What I thought of Nameless #4

Thoughts about #1, #2 and #3.

Nameless-4Last issue saw the shit splatter all over the fan. The crew trying to stop asteroid Xibala from smashing into Earth have seen their spaceship destroyed, their colleagues killed and possessed and things look bleak to say the least.

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This is probably the best issue so far of Grant Morrison’s venture into horror and on the whole it’s an effective little issue that plays with dream, reality and some old dark horrors. Yes it feels like Morrison’s ‘inspired’ by Garth Ennis and in particular, his work on Crossed. As much as this feels like Morrison going over old ground and nicking bits and bobs from other writers, it is a good read and it is a nice horror comic but it’s still not Morrison on peak form.

What I thought of Nameless #3

Thoughts about #1 and #2.

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The thing is about Nameless is that it’s not a bad comic, it’s actually quite alright, but it’s just a odd mix of what is obviously a film script/treatment (or at least has one eye on that) and Morrison’s usual themes. This issue at least finally takes us into the mysterious asteroid that threatens all life on Earth.

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This issue takes a few beats from Prometheus as the crew use drones to investigate the depths of this asteroid and they discover the remnants of an alien civilisation designed to be in a state of perpetual war. The further they go they discover this is a prison ship designed to hold the worst prisoners in this war and once they discover this things go very, very badly wrong.

I’ve been quite harsh on this comic til now, but it has frankly fannyed around as this issue really is one of the best things Morrison’s written in some time. It’s an effective SF/horror story that although it borrows from the aforementioned Prometheus, not to mention a massive chunk of Event Horizon, actually starts developing it’s own direction. It’s a cracking issue and hopefully sets the next issues up well as this is Morrison telling a story in simple (though never simplistic) ways and with Chris Burnham’s effective art, this is a comic worth picking up.

What I thought of Nameless #2

Thoughts about #1.

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I didn’t really think that the first issue of Grant Morrison’s latest comic was especially bad, but I didn’t think it was especially good, though there were signs that perhaps Morrison was trying to do something different for the first time in a while. Issue two is much of the same  in that we’ve got the usual Morrison things of an alienated loner as the only person that could save the planet, strange secret organisations, hi-tech space adventure, Lovecraftian horror and Glaswegianisms.

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The problem is that it’s too cinematic, too obviously designed to be adapted into a film which is really something that’s a bloody pain in the arse with far too many comics in the mainstream these days.

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This said, Nameless is incredibly readable mainly because although Morrison may be treading water these days, he can still turn a good story and Nameless is a good little story. Pity that it really isn’t something that isn’t going over Morrison’s past ground.

What I thought of Nameless #1

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.