|NAMELESS No. 3, April 2015|
Considering that for almost the entirety of “Into The Burrows” the crew of the White Valiant remain seated within their spacecraft, writer Grant Morrison does a superb job of realising his goal in creating an edgy, sinister atmosphere which will undoubtedly give some bibliophiles ‘the heebie-jeebies’. For with every turn of the page the Scottish playwright ramps the tension up by simply having the astronauts describe what they are witnessing through the lenses of Larry, Moe and Curly; three exploratory drones navigating a gigantic alien structure built upon a six mile wide C-type asteroid.
Initially thought to contain “the treasures of a lost civilization”, the small portable cameras eventually provide the crew’s occult specialist with enough clues to make him realise the incredible danger both he and his colleagues are in. For the immense assembly is nothing more than a prison, and inadvertently the space explorers have descended down to “the violent offenders wing.”
Only once does Morrison jar the reader out of this nightmarish immersive reverie and then it is to quickly depict the gory blood-letting events simultaneously transpiring on Serenity Base as the psychotic Andrea Blackstone merrily butchers her former colleagues with a kitchen knife. This horror mini-series truly does depict “all the dark stuff that Western culture’s kind of obsessed with.”
Disappointingly Issue Three of “Nameless” does though end on something of low note with a hallucinating titular character apparently ending up in the place of fear, Xibalba, following the sudden destruction of his stellar vessel. Precisely what has happened, apart from the craft smashing into a smaller asteroid and depositing its hapless crew out into the vast cold enormity of deep space, is not at all clear. But the final (splash) page depicting a naked limbless adventurer, presumably being tortured, would appear to be another attempt by the Los Angeles-based writer to incorporate a “quite weird stream-of-consciousness, Lovecraftian kind of thing” into the storyline.
Chris Burnham’s pencils are extremely impressive during this instalment, especially his stunning panels depicting the drones’ passage through the somewhat featureless extra-terrestrial prison. In addition the Connecticuter somehow manages to provide all of the astronauts with some incredibly expressive faces. Something which really helps to sell the sense of wonderment the team are experiencing as their handheld tablets are visually fed footage of the alien superstructure by the tiny flying robots.
|Words: Grant Morrison, Art: Chris Burnham, and Colors: Nathan Fairbairn|