Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Review - Nameless #1


"Talk to the guy who made his wife and kids drink bleach then hung himself with barbed wire."

Of all the ways the world could end, being taken out by an asteroid is one of the more realistic ones. It's likely that humanity won't be in a position to stop the impending disaster. Unless there's an individual with unique capabilities who's sought after and can stop the foreign attack. In Nameless #1 from Image Comics, the main character is one such individual. The issue is written by Grant Morrison, illustrated by Chris Burnham, colored by Nathan Fairbarn and lettered by Simon Bowland.

An astronomer kills his family, then himself, leaving a cryptic warning. A Veiled Lady hunts her victims through human nightmares. An occult hustler known only as 'Nameless' is recruited by a consortium of billionaire futurists for a desperate mission. And the malevolent asteroid Xibalba spins closer on a collision course with Earth. But nothing is what it seems—a terrifying inhuman experiment is about to begin.

Nameless #1 is a pretty frenetic first issue. Nameless the character comes across as something of an arrogant mercenary for hire who knows something about the world in Nameless #1. The problem is that Morrison doesn't really let the reader into the secret, keeping them in the dark on many of the important details of the new universe. The issue sort of fast forwards through a lot of the set-up stuff and doesn't really let up, with Morrison seemingly wanting to get to the point of the series. There are a lot of intriguing and subtle clues peppered throughout, showing that Morrison clearly has a grander ambition in mind that he wants to achieve.

Burnham's illustrations are terrifying. There's anything and everything included, right up to some strange creatures who appear to be fish-like aliens who inhabit the dreams of humans. Burnham handles the shift between dreams and realities effortlessly, ensuring that the reader doesn't lose track of the characters. Those characters boast exaggerated facial expressions that reinforce the horrors contained within. The change in panel layouts throughout the issue keeps up with the pace of the story and fits Morrisson's approach. Fairbarn's colors perfectly punctuate the tone of the work, covering a range of vivid purples and bright oranges.

Nameless #1 trades in horror and the work features that in spades. Nameless is a desired man because of his talents and his perceived ability to save the world. Morrisson is no stranger when it comes to writing fiction and Nameless #1 continues that tradition, with Morrisson establishing a character who's full of intrigue. Burnham's illustrations are full of life and encapsulate the script effectively, presenting scenes that are both horrible and curious. Nameless #1

Nameless #1 is in stores now.

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