Story: Grant Morrison
Art: Chris Burnham, Nathan Fairbairn
What They Say:
As the exploration of vast structures on the surface of the asteroid Xibalba begins, more nightmarish secrets of a prehistoric cosmic war come crawling into the light. What soul-destroying truth lies buried in Xibalba’s immense tunnel network? What malignancies lie dreaming there? What is human? And what is NOT?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The asteroid is shaped like a skull. This does not bode well for our adventurous group of space travelers. Ignoring every rational thought in their psyches, these people are hell bent on exploring this asteroid to harvest the secrets of a forgotten civilization. I don’t need to tell you things go horribly wrong.
Nameless #3 starts off with a vague explanation of the asteroid’s purpose. The rock is a prison, made during the time of war between angels and who knows what else. Morrison and Burnham work together to ensure the reader is completely overwhelmed by the idea of this thing. Can you even imagine what sort of monster could be held inside of a planet destroying rock? Well luckily, we never get even a brief glimpse of what the true villain of Nameless could be.
So far in Nameless, the Cthulhu influences have been minor compared to this issue. Yeah there were crazy people writing things on the walls with the blood of their families, but that has become a staple in horror. Morrison shows in this issue that he knows what makes the mythos such a terrifying horror genre. It’s the unknowable threat which consumes the hearts of innocent people, transforming them into terrifying beasts because they dared to tread too close to true knowledge.
Nameless #3 epitomizes the themes Lovecraft wrote about years ago when he first created the mythos by updated these themes for this modern story. You, the reader I mean, just don’t know what is truly after Nameless and the crew, and that unknown is more terrifying than showing the creature behind the curtain. We get a glimpse at its power, such as when it infects technology with bizarre monster flesh, but never the reason why it’s coming to earth.
The art creates an immense scale, using full page spreads to their fullest potential. Our heroes observe the asteroid through three drones named Moe, Larry and Curly. When Burnham draws one of these spreads, you see three tiny green dots in the panel. Those dots are the drones. I have not seen art used in such an effective way to reinforce the scale of a location. Soon, the drones return and everything just goes to hell. I don’t want to spoil the rest of the book, mostly because the later half of the book is really hard to explain in words. Just trust me, it gets crazy when a single red drone returns.
This is the best issue of Nameless so far. The creators throw every high concept at you, creating a book that is a cryptic masterpiece of gore and subtle unease. This book makes you feel uncomfortable, both about the fate of the characters and what is truly lurking in the darkness. Pick it up and have a look, you won’t be disappointed.
If you are unconvinced, even after reading the last two issues, I have a suggestion. Buy this book or pick it up in your local comic shop, and flip to the last page. Seeing that final page will either convince you to read the rest of this series, or you will never again pick up another issue of Nameless. Fair warning, that final page is gruesome, so make sure no one is looking over your shoulder. Burnham put everything into that final page, and even I have a hard time looking at it. I can’t even begin to try describing this page because I’m pretty sure my computer would catch on fire. The book is open to that final page right now as I write this, just to remind me why Nameless is brilliant in its horror and gore…
You are among us in XIBALBA.
Morrison unleashes the true horrors from its dark prison in Nameless #3. Our crew explores the asteroid, though they should be afraid what might find them inside the rocky prison. The story continues to twist and turn, always keeping you guessing, and the gory art is dialed up to Shoggoth. Everything culminates in that final page, which will either excite your imagination, or terrify your soul.
Age Rating: 18+
Released By: Image Comics
Release Date: April 8th, 2015