Sunday, 4 October 2015

Nameless #5 - Image Comics

NAMELESS No. 5, September 2015
Almost exclusively focusing upon the titular character’s overnight stay at the eerily decorated home of a man “convinced to convert this place into his very own torture palace” by the imprisoned lunatic’s spirit guide Wodello, and the possessed anti-hero’s subsequent surprising mutilation of his fellow residents. This fifth instalment in Grant Morrison’s supposed “first real attempt at creating a horror comic” is certainly the “soul-destroying” experience its Scottish playwright intended.

However whereas the “living legend in the field of comics” undoubtedly meant for the sinister shenanigans portrayed within this “origin story of the man known only as Nameless” to be the source of its readers’ sense of despair and hopelessness. It is actually the Glasgow-born author’s own incomprehensible narrative, packed full of unfollowable gobbledegook, which generates such a strong feeling of bewilderment and gloom.

For whilst the occultist’s visit to Razor House proves to initially be an enthralling, sinister and superbly shadowy journey into “a complex mash of Polynesian and Mayan mythology.” Its storyline quickly transforms into an unfathomable mess as Morrison sacrilegiously spouts that Jesus assembled his dozen or so disciples because “it takes thirteen Human minds concentrating in unison to approximate the computer power of a single outsider [extra-terrestrial] brain", and Paul “Big Daddy” Darius convinces Nameless, along with Major Ed Merritt, Nadia Korenyov, Salem Sime and others, that by blowing a whistle and sitting in front of a “hunk of iron, nickel, palladium, iridium and other trace elements” they can summon God; or rather a trapped “sadistic psychopathic monster” which Mankind has named God.

Such an incomprehensible plot would not necessarily be such a complete mess however, if it weren’t for the counter-culturist’s insistence of abruptly throwing this tale’s timeline all over the place, so that "Star Of Fear" depicts the adventurer brutally murdering his fellow investigators in one panel, falling through outer space in the next, and then having an injection at the doctors in some surgery room straight afterwards..?

Fortunately this ‘trip’ to “the dark side of the Qabalistic Tree of Life” is incredibly well-illustrated by Chris Burnham. “The Number One New York Times Bestselling Artist of Batman Incorporated” seems, somewhat disturbingly, especially good at depicting the insanely graphic dismemberment which his fellow storyteller’s script apparently calls for, and despite all its depravity and tastelessness, the American’s pencilling of a skinless Nameless being slowly sliced by a storm of razor blades is a stunningly drawn sequence.
Words: Grant Morrison, Art: Chris Burnham, and Colors: Nathan Fairbairn

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