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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138-at-popapostle-dot-com
The Matrix: There Are No Flowers in the Real World The Matrix
"There Are No Flowers in the Real World"
Matrix Comics Vol. 1
Story and Art by David Lapham
2002

 

Rocket struggles to keep himself together in the Matrix while his body lies dying in the real world.

 

Read the story at the archive of WhatistheMatrix

 

Didja Know?

 

This comic strip originally appeared on the official Matrix website in 2002. It was later printed in The Matrix Comics, Vol. 1 published by Burlyman Entertainment, a comic book publisher founded by the Wachowskis. 

 

Characters appearing or mentioned in this story

 

Rocket (Harold Zinsser, dies in this story)

resistance member on phone (unnamed)

Speedy (dies in this story)

Deuce (dies in this story)

King

Larry Little

Mona Thomas

Mona's parents (mentioned only)

Ann

Agent Brown

 

Didja Notice?

 

The story opens inside the Matrix in Goodyear, Arizona near Phoenix, next to a Cracker Barrel restaurant. There is actually a Cracker Barrel in Goodyear, though the surroundings currently look less isolated than depicted here. When writer/artist David Lapham produced this story, the area may have looked the way he drew it.

 

Rocket tells a resistance member over the phone that he's with the Zion hovership called the Mariner in Tokyo of the "real" world. He learns from the resistance member that the hovership Pequod is searching for him now for a rescue. The Pequod is later also mentioned in "Hunters and Collectors". Pequod is probably named for the whaling ship that appears in Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby-Dick.

 

Awaiting rescue, Rocket's Matrix avatar is sent to a safe house in Scottsdale.

 

On page 5 of the story, Rocket picks up Mona on an Indian Motorcycle. Mona suggests they meet up with Larry and the guys at Denny's.

 

On page 8 of the story, a patron at the Denny's restaurant is wearing a vest with "Deathray" printed on the back. Possibly this is a reference to the alternative rock band by that name.

 

On page 10, panel 1 of the story, a Denny's patron is wearing a t-shirt with Spider-Man's masked face on it. In the background of this same panel, another patron may be wearing a shirt of the design of a Starfleet tunic from the original Star Trek TV series (note the chevron shape on the left breast). On page 11, panel 1 of the story, another patron is wearing a vest with "Mega Tour" printed on the back; I am unsure what this would have referred to when the story was published around 2002.

 

On page 13, King refers to the agent who materialized and tried to kill him and Rocket as "Mr. Jones" (with quotes). He seems to have been using the name as a generic term for the Agents, though there is an actual Agent Jones who appears in "A Path Among Stones" and The Matrix. Presumably, the Agent who appeared here was actually Agent Brown, who was seen earlier looking for Rocket.

 

Sweet Sue's Old Time Cabaret is seen on page 13. As far as I can tell, this is a fictitious business in Scottsdale.

 

On page 14, Mona has a poster for the alternative pop band Cibo Matto.

 

Mona meets Rocket at the Motel 6 on Camelback. There is an actual Motel 6 on Camelback Road in Scottsdale.

 

After meeting Agent Brown, Mona thinks the FBI is looking for Rocket. The FBI is the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which investigates federal crime and provides internal intelligence for the federal government of the United States.

 

On the last page of the story, Agent Brown kills Rocket before he could reach the ringing phone. As we will learn in The Matrix, the phone call was probably Rocket's exit from the Matrix provided by the resistance, if he could have reached the device in time.

 

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