Written by Grant Morrison; art by Chris Weston and Gary Erskine; cover by Carlos Segura Grant Morrison's 13-issue maxiseries is collected in one mammoth volume. This imaginative series was a heady brew of big ideas, exotic locales and bizarre action, featuring some of the wildest imagery in all of comics, including prosthetically outfitted dolphins in scuba gear and a hard-smoking chimpanzee in Kremlin garb.
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 Flagg
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