Sunday, 8 March 2015

Nameless #1 - Image Comics

NAMELESS No. 1, February 2015
If the somewhat sinister Chris Burnham cover illustration of three astronauts, all daubed in fluorescent hieroglyphics, purposely striding forwards as if to the escape the magazine itself, is not enough to make a reader realise they have something wonderfully weird in their hands. Then the writer’s name atop the comic’s title should be. For Grant Morrison has crafted a mind-bogglingly bizarre adventure of the highest magnitude, as fish-headed aliens, incoming asteroids and moon-based billionaires are all thrown into the mixing pot and seemingly emerge at the most random of opportunities throughout the storyline.

Central to all these senseless shenanigans is the extremely foul-mouthed adventurer Nameless, who is reminiscent of the archetypal archaeologist ‘Indiana Jones’ one moment and then a sneering, arrogant dislikeable degenerate the next; someone who unfortunately seems to relish putting a capital ‘P’ in profanities. As a result it is actually rather difficult to find the grizzled thieving traveller in any way endearing, especially when it is never really clear whether the vest-wearing occult expert is actually in the “real life”, thus genuinely in jeopardy, or just ‘going through the motions’ in one of the many dream worlds the Scottish playwright has manufactured for the story.

Bad language and utter bewilderment on behalf of the reader aside, Issue One of “Nameless” is also disappointingly a book of two very different halves. Whilst the first fourteen pages are an almost overloading decathlon of murder, mutilation, temple traversing, bus commandeering and water-rafting. The rest of the comic is nothing but wordy exposition (and even more expletives) as Morrison desperately attempts to convince both Nameless and anyone anxiously trying to follow the narrative, that all the bizarre ‘quest for the dream-key’ madness beforehand is connected to a six mile wide C-type asteroid, which is on a collision-course for Earth..!?!

Whatever the shortcomings of the Glaswegian’s script, the artwork of Burnham, certainly for the opening portion of the story, is sensationally vibrant, animated and crammed full of some very intricate detail; though a lot of these finer facets are gruesomely gory, such as the police officer leaving the home of a mass murderer with a child’s severed head in a polythene bag. Especially impressive is the American artist’s fish-headed aliens, which are wickedly based upon Anglerfish, complete with the luminescent lure. Whether drawn as spear-wielding naked natives rising from the waters of a swamp, or jacket and jean wearing modern-day armed thugs, the extra-terrestrials are hypnotically eerie and sinisterly savage in all their guises.
Words: Grant Morrison, Art: Chris Burnham, and Colors: Nathan Fairbairn


  1. Sounds like something I'd read.

    1. Bob, the second issue is absolutely superb and I can't recommend it enough. A review will be up soon. This is a mini-series so it'll probably be out as a graphic Novel by Christmas, or they've just done a second printing of #1 :-)