Tom Russo
July 02, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

For as often as it’s reported that ”Matrix” writer-directors Larry and Andy Wachowski are former comics writers, mention of their specific credits is harder to find than the Zion mainframe. But the books are indeed out there, if you scour enough back-issue bins — it’s just that you might find them filed under ”Barker, Clive.” Back in the early ’90s, the British horror-meister partnered with Marvel on several projects, with the Wachowskis contributing stories to Clive Barker’s ”Book of the Damned,” a ”Hellraiser” anthology, a ”Nightbreed” spin-off, and even, yes, ”Hellraiser Spring Slaughter.” (Only Larry is credited, but as he told EW shortly after the first ”Matrix” installment, ”We wrote everything together but, because of certain weird legal deals, [Marvel] didn’t know.”)

The brothers’ most recognizable work, though, was in collaboration with their future ”Matrix” storyboard artist Steve Skroce on ”Ectokid,” part of the short-lived ”Barkerverse” superhero line. The title character is a streetwise youth who has the uncanny ability to jump back and forth between the real world and the ghostly ”Ectosphere” that overlays it — and kick butt in both. Talk about déjà vu, Neo.

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