The one thing that I have always loved about comic books is how an author or artist can take an idea, possibly even one that has been around for a long time, and make it effectively their own adding a new layer to a familiar story that enhances and evolves the entire medium. It has gone on for years before I was born and more than likely it will continue long after I am finished on this planet. I see it daily when a hero gets a reboot, a plot gets a new edge, or a story or character comes out of the public domain and is reinvented. To me, that is simply awesome and I love when I can catch a glimpse of true creativity submitted through the pages in the graphic form, saying “Wow that rocked!!!” Of course, for every good, unique, and original idea of an old story or character, there are quite a few bad ones too. One where the writer or artist just doesn’t push anything or rock the boat to make something truly magnificent. These types of comics can be at their best average and pedestrian. Or at worst, just god awful. I hate to see either of these types of comics occur as there are such a wealth of writing and artistic talent in the industry today where this should never happen. Still it does, and I guess that it is just the nature of the beast.
In reading now the third issue of the Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham horror opus Nameless, I thus far have seen improvement from the first issue and even some improvement from the second issue too. But nothing in either this new issue or the previous ones haven’t quite shown me that something unique and extraordinary is at play. And it is not necessarily that I mind reading something that I have seen in some way, shape, or form before that bugs me. It is when I am aware of seeing something similar in some way shape or form as I am reading that has an adverse effect on me. Nameless currently is like that.
Nameless #3 is the best issue of the mini-series to date however. We find in this issue our team reaching the asteroid/bomb (you can decide for yourself) that has some sort of ancient symbol on it and is rapidly hurling itself toward the Earth millions of years after an ancient battle between good and evil was fought. This throwback remained and is now back in play. This cosmic event has put some powerful people here at home on notice and a crack team has been assembled from some of the finest specialists in their fields of study combined to attack the threat from all angles. Included in this group is one man called Nameless who has a keen understanding in the occult and supernatural world who just might be the x-factor in stopping this threat which has several dark elements in it. But that is for another issue.
Currently, the team has made it to the asteroid and some eerie things seem to be on display. For one, this asteroid has what unmistakenly are structures on it that just do not seem to be a coincidence to what is happening. Something is up and our team’s initial exploration and subsequent encounter with this hunk of super powered supernatural rock is prominent throughout the issue. The events that occur not only place our team in peril. It looks like the planet may be in some serious trouble too, even with this intervention. We shall see.
As I said, Nameless #3 has been the best issue to date in the series. Grant Morrison’s writing has picked up the pace and has placed less emphasis on all of the shock and awe he had earlier and he has returned to a suspense building mode which plays well as our team enters into this new and unknown dark territory.
Chris Burnham’s art remains spot on and he has really added a nice enhancement to a series that has not quite dazzled me with anything amazing as of yet, outside of his art. It really carries the story and his images instill a strong level of creepiness to it that works for what this tale is trying to become; an original supernatural tale in deep space.
And their lies the problem. Supernatural and horror in space tales have been done and done better than what is being delivered here right now. I have seen this story before. The first issue felt completely recycled, but issues two and three also feel like something that has been rendered. I do not think any new or unknown area has been hit yet that would make this a horror tale for the ages. For all of the talent that oozes in this creative team, I simply don’t think things have been taken over making it stand out. It has been done before straight up. And unless something changes, I fear that this non uniqueness is all we may get in this mini-series.
Now I am hoping that is not the case. And events at the end of the issue put a nice set up where creativity can flow greatly (maybe). Naturally, I am hopeful to see things come around. As for now though, I am just ok with my enjoyment of this comic. I had high expectations, but those expectations have yet to be met for me. But maybe just maybe, through the art of Burnham with the hope for more from Morrison, I think I can safely say that this series might be able to hold interest and even entertain. I just need to stop thinking that I have seen this somewhere before. But for now, that is where we are.