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Nameless #1

by Kalem Lalonde on February 03, 2015

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Chris Burnham

I think that Grant Morrison could be the most beloved writer in all of comics today. He’s such a wise, brilliant and weird man who translates his personality directly into his comics. I haven’t read many Morrison comics but I am a huge fan of his nonetheless so Nameless #1 was a no-question purchase. The idea of Morrison writing a horror comic alone was intriguing to me because I haven’t read anything of his that resembles horror. But if Nameless #1 has proven me anything, it’s that Grant is quite the versatile writer. Is anyone surprised that Nameless #1 is a great comic? 

From the first page of this issue, I was completely onboard with the horror aspect of this comic. I was frightened by the events that Morrison was exploring and even felt my stomach churn. It’s one of the most gruesome and horrifying ideas I’ve seen in comics and instantaneously set the tone for the story to come. Though, it did stray a little from its horror roots in the subsequent pages.

The first sequence is a chase scene that was rather confusing upon my first read in a very Morrison-esque fashion. He uses a mystical realm of dreams to keep the action going, which perplexed me due to the lack of exposition. But, the contents of this issue aren’t unfathomable. Morrison gives you enough hints to piece together the story elements he wants you to understand rather deliberately. It adds a rewarding aspect to a reading experience where you have to pay close attention and read it a few times to truly understand.

Then, the final segment of this comic begins. This segment consists mostly of exposition about the future plot-line to come, but Morrison retains his obfuscate dialogue in order to keep us guessing where the story is headed. This was certainly a strong scene because it helped build our awesome protagonist, while setting up the intriguing story to come but it did feel a tad disjointed from the first part of the issue. Whereas there, Morrison was exploring ideas about dreams through an intense action scene, here, he started going into space and governments. I simply didn’t feel like I was reading the same comic despite the references to the past.

My favourite aspect of this issue, though was not anything that had to do with plot or tone. It was our main protagonist, Nameless. This guy is AWESOME. Extremely intelligent, witty and profane, he has enough personality to carry the comic on his shoulder without depth. But Morrison isn’t one to exclude depth. There are great hints at his shady backstory that sounds incredibly compelling. I’m eager to see where the story takes our protagonist.

This is my first exposure to Chris Burnham’s and I’ve got to say, I’m beyond impressed. Burnham’s style reminds me of the incredible Frank Quitely. He resembles the master artist, as well, in terms of the impressive amount of detail he puts into each page. But where Burnham snatched a spot amongst artists that make me want to buy a book no matter its writing quality, was in his unique layouts. Panel that’s seamlessly transitions into each and original circular page composition made a comic a visual treat that’s worth the price of admission alone. 

Nameless #1 brings the great quality you would expect from a comic by Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham. We’re introduced a typically complex and confusing plot, through the eyes of a fantastic protagonist. Though I have my issues with this book, I am already invested in this story and haven’t questioned once whether I should purchase the second issue. Grant Morrison is on to something here and I don’t doubt that with each coming issue, I will appreciate the full story more. 

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