Monday, May 26, 2014


I read NOWHERE MEN VOLUME ONE: FATES WORSE THAN DEATH yesterday. This Image trade paperback reprints issues #1-6 of the ongoing comic book series NOWHERE MEN by Eric Stephenson and Nate Bellegarde. I was impressed by what I read.

The concept, in simplest terms is, "what if the Beatles were the Fantastic Four", but NOWHERE MEN is richer and far more complex than that premise. Still there are obvious analogs to both the Fab Four (the four main scientists in the story are seen as "rock stars" by the general public) and Reed Richards and the gang. NOWHERE MEN also owes a huge debt of gratitude to WATCHMEN by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons in the sense of how the story is told and the very design of the material. The narrative of this first six-issue arc is fragmented in both space and time, a non-linear story that flashes backwards and forwards and takes place among several different places on and off the planet. Chunks of the back story are provided by faux magazine covers, interviews, book chapters, ads and other ephemera that bring World Corp. to life (right down to it's retro Warner Communications style logo).

Author Eric Stephenson is doing something bold and ambitious here with his story of four scientists and the world they give birth to. But not every technological advancement is benign and beneficial and the twelve people on a secret mission aboard the International Space Station are exposed to something that bestows different super powers on each one. The story ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. There are still mysteries to be explored and answers to be provided but this first volume sets things up quite nicely.

The artwork by Nate Bellegarde has strong overtones of Geof (HARDBOILED) Darrow in some scenes and I spied at least two homages to the great Jack "King" Kirby but Bellegarde is his own man and his artwork is always in service to the intriguing "what-is-going-on-here" script by Stephenson.

I picked up this first volume of NOWHERE MEN in a trade with a fellow comic book collector. I knew nothing about this title going in but I enjoyed it immensely and will seek out future trade editions of this daring and challenging new comic book series. Thumbs up. 

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