Nothing-Man #1 // Review
Welcome to the Hyperverse, where superpowered beings called hyprids and hyperoids, are running amok! In this first issue of Nothing-Man, written by N.S. Kan, pencilled & lettered by John Rhodes, inked by Steve Sprayson & John Rhodes, and colored by Abbey Smith, readers are introduced to a whole new world of characters and stories in this series published by Scattered Comics.
Opening up in a snowy forest, an unconscious man lay naked on the ground. He awakes just in time to realize that he’s being tracked down by what seems to be a small military unit, and gathers his wits enough to run. When the group loses their sights on him, they resort to using a hyprid they have in their custody: Firecracker, a woman who seems to be able to produce and control very intense fire. With orders, and a very strict reminder that she has a detonator around her neck if she doesn’t do as she’s told, she sets fire to the surrounding wood, attempting to flush the man out.
Finding a small cabin far from where the militia is, the man collapses, unconscious, but not before getting the attention of the inhabitant of the small house. After dragging the man inside and nursing him back to health, the woman tries to get information from the stranger. With every question being answered with “I don’t know”, the man realizes the only thing he knows are basic functions. His name, past, and anything outside of knowing how to speak and walk are all but forgotten.
Meanwhile, in Paradise City, the hyprids have lost their leader, Hyperious. The government is rounding up all of the hyprids and hyperoids, and these super-powered humans are standing their ground, even going up against others of their kind. Hyprids and hyperoids are being used against their will to fight this war, and the brass isn’t afraid to do what it takes to keep their hold on the beings.
N.S. Kane is writing quite the story so far. Although a bit confusing at times, it is dealing with a man trying to find out who he is, in a world that is brand new to readers. In this issue, there isn’t a clear definition of difference between hyprids and hyperoids. As the series continues, there’s no doubt that there will be a clear cut line between the two. The introduction of characters is well done; while not yet privy to all but a few of their individual powers or intentions, they are set up well for readers to find out who is on which side, and why.
John Rhodes and Steve Sprayson have done an excellent job in this issue. Rhodes, who did the pencil and some ink, and Sprayson, who did some of the ink as well, have a definitive style, but it hearkens back to late 80’s/early 90’s, without the need or use for unnecessary bullet pouches. Crisp and clear, the two seem to work very well in conjunction with each other. Their shading is spot on, making the characters pop and stand out from their surroundings.
Abbey Smith compliments Rhodes and Sprayson perfectly. The pallet Smith uses makes each panel feel hard or soft, depending on what’s needed. Sometimes going for an almost pastel look in some of the colors, or brighter and bolder, Abbey brings the pages to life, each panel a creation all its own.
Overall, the art is fantastic. The story is a bit hard to follow so far, but again, it’s introducing a brand new world from the aspect of an amnesiac. The set-up is nice; the next few issues will determine whether the follow-through is a hole-in-one or slice into the rough.