There wasn’t much needed to draw me into buying this book. Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham doing a creator owned book together, with Fairbairn on colors? You can’t put this book in my hands fast enough. From the team that brought us some of the best and crazy Batman stories of all time, Nameless does not disappoint at any point.
Think of Morrison’s ideas from Batman Inc; the crazy Spyral architecture and structure and Leviathan being a global, child driven cult, more or less destroying the world. As off the wall that book was, this is basically the no holds barred, balls to the wall ideas that Morrison continues to wow with. Basically, the main character, the Nameless, is attempt to steal a Dream Key, but only enough so he can sketch it in reality and have it printed off a 3-D printer. Morrison takes the ideas of a dream reality, which is a fabled idea to say the least, and brings it to the here and now with the 3-D printing angle. In going on to discover there earth is doomed from an asteroid impact, marked with a strange marking meaning it’s the door to the anti-universe, Morrison and Co. is basically grabbing you by the neck and pulling you on a high speed journey here, that you can’t run away from. In discovering the name of the asteroid is Xibalba, we see Morrison weave Mayan mythology and lore into the with ease, only adding more and more to go off on in the future.
All that being said, the world made in this dreamland is just as crazy. There are these people with Angler Fish heads chasing Nameless, who stole a key from a veiled woman with some sort of parasite attached. Even with that description, there’s no justice until you see it and read it on the page. I didn’t go by one panel without examining every bit, wondering how that will come into play in the future of this story. This book seems like the Invisibles and Doom Patrol, but in a new age, with new drugs and new trips. Morrison continues to reinvent and reestablish himself as the best creator in the medium.
Sweet Jesus, this art is incredible. Burnham takes the hyper detail approach and off the wall whacky style we know from him and puts it on speed. The panel layouts in this book are incredibly unique and engaging, not allowing you to look away. On top of that, the panel to panel storytelling is spot on, making what could be a convoluted narrative from Morrison easy to understand for everyone, eliminating any excuse to say this story is “not accessible enough”. The dream world gives the impression that anything is possible, and that every turn of a corner can yield to something like Angler fish with guns, or what appears to be a worm like creature with a penis for a head and a vagina for a tail; or visa-versa. Also, Nathan Faribairn needs to be considered the cream of the crop when it comes to colors, having nailed highlight as well as the palettes for both reality and the dream world. While reality is muted, there’s still a sense of this high tension that we get in the dream world, and allows for Morrison and Burnham to potentially leak the two into each other.
On the whole, this issue might be one of the most re readable first issues I’ve ever encountered. Having already read it three times, I can assure you that each read will shed new light on this work, which is incredibly engaging and off the wall. I need issue two, right now.
5 s**** raining down out of 5