Archive for Nameless

Hello, Kitty


Hellboy in Hell #8

Hellboy must be cured of the condition that’s causing him to waste away, and he needs to contend with the giant monster version of Dr. Coppelius, who wants to kill Dr. Hoffman — the only man who can cure Hellboy. Hoffman manages to trap Coppelius in the body of a dead cat — but at that point, you’ve got a giant vengeful dead cat, which isn’t much of an improvement. Once Coppelius is vanquished, Hoffman is able to reveal that the Furies themselves are after Hellboy, claiming that he spilled his family’s blood. But it turns out he’s innocent — his demonic half-sister is to blame. Who gets punished now?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A very fun story with Mike Mignola’s always great art. Loved the depiction of the Furies — a trio of monstrous buzzing green flies.


Red Sonja #18

The mad empress still wants the librarians’ spire burned down, and Sonja has committed herself to protecting them. While they wait, the librarian-priestesses read her stories from their books. In time, Sonja learns that the Empress has sent her Vipers — three vastly skilled and terribly cruel assassins. She’s heard of all three — she figures she might be able to take down two of them, but not all three. So what’s to be done? Will evil finally prevail?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A brutal and action-packed story — and a reminder that while Sonja is a devil of a warrior, she also has more brains and heart than anyone ever gives her credit for. This may be Gail Simone’s final story in this series, but I hope whoever takes over keeps up the high quality tales.


Nameless #5

Against the backdrop of a high-tech seance held in a gloriously eerie haunted house, we learn more (or do we?) about the monstrous and infinite power of Xibalba, and about the horrible past and present of the man called Nameless. Who are Nameless’s enemies? Who are his allies? What hope can there be when God is an impossibly sadistic alien serial killer?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Half the time, I didn’t even know what was going on — but I still loved every minute. It’s creepy, gory, quiet, apocalyptic horror, and the series is still worth reading and enjoying.

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Closed for the Apocalypse


Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #9

Well, foo. It looks like the final issue of this series.

The Mighty Avengers have lost the legal right to call themselves “Avengers” — that’s the problem with having a half-dozen superteams that all call themselves some variation of the Avengers, right? They’re still kicking around new names — Luke Cage and Jessica Jones’ daughter Danielle is partial to “Friend Force” — when they learn that the worst-case scenario has come to pass. Earth has one hour to live unless they can either find a way to work with the Ultimate Marvel universe to find a solution or destroy them — and it looks like destroying them may be the better option, since the Ultimate universe is attacking them with helicarriers.

Monica Rambeau makes a really good effort to blow the Ultimate Earth apart by hitting them as an energy particle traveling at the speed of light — but she loses her nerve because she can’t bring herself to destroy billions of lives. The rest of the issue focuses on superheroes trying to win the battle, trying to win their own personal battles, or just making peace with those around them — and we also meet plenty of normal people who are going through the same struggles. Is there anything that can save the Earth?

Verdict: Thumbs up. There’s a little cosmic superheroism and a lot of street-level superheroism and a decent amount of normal people getting by, which always seemed like something this comic did pretty well. I’m disappointed the series is being cancelled — there are a lot of good characters in here who are a lot of fun to read, and I hope they all land in some new comics after Secret Wars wraps up.


Harrow County #2

Emmy has stolen away a haint’s skin — looks just like a skinned boy, and it can move around a little and talk a bit, and it’s thoroughly creepy. She hides him in her dresser drawer and discovers that all the scratches she’d gotten in the brambles have already healed up. But the townspeople are suspicious, and the haint’s skin is able to tell what the rest of it can hear. It eavesdrops on the people at the burned-out oak, and Emmy learns that they’re going to kill her because they think she’s the reincarnation of a murderous witch. Can Emmy escape, even with help from a friend?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Gloriously spooky and eerie. Wonderful characterization. Fantastic art, too. If you love horror comics — and classic rural horror stories — this comic is something you’ll want to read.


Nameless #4

The man called only Nameless is undergoing a host of nightmares — falling down an endless chasm, being chased my living, madness-inducing froth in an immense meteor, being dismembered by space monsters, living through an alien invasion that drives everyone murderously insane. But they’re just nightmares, right? Is one of them real? Are all of them real?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Mind-cracking horror with mercilessly detailed artwork. Man, I love Grant Morrison writing superhero stories, but this reads like he’s enjoying it more than he’s enjoyed anything in a long time.

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Everyone’s Going Cosmic


Captain Marvel #14

This is all the way into chapter 11 of the X-Men/Guardians of the Galaxy “Black Vortex” crossover, so it’s a pretty good guess we don’t know what the heck is going on. Basically, there’s this ancient artifact called the Black Vortex — it’s been lost for millennia but has finally showed up again. Basically, it’s a big mirror, and it shows you what you’d be like with insanely powerful cosmic powers — on a level with the Silver Surfer — and if you like what you see, it’ll turn you into an insanely powerful cosmic supervillain, because power corrupts, and absolute power makes you absolutely crazy. Beast, Angel, and Gamora have already grabbed at the shot for ultimate power (We see them in just one panel in this issue), and with other villains trying to get their hands on the mirror, Captain Marvel whisks it away into space in an attempt to keep it safe.

