"The answer. It's right there. I can touch it. It's beautiful. Simple. And it scares the hell out of me."
Beyond the infinite possibilities offered by a virtual world, part of what keeps the Matrix universe so appealing is that it hasn't been milked to death by a greedy studio. Exploitation and oversaturation would've killed it as easily as it does any other commodity. I assume the Wachowski's had some hand in regulating that, so kudos to them and everyone else who stuck to their guns - although I'd really love another anime collection like The Animatrix (2003).
Anyhow, most of the twelve stories (eleven comics and one short prose work)* contained in the collection were originally available on the Matrix website from 1999 to 2003. They're gone from there now, so your only option if you want to read them is to buy the book. As with all the other tie-ins, they expand upon and attempt to enrich the core concerns explored in the film trilogy. They were created over a period of time, so aren't tied to, or designed to reflect, any one specific film. Some were written before the first movie even came out.
I'm delighted to have them archived in some manner, and I did enjoy them for what they were, but the truth is that the majority of them just aren't very interesting. As web comics they'd have been a fun way to keep a viewer/reader connected to the ongoing story, but they don't hold up when brought together into a medium they weren't originally designed for.
The short creator profiles that accompany each entry are a nice touch; every anthology should have those.
2½ zeroes and ones out of 5
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