Nowhere Men takes on an interesting slogan early on in its run: “Science is the new rock and roll”. It’s a saying of one of the main characters and seems to be a tenet that this group of scientists take in stride. Less like a typical think-tank, and more in line with The Beatles, this group of men are rock stars – big egos all formally part of this global corporation known as World Corp. Set many years after their much publicised break up, Nowhere Men follows not only this original cast of science superstars, but the mysterious crew of a forgotten international satellite orbiting the earth, as they find themselves exhibiting strange powers.
Eric Stephenson and Nate Bellegarde’s tale of corporate secrets and exciting sci-fi is both intriguing and original, and after a brief hiatus returns with issue five to follow the space-station’s crew adjusting to their new powers, as the former members of News Corp battle each other to track them down. It’s slower than the past couple of issues, as many of the characters find themselves still caught in the same area they found themselves in for the past two issues. While it does allow us to further familiarise with each character’s new powers, it is beginning to drag. Hopefully the reveal of a new rival character in the intermissions, as well as the development at the end of the issue can remedy that.
Speaking of intermissions, this is where Nowhere Men shines. Each takes on the form of posters, magazine articles, or artwork that are not only great to read, but both develop character and the world of Nowhere Men as well. Interviews and gossip pieces give back story, while also giving the story a sense of time and place. This is a world that worships science, and has given these men celebrity status, also crucifying them when they fail. It’s a neat parallel to our own celebrity infatuation.
It also helps that these posters are expertly designed too. Each feels like a product of the 60s and 70s, and with some definite nods to artists of that era, looks authentic
Bellegarde’s panel art is also great. His distinct character design manages to portray the wide range of the cast nicely, combined with a nice flat colouring thanks to Jordan Ballaire gives this series a distinct feel. If I could frame each cover in the series I would.
Actually, half of the art in Nowhere Men I’d frame, if it wasn’t great to read. Cool intermissions aside, Stephenson’s tale is really taking shape, and while it may be taking a while to get there, I can’t wait to see how it turns out.