similarities between the lives of the elderly and magicians. In Pop Magic, Grant talks about how the way to develop a magical consciousness is to see meaning in coincidence, look for the messages that the world sends you about your life. Edith claims this is also the way the elderly view the world. I like the way she describes the passage of time as you standing still and the world changing around you. That’s definitely how I experience, it’s like I’m always still the same age, just the people below me get younger and younger....

I've taken down my posts on The Invisibles because they're all coming out in book form. The book, Our Sentence is Up, features revised and expanded versions of each blog post, covering every issue of The Invisibles, plus an extensive interview with Morrison himself. Visit your local comic store and order a copy now!