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Nameless #2

by Kalem Lalonde on March 03, 2015

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Chris Burnham

Grant Morrison is a writer that deliberately confuses his readers with obfuscated dialogue and insanely complex concepts that will bend most people’s minds. Nameless #1 contained that, but it certainly felt toned down. Nameless #2 on the other hand was a comic filed with confusing exposition. But that isn’t to say that it’s a bad book, it’s actually great. But you might have to read it a few times to get piece together the clues and make as much sense as possible can out of it.

What strikes the most about Nameless in this issue is how unique this story is. Grant Morrison mixes high-concept ideas with terrifying horror elements and makes it all feel cohesive. The horror element of this series continues to impress due to its mysteries and powerful visuals. You could easily confuse this book for a science-fiction story, which it is, but Morrison makes the horror standout and feel like the foundation of the story.

Which is strongly emphasized in this issue, where Morrison develops a clearer sense of where this story is headed. Though, we definitely have no idea where the story will take us in the end. He also establishes a claustrophobic aura and even creates a mythology behind all of this. His exposition is rather brief as he evidently doesn’t want to reveal too much about the story just yet but it did feel like a little too much at times. The story didn’t go very far this issue even though I feel like a dose of exposition was necessary. This makes for a bit of a slow read this month, for an issue that will read much better in trade.

In terms of character, our protagonist Nameless really elevated this comic and stands as the main reason I’ll be coming back to this comic. He’s just such an awesome and unique character. He’s extremely rebellious, profane and smart. He’s just the right man for his job as occult consultant and leading man.

Unfortunately though, this can’t be said for the rest of the cast. Morrison takes a lot of time delving into exposition and creating mystery, here and forget to develop any of the supporting characters all that much.
Which is unfortunate because in a horror story, you always feel more tension when you care for the characters. I feel like throughout this series people will die and I will just brush off their deaths as I’m turning the page. Morrison has the chops to quickly define characters very well and it’s a little unfortunate that he didn’t do so this issue. Hopefully next issue will explores the human element of this comic more but I don’t see that happening since this story is extremely plot-driven.

Just like last issue, Chris Burnham impresses with his dynamic and meticulous art. I had never read any of his comics before but I know for a fact that I will be following this artist for a long time. His character designs are amazing, with the perfect amount of detail put into face and body. On top of his great human element, Burnham is able to convey the scale of this epic extremely well. And let’s not forgot how frightening his art can be, as well. Chris Burnham really brings his A-game to this book where he fits right in and bolsters the comic with every panel.

If you’re a Grant Morrison fan, you’re obviously picking this series up. And I doubt that you’re regretting your purchase. Nameless is comic that is driven by a complex and enigmatic plot that will most likely blow our minds once it reaches its conclusion. But we aren’t near that point yet. This is a book for readers for are looking for long-term payoff. Which isn’t to say that the set-up isn’t great, but it definitely takes its time. I’m eager to see where this story is headed and with Chris Burnham to bring it to life, it will look fantastic every step of the way.  

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