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The Art of the Matrix The Shooting Script The Matrix Comics The Matrix and Philosophy
Like a Splinter in Your Mind Jacking In To The Matrix Franchise Exploring the Matrix
Paperback: 160 pages
Introduction by Spencer Lamm
Stories and Art by Andy & Larry Wachowski, Geof Darrow, Bill Sienkiewicz, Neil Gaiman, Ted McKeever, John Van Fleet, Dave Gibbons, David Lapham, Peter Bagge, Troy Nixey, Paul Chadwick, Ryder Windham, Kilian Plunkett, Gregory Ruth
The Matrix Comics, Volume 1 is a paperback collection of 12 of the online comics that have been published on the official Matrix site since 1999. You can still read these comics online, but the Wachowskis responded to consumer demand for a hardcopy by printing The Matrix Comics themselves, ensuring the same high level of quality you've come to expect from all things Matrix.
The 12 stories reproduced here are selected from each of the three comic series that have been published online. There's early indication that we could see a volume 2, 3, even 4 over the next several years...and make no mistake, seeing future volumes of The Matrix Comics in print would be a very good thing.
Imagine the regret of having chosen the blue pill and living with that splinter in your mind getting bigger and sharper with every passing day, or the confusion of having your life repeatedly rewound 10 or 20 years back while the machines try to get it right, or watching your art come to life and slaughter your patrons, or the terror of facing a sentinel with a pointed stick as your only weapon. These are just a few of the powerful extensions to the Matrix mythos that you'll find in this fine volume.
Download The Matrix Comics Preview PDF.
With a wide variation in the art and storytelling styles, from sparsely illustrated prose to fully painted visuals, The Matrix Comics takes you on a journey through the Matrix-that-is and the Matrix-that-might-be. Starting with 'Bits and Pieces of Information', written by the Wachowskis and illustrated by Geof Darrow, we learn more about B1-66ER's predicament (touched on in The Second Renaissance) and the consequences of his desire to live. This further fleshes out the Matrix backstory, and shows that the Wachowskis always intended to explore many of the multi-layered themes that infuse Reloaded and Revolutions.
Some of the standout entries include Neil Gaiman's 'Goliath', 'Butterfly' by Dave Gibbons, and 'Hunters And Collectors' by Gregory Ruth. Gibbons' entry is particularly noteworthy for best capturing both the internal peace necessary to free the mind, and the visceral action so intrinsic to The Matrix. Not an easy task on pages of static art.
The physical construction of the book itself is impressive. The Wachowskis sourced their own printing in order to provide a heavier weight glossy stock, and the results are worth the effort. Compare this book to the average trade paperback coming out of the big comic companies, and The Matrix Comics leaves the competition in the dust.
If you're a comic fan, or a fan of illustrated storytelling, get this book now. If you're a Matrix fan and new to comics, this might be the best introduction you could ask for!
Get The Matrix Comics Volume 1 for yourself today!
Paperback: 176 pages
Introduction by Spencer Lamm
Burlyman Introduction by The Wachowski Brothers
Stories and Art by Andy & Larry Wachowski, Geof Darrow, Bill c, Ted McKeever, Michael Oeming, Poppy Z. Brite, Jim Krueger, Chris Chuckry, Dave Dorman, Vince Evans, Jason Keith, Dave McCaig, Kaare Andrews, Jonathan Luna, Tim Sale, Keron Grant, Steve Skroce, Ron Turner, Peter Bagge, Troy Nixey, Paul Chadwick, Gregory Ruth, Spencer Lamm
The Matrix Comics, Volume 2 is the second in a series of trade paperback collections of stories set in the world of The Matrix. Like Volume 1, many of these stories have been freely available on TheMatrix.com for several years. Unlike the first volume, a number of these stories have never been seen prior to the publication of this volume.
For anyone who's a fan of the first volume, save yourself some time and buy this now. I mean it - skip the rest of the review and click the link at the bottom to order your copy online. If you liked the first collection, you'll love this one. Not only is it chock full of another great selection of stories, but everything that was interesting, exceptional, or entertaining about the first volume is present here.
Download The Matrix Comics Volume 2 Preview PDF.
Overall, the second volume seems to have a slightly darker tone than the first. While there was an occasional playfulness in the first collection of stories, this volume seems intent on reinforcing that this world is difficult and dangerous, whether you're still "trapped" in the Matrix or whether you've been "freed". Several dark classics appear for the first time in print: Paul Chadwick's Déjà vu is a cautionary tale of a couple who attempt to use their growing knowledge of the Matrix for their own gain. Their short-lived prosperity is quickly reversed as the machines reset a few variables, rewrite some code, and suddenly their lives get a lot less prosperous and a lot more complicated. Bill Sienkiewicz's Broadcast Depth is a reminder that even with the best of intentions, carelessness kills. These are just a few of the powerful extensions to the Matrix mythos that you'll find in this second volume.
Contributing for the second time to The Matrix Comics' wide variety of art and storytelling styles, Gregory Ruth offers another haunting portrayal of life inside (and outside) the Matrix. Where last time it was a physical battle of man against machine, this time it's a more subtle ballet of emerging consciousness versus the inherent programming of system Agents. Ted McKeever, Troy Nixey, and Peter Bagge (with probably the lightest piece) contribute again to the Matrix mythos in this volume.
One of the most interesting differences between the second collection and the first is the existence of two stories set after the events of Revolutions. For those of us interested in the tenuous peace accord brokered by Neo, and what might come of it, these two stories offer a glimpse of a future rich with story possibilities. The first, written by Spencer Lamm, is called Saviors and details the lengths humans and machines will go to keep the peace in this brave new world. The second, I Kant, by Kaare Andrews is a dynamically illustrated piece focusing on The Kid (famous from The Animatrix:Kid's Story as well as the sequels) and the challenges he faces assuming his role in the post-Neo world. Featuring appearances by all our favorite Matrix characters, including some we wouldn't expect to see, this final story is one of the strongest and most satisfying, both visually and thematically.
Finally, the book ends with a 16-page preview of two non-Matrix offerings from the Wachowski's comic company, Burlyman Entertainment. Both are solid offerings, but may be a disappointment to anyone hoping for a 100% Matrix book. Thankfully, the extra 16 pages come free-of-charge - this 176 page book costs the same as the 160 page first volume.
The physical construction of the book surpasses the first volume: heavy, glossy paper and exceptional binding (if you're interested, take a look at the printing/binding process).
If you're a comic fan or a fan of illustrated storytelling, get this book now. If you liked the first volume, get this book now. If you're a Matrix fan and new to comics, much like the first volume this is a great introduction!
Get The Matrix Comics Volume 2 for yourself today!
Did You Know?
A reason for the 'sixth' One: In the TV show, 'The Prisoner', which contains similar themes to 'Matrix', the main character who seeks to be free from the hidden system of technological control which imprisons him is called 'No. 6'. But in the final episode, the ever-changing 'No. 2' who answers No. 6's repeated question, 'Who is No. 1?' puts the emphasis where it belongs for the first time: 'YOU ARE, No. 6.' (As opposed to 'You are No 6.') Indeed, No. 6 takes the monkey mask off the figure in the No. 1 chair and sees himself. Like Neo, the Prisoner's answer to his quest for freedom has always been within himself, as the Oracle so often tells Neo. Thus, Neo = No. 6, the sixth No. 1, but really, the first One.
- Suggested by Wes Howard-Brook