Sunday, 5 July 2015

Nameless #4 - Image Comics

NAMELESS No. 4, June 2015
Something would appear to have gone terribly wrong with the contents of Issue Four of “Nameless” and the ‘finger of blame’ most certainly can’t simply just be pointed at controversial writer Grant Morrison either. For whilst the Scottish playwright is undoubtedly responsible for the comic’s explicitly foul language and utterly unfollowable storyline, the book’s artist Chris Burnham is equally as guilty on account of some truly disturbing sexual imagery and horrific physical mutilations.

Dishearteningly however, “Dark House” doesn’t start off badly at all. In fact its opening pages are packed full of tense, edgy high-octane adventure as the comic’s titular character desperately tries to seek shelter on the “roller coaster” surface of the asteroid Xibalba, whilst numerous body parts belonging to his fellow astronauts ‘splatter’ around him. Even once under cover, besides from an alarming rise in profanities, the Glasgow-born author’s script continues to hold the attention as the space-faring occultist and Sofia, “Humanity’s last hope”, start to explore the meteorite on foot and discover it to be infested by some “frothy organic” mucus which “didn’t show up in any of the drone footage.”

Sadly, just as Nameless realises that his cosmonaut companion “might have a hairline fracture” in her oxygen tank and the pair desperately attempt to contact Mission Control for assistance, Morrison’s storyline abruptly turns from an enjoyably tense claustrophobic tale of survival in the dark coldness of deep space and instead becomes sheer unfathomable gobbledegook of the highest order. Indeed it is hard to imagine a more incomprehensible plot as Sofia suddenly finds herself on the counselling sofa of ‘Sigmund Freud’ before becoming little more than a severed head sat on a pedestal, whilst her brain is eaten by English-speaking worms. However her foul-mouthed colleague fares even worst as the adventurer is forced to witness a number of unspeakably degrading horrors, before he himself purportedly awakes from having surgery in hospital after he “almost tore out" his own eyes.

All of this action, whether vulgar or not, is tremendously well drawn by Burnham. Although there are times, such as when he depicts the utterly depraved chaos of a New York City riot and subsequent serious sexual offences, that one can’t help but wish the Connecticut-born illustrator had much more of a palatable subject matter with which to ‘show off’ his evident pencilling talent.
Writer: Grant Morrison, Artist: Chris Burnham, and Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn

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