Grant Morrison is Adapting his Magnum Opus ‘The Invisibles’ for Television

The comic book that was born from magic to effect positive change in the world will attempt to do so on the boob tube.
The Invisibles
DC Comics
By  · Published on November 8th, 2018

When it comes to comic book creators, Grant Morrison is about as notorious and celebrated as they come. The Scottish born creator is responsible for redefining the Man of Steel in “All-Star Superman,” as well as Batman and the Joker in “Arkham Asylum.” Actually, he also radically altered the X-Men shortly after Bryan Singer strapped them all in leather for his cinematic interpretation. He’s recently launched into a reinterpretation of Hal Jordan in a new monthly series, “The Green Lantern.” If you have a character struggling to find sales, snatching Morrison onto your payroll is a decent way of resecuring relevance.

However, the obsessive/hipsterish Morrison acolytes (myself included) are always eager to point potential readers to his trippier and more obscure pieces of sequential entertainment. “Animal Man,” “Doom Patrol,” “The Invisibles.” These three titles exploded onto the market when DC Comics was looking to reach a more adult market with their Vertigo subdivision. While technically checking all the boxes of superhero comics they tended to venture into odd mentalities with characters struggling inside a crumbling society.

Morrison is not a name that rings any bells with the mainstream audience. The closest he’s come to recognition is when a few lines from his Superman run were mangled by Russell Crowe in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. He also worked closely with Brian Taylor in adapting his “Happy!” miniseries into the SyFy show, and while that production has not run away with the ratings, it has gained a tenacious fanbase.

The next couple of years could change all that. Doom Patrol is currently under production as part of the DC Universe streaming service, and The Hollywood Reporter recently announced that The Invisibles will be a part of a new deal with Universal Cable Productions (the same company that handles the other Morrison/Taylor adaptations of Happy! and Brave New World). The new series is not yet attached to a network, but Morrison joins a long line of creatives with prosperous shows on air: Nick Antosca (Channel Zero), Steve Blackman (The Umbrella Academy), Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot), and Liz Sarnoff (Barry).

One of the comic book creators more eccentric traits is his belief and practice of magic. Originally, The Invisibles was created as a means of effecting positive change in the world as a genuine sigil. The comic book was more than just a story of action and adventure; it was a symbol designed to infect its readers’ subconscious and push them towards an evolution of the mind. Yup. Not your average funny book.

The basic premise follows a group of weird characters of a secret organization referred to as “The Invisible College.”  With names like King Mob, Lord Fanny, Ragged Robin, Boy, and Jack Frost, these were not your run-of-the-mill spandex avengers. Their superpowers ran the gamut from extraordinary strength to time travel, to mysticism, to telepathy. They don’t simply battle rogue agents and mad scientists. Their enemies are interdimensional beings that have already taken psychic control over most of the human race.

Cool, cool, cool. For the like-minded outcasts in the audience, The Invisibles could strike a serious nerve. For others, the concepts and characters might seem a little alienating. In the wrong hands, the show could get whitewashed and have its identity completely eradicated. However, if Grant Morrison is steering this ship, his Invisibles will no doubt stand out in a crowded superhero arena. Destined for cult status with the potential for growth in an environment starved for originality.

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Brad Gullickson is a Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects and Senior Curator for One Perfect Shot. When not rambling about movies here, he's rambling about comics as the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him down on Twitter: @MouthDork. (He/Him)