Image Comics’ ‘Nowhere Men’ #4 Review
And the story just keeps getting better.
With awesome, but still. Give yourself the time this beautiful book needs to be fully appreciated.
This book. Wow. What a masterpiece.
That’s not a word I throw around lightly, either. Image Comics‘ “Nowhere Men” is without a doubt the most incredibly designed ongoing comic book out today. Eric Stephenson, Nate Bellegarde, Jordie Bellaire and Fonografiks are producing a brilliantly cohesive package, and the fourth issue is dynamite. I’ve heard from some readers who drifted from this title after the first two issues, and others who picked it up again after my review of issue #3. If you let “Nowhere Men” lapse from your list, rectify that immediately.
“Nowhere Men” succeeds on so many levels because it’s doing things very few other monthly comics are doing. You might see supplementary materials (fake documents, articles, posters, etc.) in longer graphic novel formats, but it’s incredibly rare to see so many pages devoted to these pieces in an ongoing book. They really do augment the story, though. If you take the time to read the history of World Corp, or appreciate Emerson Strange’s name appearing on both “Most Wonderful Human Being” and “Creep of the Year” lists as voted on by readers of “The Science Chronicle”, well, then you’re doing “Nowhere Men” right. Take your time. Soak in the story and the design. There’s so much of it, and if you go too fast, you’ll miss something awesome.
Eric Stephenson is crafting a story that is at once familiar and unlike anything I’ve seen. Every time I get comfortable he pulls the rug out from under me. Characters that started out as recognizable archetypes have morphed over the past four issues, sometimes physically, creating a really complex web of intrigue and conspiracy. This is a world where good and evil aren’t really applicable, but science and power can be the difference between life and death. And it’s in the midst of these extremes where “Nowhere Men” has really hit its groove.
I can’t speak more highly about Team Art on this book. Nate Bellegarde and Jordie Bellaire are completely in sync with one another. Bellegarde’s drawings are for the most part clean and uncluttered, which fits the design as a whole. And Bellaire’s colors are crisp and bright, even when she’s coloring something rather gruesome. (That happens a lot in this issue.) Fonografiks brings the whole look together with an outstanding variety of pages and panels. “Nowhere Men” is the type of high concept design that could fall flat without such an incredible team bringing it each and every issue.
“Nowhere Men” #4 broadens the conflict, raises the stakes, fills in some backstory and then crushes hopes in rapid succession, but the pacing is spot on and the goals are clear. This is just fantastic comics on every level.
Geek Smash is pleased to support local comic book shops like Mission Comics & Art. If you live in or near the Bay Area, check out Mission Comics on 20th Street and tell ‘em we sent ya!