Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I Reads You Review: NAMELESS #1

IMAGE COMICS – @ImageComics

WRITER: Grant Morrison – @grantmorrison
ARTIST: Chris Burnham – @TheBurnham
COLORS: Nathan Fairbairn
LETTERS: Simon Bowland
LOGO/DESIGN: Rian Hughes
COVER: Chris Burnham with Nathan Fairbairn
VARIANT COVERS: Tony Moore; Nathan Fox with Jordie Bellaire; Jonathan Hickman; Chris Burnham with Nathan Fairbairn
28pp, Color, $2.99 U.S. (February 2015)

Rated M / Mature

“Shit Rains Down”

Nameless is a new horror and science fiction comic book from writer Grant Morrison and artist Chris Burnham.  Published by Image Comics, Nameless is colored by Nathan Fairbairn and lettered by Simon Bowland.

Nameless #1 (“Shit Rains Down) opens with shocking violence.  An astronomer kills his wife and two children before he hangs himself with barbed wire.  A second family gets wiped out; maybe the husband did it – the husband who yells “Zirom Trian Ipam Ipamis,” as the police carry him away.

Meanwhile, an occult hustler who has named himself, “Nameless,” fights the Veiled Lady for the “Dream Key.”  But his biggest task may be the job that is forced upon him – to save the Earth from a malevolent asteroid named “Xibalba.”

The first half of Nameless #1 is a mixture of familiar Grant Morrison tropes – conspiracies and occultism – with some leftovers from The Invisibles and H.P. Lovecraft.  Morrison throws that into a word processing blender and presses the puree button when he really should have used the pulse setting.  The first time I read the first half of Nameless, I did not understand what was happening in the story.  I thought, “How will I review this mess.  I have no idea what's going on.”  I was still confused after reading the first half a second time.

After a third and fourth reading, however, I found the first half of Nameless to be strangely beautiful.  I thought (or imagined) that I was seeing new things in the story and art that I had not seen before.  The Frank Quitely-like art by Chris Burnham with Nathan Fairbairn's gorgeous coloring makes for some eye-catching graphics.  Together, story and art offer graphical storytelling that presents dreams and visions as if they were the gosh-darn-purtiest vacation spot in all of comic book land.

The rest of Nameless #1 is conventional, for the most part, but still intriguing.  I am quite determined to read the second issue of Nameless, sellouts be damned.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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