Thursday, 23 April 2015

Nameless #3 - Image Comics

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


  1. I knew nothing about this series, Simon, but your review has intrigued me. If a TPB comes out for it I'd certainly consider buying it.

    1. I was actually tempted to post this up on the Board of the Living Lead Bryan, as its one of the scariest comics I've read this year, and indeed I rate #2 as the best comic of 2015 so far. I'd thoroughly recommend getting the TPB as both the artwork and story are top notch :-)

    2. Thanks, Simon. Your reply does beg the question, what do you rate as your #1 best comic of 2015... so far, seeing as we're only a third of the way through the year?

    3. My apologies Bryan, the symbol "#" is used to represent Issue on the forums I frequent (which are admittedly mainly American), so whenever I use it I mean Issue Number.

      But back to your excellent question, as far as reading comics during 2015 are concerned (as opposed to those published) I would go with:
      (1) Nameless #2 (Best comic published in 2015 as well)
      (2) Batman #5
      (3) Image Firsts: The Walking Dead #1
      (4) Moonknight #3
      (5) Gotham By Midnight #1
      I've realised most are horror related too... perhaps you're having a bad effect on me!?!

    4. Many thanks for that reply, Simon. I'll definitely be on the lookout for a Nameless TPB. I really should have realised the significance of the # symbol, as I use it whenever I order any comics online. Ooops!

    5. No worries Bryan. I'd thoroughly recommend the first vol of "Moon Knight", written by Ellis and drawn by Declan Shalvey" as well, as they really show just how to do comics, and #3 is a wonderful spooky treat ;-)

  2. I was wondering where this had gone? I really do hope this has hit tpb.

    1. Cheers Bob. I'm afraid I bought #1 & #2 at the same time, and #3 has only just been released. It is my go to comic though and I'll certainly be looking at picking this up as a tpb when it comes out - especially as #2 is already falling apart as I've read it so many times :-)