Comics Reading Review: Nameless #5


Nameless (#5)

  • Writer: Grant Morrison
  • Artist: Chris Burnham
  • Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
  • Published by: Image
  • Pages: 31, Publish Date: September 23, 2015
  • Notes: Monthly series, after a few months break since #4


“The soul-destroying origin story of the man known only as ‘Nameless’ is uncovered in all its horror. What caused ‘Nameless’ to surrender his identity? What are the sickening secrets of the Razor House Project? And what went wrong in there? On the eve of extinction, all is finally revealed?”

Personal Thoughts (minor spoilers):

Finally some answers, after a few months break since issue #4.

And once again, a deceptive return to normalcy, as if the last issue was a bad dream. What happened? Well, everything went wrong and nightmarish results happened upon as the world nears its doom. But we put that aside for a focus on the central character, finally.  Who is Nameless? We get that from a deep confession in a flashback story involving more occultist curiosity and cosmic mystery.

That story is a dark tale of bad expectations, involving the “Razor House.” There is much amusement one could gather for the set-up for everything that could go possibly wrong with what we have here; a sort of unholy séance to reach an absurd otherworldly level and cosmic answers to what lies ahead. Yet, there are warning signs; prior tales of murder and insanity, some lost mythologies talk, John Dee, strange science, the “key to the doors to hell.” Throw in a motley crew of the humans brought together, by a man we know from earlier issues to not be particularly trusted. What could possibly go wrong?


Well, we get some results in pretty horrific graphic imagery with Mr. Nameless at the center. Our imaginations take a turn for the worse as the past connects to the present. Nameless develops a murderous nature, brought about some contact with a godlike entity. He is a conduit now to a darker realm connected to the Xibalba rock, to which I think is the reason he is being left alive. It’s really hard to tell, unless I read this and past issues a few more times (and perhaps an explanation from Grant Morrison himself).

I love the writing of Grant Morrison, when developing character. He takes these twists and turns on them, and keeps you thinking harder on who his central characters really are. There are light and dark aspects of each. The light aspects would be his innocence and moral conscious on his development, I think. The darkest aspect of Nameless and the series sharing his name, is a loss of control of his self and how he deals with it. But I wonder, just how far can that loss of control take Nameless in surviving this ordeal, before he develops some mental defense.

The sequential art as usual is superb, as I have become an even bigger fan of Chris Burnham since Batman Incorporated. Here, he does a fantastic job of twisting our sense of balance with some playful use of shapes and falling slopes in his panel frames; especially toward the end where all hell breaks loose. I also liked how in some earlier panels, he uses a different time frame in some backgrounds to show a different and horrifying turn of events.

Once again, not disappointing on mixing horror and imagination to tell an interesting story (but still an undone puzzle). Though, it’s not a satisfying story as we question Nameless, or what will happen to him. I can only hope that involves some control and a sense of sanity to Grant Morrison’s insanity play. I can only hope.

Orion T

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