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Nowhere Men #1: Science Is The New Rock & Roll

Imagine the Beatles as scientists instead of musicians, and you may get a sense of this new Image series.

Nowhere Men #1

The Beatles as super scientists is a hell of a hook for a story.

It's not exactly a 1:1 ratio, of course, but the dude in the glasses, the long hair and the white suit unmistakably drops a John Lennon vibe, although his name in the Eric Stephenson/Nate Bellegarde comic Nowhere Men #1 is actually Emerson Strange. He and his quartet – the stridently moralistic Dade Ellis, the ethically-challenged Randian Simon Grimshaw and the disheveled hallucinogen enthusiast Thomas Walker – form the Fab Four of World Corp, with Walker providing the catchphrase "science is the new rock 'n' roll." The first page shows them as rock stars in their prime. The second and third pages profile them magazine-style, and then the third page gives us a massive rock crystal monster on a murder rampage – absolutely not the thing you're expecting when you turn that page.

While the World Corp group are still science celebrities, they aren't really a functional unit in this day and age. They're all older now, Walker's left the company under curious circumstances, and Grimshaw is the only one that's pro-murder-monster, which is some kind of morally dubious World Corp project that Strange and Ellis are trying to discontinue on ethical grounds. Grimshaw scoffs at the "rudimentary concepts of 'right' and 'wrong.'"

Cut to a crew of men and women quarantined at a World Corp installation, not knowing what exactly is making them sick – some even disfigured – nor why nobody seems to be trying to help them. Might this have something to do with Grimshaw's philosophy? We don't know just yet, as the issue ends with an in-depth interview with Walker, who seems to be something of a head-case.

Stephenson's concept is rock solid, and it forms an instant connection with the reader, taking the rock-star scientist idea in reality – people like Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan, even Bill Nye – to the next level with a Beatlemania kind of fiction. That helps lead us into deeper waters with the examination of morality in a profession that sometimes encourages amorality. The art from Bellegarde seems something like what Steve Dillon could have been if he could actually draw human faces that were different from each other. That means it's actually good.

Nowhere Men #1 instantly clicked for me, and if you give this Image book a shot, maybe it'll do the same for you.

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