Well, first, if you ever decide to fly to outer space to keep something safe from cosmic supervillains, maybe you don’t understand how cosmic supervillains really work, ’cause sure enough, Carol doesn’t get three pages into the story before one of the bad guys shoots her with ray guns. From there, it’s a wild battle to keep the villains from killing her and taking the mirror away — but once Carol finally catches a glimpse of how powerful she could be in the mirror, will the battle be all over?

Verdict: Thumbs down. Getting in on the very middle of a crossover for just one issue, when no one knows what the heck is going on? And when the only interesting cosmic villains — Beast, Angel, and Gamora — aren’t in the story at all? And when none of the other crossover players are present either? And Carol handled these three or four cosmic-powered baddies incredibly easily, considering that people on the Silver Surfer’s power level should’ve mopped the floor with Carol. No, sorry, this one is a stinker.


Astro City #22

A character we’ve seen periodically in the background of other stories is Starfighter, a cosmic superhero who had his glory days in the ’70s — and a stylin’ ’70s ‘stache, too. Nowadays, he doesn’t look much like a superhero. He’s Duncan Keller, an aging hippie who writes science fiction novels — but he still finds time to use his slowly fading cosmic powers to visit his wife Illula and his two kids Trill and Artie on their homeworld of Jarranatha. Duncan reminisces about his past and worries about his powers — and he learns that there’s more to life than being a superhero.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A fantastic story by Kurt Busiek, with strong roots on Earth and in outer space — and fantastic artwork by guest artist Jesus Merino, who gives Duncan the face of a man who’s lived hard but isn’t sorry — and isn’t finished either. Like just about every issue of “Astro City,” I would love to read more and more stories about Duncan Keller and his family.


Nameless #3

Nameless and the rest of the crew of the exploratory ship are busy checking out the monstrous asteroid Xibalba, but things are going weird — or at least weirder than they expected. Their robot drones aren’t responding the way they expected and soon stop broadcasting. The massive door they opened reveals even more massive stairs. Their benefactors have gone violently insane. And the monsters in the basement of the universe are about to drag everyone into their horrific torture chambers.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Ye gods, this is creepy as hell. Oh, yes, bloody and violent and chock-full of creative disfigurements. But the creepiness is fantastically well done. I hope you’re reading this one, horror fans.

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The Terror from Beyond Space


Nameless #2

Nameless tries to get adjusted to visiting the moon and devising some mystic protection for a bunch of astronauts who don’t believe in magic. There’s a giant deadly asteroid on the way to destroy Earth in just one month — and if that task weren’t momentous enough, there are plenty more troubles going on. One of the personnel has been murdered — beheaded — by another astronaut who’s gone completely insane and is babbling in Enochian, the language of the angels, according to John Dee. What is the monstrous asteroid? Where — and when — did it come from? And why do the astronauts’ benefactors all mysteriously have the flu?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wonderfully creepy horror that combines near-future sci-fi and more Lovecraftian themes. Grand art by Christ Burnham — and it’s fun to watch Grant Morrison flex his esoteric horror muscles again.


Revival #28

Em, Tao, and Blaine have finally found Aaron Weimar, Em’s former college professor lover and the father of her possibly undead baby — unfortunately, he’s even more undead than Em is. He’s been floating upside down in a tank of contaminated water for a month or two. He doesn’t have a lot of mind left, but Em is able to use a reviver mind-meld technique to get an idea of how Aaron may have helped bring the revival to Wisconsin in the first place. Meanwhile, crazy teabagging terrorist-wannabe Edmond Holt has kidnapped Dana and is working on a scheme to cause some widespread murder and mayhem in town.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nice to see our first hints about what might’ve caused the revival in the first place, even if they’re vague and a bit hallucinatory. And as always, wonderful storytelling by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton.

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Horror in Space


Nameless #1

Seems like it’s been a while since we saw Grant Morrison do a straight horror comic, and that’s what he’s got for us now, with Chris Burnham contributing the artwork. We’re looking at a pre-apocalyptic world, where cult symbols and dream horrors are bringing about murders and suicides as some people slowly grasp that something monstrous is on the way. Our lead character is a man called Nameless — he’s given up his real name so no one can get magical power over him. He specializes in invading dreams and stealing things inside — and he’s got his sights on a special Dream Key, which is guarded by the ominous Veiled Lady and her minions in anglerfish masks. He evades them, he gets captured, he evades them and gets recaptured, and when he finally gets away and turns in a 3d-printable design of the Dream Key, he meets his benefactor and learns what this is all about: Earth has one month to live, and Nameless has to become a mystic astronaut to help prevent it.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wonderful, weird, disturbing, fun stuff. Burnham’s art is fantastic, and Morrison turns in one heck of a mind-tripping horror story…


American Vampire: Second Cycle #6

Pearl Jones, Skinner Sweet, and Calvin Poole head for the last known hideout of the Vassals of the Morning Star, but get ambushed and captured by a trio of exotic vampires who bring them to meet the Vassals. Our heroes tell them they’ve met the Gray Trader, and the Vassals reveal that the Trader used to be called the Great Traitor — a human hero who joined the most evil of the vampires to become its protector and agent. The Russians know the Trader’s master, the Beast, is about to emerge and make war on the living world, and they’re willing to start dropping nukes to get rid of him. Are the American vampires willing to go into space to save the world? Or has the Beast already infiltrated the Vassals?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Ahh, I had missed this series more than I expected. We’ve got excellent art and writing, fun action, seriously spooky backstories for the bad guys — and it’s gonna be fun to see our vamps riding a rocket into space, ain’t it?

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