Nameless is the new horror comic from Grant Morrison and artist Chris Burnham. The synopsis is as follows…
An astronomer kills his family, then himself, leaving a cryptic warning.
A Veiled Lady hunts her victims through human nightmares.
An occult hustler known only as ‘Nameless’ is recruited by a consortium of billionaire futurists for a desperate mission.
And the malevolent asteroid Xibalba spins closer on a collision course with Earth.
But nothing is what it seems-a terrifying inhuman experiment is about to begin.
Abandon all hope and experience ultimate horror in NAMELESS.
I’ve been saying that Morrison needs to drop not only writing the same things about superheroes, but perhaps get out his comfort zone by exploring new ideas, and to an extent Nameless does this, but Morrison doesn’t quite stay out of his comfort zone for long. The other thing hung round Morrison’s neck are the accusations he liberally borrows writing styles from other writers, most notably Alan Moore, but in this case perhaps Morrison should send Warren Ellis a cheque as this could easily be one of those SF/Horror strips Ellis bangs out for Avatar whenever he needs the mortgage paid, though Morrison’s comic is better than some of those, it’s not entirely convincing.
Yet the bits that shine in this are the bits where Morrison exposes himself in barely hidden autobiographical snippets sneaked into Nameless that shows his possible mindset in writing this. This panel especially gives a bit away.
Morrison’s said in interviews that he finds the world since the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington in 2001 something he can’t come to terms with because of the sheer horror of those attacks. It’s not an uncommon feeling among people but it also shows perhaps a previous reluctance to accept the horrors of the world until it more or less dropped in his lap via television on 9/11.
The other thing is that Nameless is set in Glasgow, Morrison’s home city. Though most of the time in this first issue it’s in part of a very odd and nightmarish dream reality.
Nameless is a odd mismatch of a comic that’s mixing SF, the occult and horror but it’s the little snippets of Morrison himself that shine in this comic that frankly, isn’t doing anything too different from the sort of material Morrison’s done in the past but there’s perhaps signs in this that Morrison realises that the superhero comic isn’t helping him develop his obvious talents, and that trying to do something at least different from somewhere in himself is better than yet again hacking out a Batman story where he beats everyone.
I’ll be picking this up purely to see where it goes and how Morrison develops it as it might be his first really quality work in some time.