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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138-at-popapostle-dot-com
The Matrix: Farewell Performance The Matrix
"Farewell Performance"
Matrix Comics Vol. 2
Story by Jim Krueger
Art by Tim Sale
Color by Jason Keith
1999

 

Can the world’s greatest escape artist escape the Matrix?

 

Read the story summary at the Matrix Wiki

 

Didja Know?

 

This illustrated short story originally appeared on the official Matrix website in 1999. It was later printed in The Matrix Comics, Vol. 2 published by Burlyman Entertainment, a comic book publisher founded by the Wachowskis. 

 

Characters appearing or mentioned in this story

 

Bixby

psychology student (unnamed)

Agents

Morpheus (mentioned only)

 

Didja Notice?

 

On page 4, when the Agents show up observing the escape artist Bixby, the psychology student imagines at first they may be the IRS. The IRS is the Internal Revenue Service of the United States.

 

On pages 5 and 6, an advertising poster for Dream Sticks cigarettes is seen. This is, of course, a fictitious brand. "Dream sticks" is a term sometimes used for a marijuana cigarette or opium pipe. The slogan on the ad is "Taste the Freedom"; many background allusions to freedom are seen throughout the story.

 

On page 7, the student visits Bixby the night after he saw the Agents chase him and asks if the men were IRS. Bixby chuckles and says, "Yeah...the IRS...they say I'm in the red by bucketful's." His use of the term "in the red" may be a joke to himself in reference to being a redpill, a human who has become aware of the Matrix, as opposed to the bluepills who are not aware that their lives are just a virtual reality. The redpill/bluepill distinction is made more clear in The Matrix.

 

On page 8, Bixby's business card refers to him as Bixby the Incredible, Liberationist for Hire. No first name is given. Possibly, writer Krueger borrowed the surname Bixby from that of actor Bill Bixby, best known for playing David Banner who transforms into the Hulk in the 1977-1982 TV series The Incredible Hulk; Bixby also portrayed a magician/illusionist in the 1973-74 TV series The Magician.

 

When the student realizes the Agents are not IRS, he guesses maybe CIA. The CIA is the Central Intelligence Agency, one of the major intelligence agencies of the United States government.

 

When Bixby literally vanishes in the middle of his act, he presumably woke up in his pod in the real world, having been freed by the resistance.

 

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