Name­less Un­ti­tled Master­piece

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

WEv­ery­thing and noth­ing, ac­cord­ing to Grant Mor­ri­son. Stuck on what to call his new Im­age se­ries with his old Bat­man In­cor­po­rated foil Chris Burn­ham, the Glas­gow comics leg­end re­alised that his prob­lem was ac­tu­ally a so­lu­tion.

“It had no name, there­fore Name­less it be­came,” he says. “Name­less is, of course, a much- loved word among hor­ror writ­ers who of­ten in­voke name­less rites and name­less ones, so it brought that hint of Love­craft that we were look­ing for and it in­spired a great hook for our lead char­ac­ter and what hap­pens to him.”

Ad­mit­ting that he “gen­uinely wouldn’t rec­om­mend it to any­one who’s feel­ing emo­tion­ally or psy­cho­log­i­cally vul­ner­a­ble,” the six- parter could be Mor­ri­son’s bleak­est work yet. Cen­tring around a mission to save the Earth from an ap­proach­ing as­ter­oid, it em­barks on a sim­i­lar but far darker jour­ney to In­ter­stel­lar. “In Name­less, what’s out there wait­ing for us is noth­ing less than pure evil and undy­ing hate,” ex­plains Mor­ri­son. “Cos­mic rays and worm­holes are the least of our char­ac­ters’ wor­ries.”

In Mor­ri­son’s words, the key phrase is ‘ noth­ing is real’. “In the third is­sue, the comic we think we’re read­ing be­gins to change into some­thing quite dif­fer­ent,” he teases. “There are sci- fi and thriller el­e­ments but ev­ery­thing ’s used in the ser­vice of un­ease and dread. I’d say it’s more of a hor­ror comic than any­thing else, touch­ing on all the var­i­ous as­pects of the genre from apoc­a­lyp­tic, su­per­nat­u­ral, oc­cult stuff to squicky gross- out scenes, ex­is­ten­tial soul- freez­ing ni­hilism and quasi- re­li­gious, sweat- in­duc­ing vi­sions of hell and judge­ment.”

Com­pared to Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch’s Sher­lock, Mor­ri­son claims that his mys­te­ri­ous pro­tag­o­nist is closer in spirit to James McAvoy’s mis­an­thropic po­lice­man in Filth. “Part of the driv­ing force of the se­ries in­volves set­ting up a char­ac­ter type and sit­u­a­tion that you think you’re familiar with – a scuzzy Con­stan­tine oc­cult hero fac­ing an Ar­maged­don- style sce­nario – but then dis­man­tling that first im­pres­sion in var­i­ous cruel and hor­rific ways,” he says. “He’s also the first Scot­tish lead in a comic I’ve writ­ten since Cap­tain Clyde in 1981!”

Name­less’s cre­ator- owned sta­tus also al­lowed Burn­ham – known for his ex­per­i­men­tal lay­outs – to re­ally cut loose. “Where Bat­man In­cor­po­rated was fairly down to earth, this goes to a much more squirmy, psy­che­delic place,” says Mor­ri­son. “It’s also un­cen­sored, so we’re show­cas­ing the phan­tas­magoric side of what

Chris can do.”

You’d guess that they might be scowl­ing un­der those hel­mets.

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