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Month of African-American Comics – Nowhere Man Books 1-3

All this month I’ll be reviewing different comic books by African-American creators, based on submissions from the actual creators of the comic books themselves. A quick note – since this month is so relatively short, I’ll be featuring an extra comic every week, for a total of 32 comics spotlighted! Here is a list of all the comics spotlighted so far!

Today we take a look at the first three books of Nowhere Man: You Don’t Know Jack, written and drawn by Jerome Walford, from Forward Comix.

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Nowhere Man is about a police detective named Jack Maguire who happens to share his body with a super-powered agent named Zade. Due to sharing a body with Zade, Jack has super powers, but the more he uses the powers, the easier it is for Zade to take control of their shared body.

As you might imagine, it is not necessarily a situation that sits well with Jack…

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The problem also comes when Jack falls asleep…

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Here’s Zade in action from Book Three…

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As you can see, Walford’s artwork is very accomplished. He has a great sense of design, as he lays the pages out in a very dynamic fashion. He often makes expert use out of negative space. It’s a really visually striking comic book series. I’m really surprised that one of the Big Two comic book companies hasn’t given Walford a shot – his style like it would lend itself very well to a New 52 series.

The story is interesting, as well, as Walford smartly makes Maguire’s current case one that looks like it will cross between his regular life and Zade’s life. And as you can see above, Zade’s life is one of superpowers and super gadgets, so when you throw “normal” police into the middle of stuff like that, it gets really crazy really fast and Maguire is soon forced to make some very uncomfortable choices.

The person making these choices weigh upon Maguire is his partner and lover, Rose Yancey, whose uncle is Maguire’s Captain (and who seems to have it out for Maguire). Maguire tells the reader, via narration, that he does not love Rose, but it seems like it is case where he is trying to tell himself that more than anything. When push comes to shove, does she mean more to him than he is willing to admit? The Jack/Rose (wait, isn’t that the names of the main characters in Titanic? That’s weird. Please tell me that wasn’t intentional, Jerome! Please!) relationship is likely the highlight of the book for me. Especially in Book Three, where Rose makes a difficult choice for Jack, as well. Rough stuff.

Anyhow, this is an interesting police thriller with an intriguing sci-fi edge and the art is, as you can see, powerful. That’s a good combo!

Check out Forward Comix’s website here to see a bunch of different places where you can buy Nowhere Man.

3 Comments

Backed Nowhere Man when it was on kickstarter. Great art and visuals. Color and shading are really evocative. It’s kinda a cross between a (good) Agents of shield story arc and a darker cop show like The Shield.

Thanks Brian for the glowing review. Very encouraging, indeed. Thanks to Dave Wu, Harrio and all my Kickstarter backers who helped to make the first volume of this series a reality. Plowing away at volume two, details will be available summer 2014.

Dat luks superb & interestg.

Gonna go get it.

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