NAMELESS is and interesting flow of numerous concepts and ideas that is thought provoking and engaging. As you may expect, coming from the writing of Grant Morrison, things can be a lot out there and while it can be frustrating at times, it is nice to see a book challenge a reader from time to time instead of laying everything out all nice and easy.
One of the biggest things this book has going for it is re-readability. Not everything sinks into place right away. The book is out there, with some foreign concepts, but that's not a bad thing. The second read of this issue works extremely well and clears up some confusion dealing with what Nameless is doing here and how it ties together some science fiction elements and some mystic elements as well.
One element that I really enjoyed about this book is pretty brief, but after Nameless steals the dream-key, there's a line of dialogue that says "you surrendered your name so no-one can have power over you." That's a reoccurring theme within myth and lore from around the world that I really like seeing within conteporary writing because it does hold a lot of truth within it. I would love to see this book go back to this idea in the future.
Artist Chris Burnham and colorist Nathan Fairbairn do one hell of a job on this opening issue. There's a lot scenes and panels that will really stick with the reader, after they've put the book down, including the Gate of Az symbol that repeats throughout the book. NAMELESS has a ton of imagery that feels like it's pieces or moments out of a way out there adult fantasy film, like a Cronenberg movie but a bit more out there and with less genitalia looking things.
It's bizarre to read the first issue of a series and feel like the book is working against the reader to the point where it doesn't feel "new reader friendly." Obviously, we've come to expect a lot of the mysterious when it comes to Morrison's writing, but the first issue doesn't grab the reader as well as it should. Many folks may be more inclined to trade wait rather than read month to month, which isn't really a bad thing.
The debut to NAMELESS is a bit out there and some of its concepts are a tough swallow at times, but it's a solid start to a series. There's a lot to love about this book and the first issue is intriguing. However, it almost feels like the reader is jumping into the middle of an arc of another book and things could be explained a bit better. This is obviously something that will read a lot better in trade. However, it's a solid issue to read and reread again and the visuals in this issue are stunning and memorable.