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Nameless #1

    Ian Jane

  • Nameless #1

    Nameless #1
    Released by: Image Comics
    Released on: February 4th, 2015.
    Written by: Grant Morrison
    Illustrated by: Chris Burnham
    Purchase From Amazon

    The first issue of this new series from Image Comics deals in some dark subject matter right from there very first page where we learn of a man who killed his family and then put the pictures up on Facebook. As the cops pull him out of the house he yells out “ZIROM TRIAN IPAM IPAMIS,” those words also scrawled in blood on the walls near some arcane symbols.

    From here we see a man approach the ruins of an old temple where he grabs a key and is then chased out by a woman dressed in a veil. He runs through the nearby jungle marsh and is then shocked to see a group of warrior fishmen emerge from the bog. Is it a dream? He wakes up and finds himself surrounded by those same fishmen who are brandishing guns and referring to him as 'the prick with no name.' They put 'nameless' in a shopping cart and take him to what's left of a botanical garden. Here he learns that the 'veiled lady' wishes to speak with him about things to come.

    She accuses him of trying to steal the 'dream key of Nan Samwohl' which she tells him is a key to an empty box. We learn how he gave up his name so no one would have power over him and how the entire universe is 'in this room.' Things are getting trippy and weird already, and he proves through actions and words alike that he's more powerful than she realized. He takes the key and fights his way out into the streets and, still clad in his underwear, he hops a bus, pulling a coin out of his own ear to pay the fare. There's fishmen here too.

    In the 'real world' he's bound and tossed by the fishmen from their boat into a lake. Before he can drown he's rescued by a woman named Sofia and two men. When he wakes up he draws the key before it leaves his memory so that they can make a copy with a 3-D printer. These people then introduce him to a billionaire named Paul Darius who explains to him that the symbol we saw scrawled in blood at the beginning of the story is the door to the 'anti-universe' or as he calls it, The Gate Of Az. This symbol also appears on the side of a huge asteroid currently hurtling towards Earth… Darius wants nameless' help. His expertise in the occult could prove invaluable and refusal is not an option.

    It's not entirely clear where all of this is going at this point, but Morrison's story is bizarre enough that most readers will want to find out. Nameless is very much a man of mystery at this point, though hints are dropped towards the end of the issue about his background and why it may tie into his wanting to go along with Darius' team… even if he really doesn't want to go along with Darius' team at all. Amidst all this madness and mystery and highbrow doomsday scenarios is Morrison's knack for black humor. We get this not only in nameless' witty retorts to various characters but from some of the scenarios themselves as well. Fishmen are kind of absurd, after all.

    Complementing the writing quite nicely is the artwork from Chris Burnham. His style is nicely detailed and at times reminiscent of Moebius' work on Blueberry. That's a good thing. He draws the human characters well but just as importantly does some impressive things with creature design and panel layout as well. The illustrations are just as trippy as the writing, and Nathan Fairbairn's coloring works in tandem with Burnham's drawing quite perfectly. This series is off to an interesting start, and while we don't get any answers in this first issue (Why should we? It's a first issue!) it stands to reason that they'll come and there's every reason to come back here for the next installment once it's available.
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