- Writer: Grant Morrison
- Artist: Chris Burnham
- Published by: Image
- Pages: 20, Publish Date: March 4, 2015
- Notes: Monthly series
“On a former U.S. moonbase, kept secret since the Cold War, a terrible key unlocks an ancient box and a last-ditch plan is drafted to save humanity from the doomsday asteroid Xibalba— but is it already too late? The nightmare intensifies in MORRISON & BURNHAM’s apocalyptic occult horror epic!”
Personal Thoughts (minor spoilers):
For this second issue. the Grant Morrison, Chris Burham team do not disappoint. They deliver well, this fresh yet disturbing violence, mysterious, apocalyptic wtf puzzle epic. What does it all mean? Well with Grant and a fitting artist by his side; this means dedicated readers will have to endure, then backtrack a number of times.
I particularly like how the second issue builds upon itself before carrying the story forward to higher stages, with the first issue as a kind of prequel. We open up with the full group, set out to save the Earth. A bold step, then becomes driven to duty enough to ignore some ominous signs of danger, including a very grisly murder and some self-mutilation of a madwoman and her blood-soaked message. Or group, with our Mr. Nameless (as he soon called) protagonist put some pieces together opening up for new mysteries.
I am not so much bothered by the occasional gore, but to where all this is going. We have an established group of explorers destined to mostly suffer and lose; reminiscent to the great spacey sci-fi tales with mystery horror elements, including Alien, Event Horizon, 2001 a Space Odyssey.
That being said, the Enochian, Marduk, Xiabalba, Ixaxaar, etc. terms have new meanings from their ancient mythological cultural rots. I find it best to ignore and pass these ancient connections for just names that tie our ancient superstitions and fears into reality. Still, I look them up anyway to better understand Grant Morrison’s thinking before I reread his work at least 5 more times to gain a better grasp of his unique style and thinking on each story.
What I found is extra good material to study in my spare time. For example, John Dee, a 16th century advisor to Queen Elizabeth; known for his life devotion to science and magic, leading to some fitting story developments involving both. Dee’s life story is interesting for the occult enthusiasts like myself, that if not revealing to the story, certainly adds some X-Files style intrigue (where the fantastic is based on some explored “evidence.”).
So we have new developments, and a set-up for the greater story to come. The cover from the first issue is now explained, as their suits don protection symbols from probable occult threats. Whatever could work, right? Well, it seems by the end, our crew is ill-prepared for the horror to come. I like where the story ends, where our crew is literally breaking through the surface of this mystery now.
Love the art again, as it brilliant sets the tone of darkness, yet strange cartoonishness of the series. The sequential moments are consistent, with balanced tone throughout the book between mystery and discovery. I feel with every move deeper, I am more excited to see what’s to come for this series. Not just in story revelations, but in the brilliant visuals as well.
So, what’s next? I look forward..
– Orion T