Monday, 15 February 2016

Nameless #6 - Image Comics

NAMELESS No. 6, December 2015
Containing a seemingly superfluous opening scene depicting the “Zed” television show interviewing Paul Darius’ flying drone, a tediously tiresome tarot reading sequence involving the titular character and a hooded misshapen Sofia, whose face has been partially infested by a squidgy multi-dimensional extra-terrestrial, and a rather fortuitous ending which depicts Jin Zhao somehow surviving the Serenity Base massacre in order to single-handedly deflect the asteroid Xibalba into the moon using the spacecraft White Valiant Two, this concluding issue of “Nameless” must doubtless have proved to be utterly unfollowable nonsense to the vast majority of its 15,894 readers in December 2015. Indeed Grant Morrison’s unfathomable writing creates so difficult a nonlinear narrative to follow that at times it seems as if the Scottish playwright must actually have wanted his audience to struggle and strain with the book’s countercultural concepts; certainly this is arguably not a magazine one can comprehend in just a single sitting… if ever.

The biggest flaw of this twenty-four page periodical is undoubtedly the Glasgow-born writer’s inability to make it in any way clear just which events are real and which are taking place within the occultist’s evidently badly broken mind. To begin with it seems as if the adventurer has never actually left the abode of the mysterious female fortune teller first seen in this mini-series’ first instalment. But having rather long-windedly informed any perusing bibliophile as to the “fifteen thousand years of savage and deranged conflict” between the Titans and Outsiders, the action quite brusquely then returns to the present-day space mission with the troubled astronaut discovering that he is still in the grip of his ‘infected’ colleagues.

Or at least that is what seems to be occurring until Morrison flips the action back again and the publication’s shocked, slightly panicky hero murmurs “there is no space mission, is there? Where are we really?” Several further setting switches later, including a return to Serenity Base and its homicidal occupants, as well as a genuinely disturbing portrayal of Nameless literally tearing off Darius’ face in front of the entrepreneur’s daughter, and it is impossible to understand what has and hasn’t really happened; especially as the author’s ending suggests that the moon has been partially destroyed by the gigantic space prison crashing in to it. Yet simultaneously the book’s protagonist has been shot dead by “Milady” on Earth!?!

Far less indecipherable, though easily as nauseating as the storyline in places, is Chris Burnham’s wonderfully detailed pencils. The American artist’s panels which illustrate numerous acts of bodily mutilation and sexual depravity are as worrisome as they are finely drawn. Yet it is the “Batman Incorporated” sketcher’s incredibly vivid rendering of the Titan’s capturing “their one and only prisoner of war” which is perhaps the only reason why this comic is worth buying.
Words: Grant Morrison, Art: Chris Burnham, and Colors: Nathan Fairbairn

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