NOMEN OMEN #1
Writer: Marco B. Bucci
Artist and Colorist: Jacopo Camagni
Letterer: Fabio Amelia
To no one's surprise, Image Comics is coming again with a brand new incredible italian series.
I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of this first number and I can’t believe how much I loved it.
Story Wise, this comics is good. But it’s the little details in it that makes it even better.
Let’s start at the beginning:
Nomen Omen is a story about witchcraft. And I’m usually not a huge fan of the subject since I often find it a little soft or too much Disney for me.
However, NOMEN OMEN is dark and brutal and speaks to mature readers.
The number starts off with two young ladies who, while on the road, stumbled upon the remains of a terrible car accident.
In this accident, only one woman survived. She is pregnant, talking nonsense and covered in blood. They are trying to get her to a hospital, until something weird happens: the strange victim tells one of the young lady how good of a mother she will be… before plunging her into a trance where we witness demons making love with different feminine bodies.
That’s when we understand that this young lady, Meera, is now bearing the child of a…. magical impregnation? Which is incredibly beautifully illustrated by the way!
Weird. But interesting.
Right away my first thoughts were how the next pages will probably be about how the newly mother will discover the burden of her recent encounter and all the troubles of such a traumatizing event has on someone.
But no! We straight up turn the page and realize we’ve made a jump in time. The reader is facing another beautiful panel of family pictures hanging on the wall. This family is composed of Meera - the magically impregnated mother, Claire - the friend who was with her during the event, and a baby girl - who by the looks of it grew up to be a happy young woman herself.
I was happy to see how they completely let go the melodramatic situation that would’ve made the story longer and slower, in my opinion. Plus, it gets the reader to ask questions: did the characters realised what happened that night? Does the baby girl knows how she was brought to this world?
At this point, it’s important to mention that the first couple of pages were all in colors (which are also incredibly well done), until we turn the page to see the jump in time where it’s suddenly all monochromatic greyish and whiteish illustrations.
The baby girl named Becca is now celebrating her 21st birthday. She is surrounded by friends, eating cake, taking pictures. We learn she suffers from achromatopsia…. Which I had to google:
It’s a characteristic of a “defective” - for a lack of better terms - visual system that manifest itself in a complete absence of color.
So she’s basically seeing in black and white. Hence the change from colored to monochromatic illustrations: we switch from an outsider’s vision, to Becca’s vision.
Kudos to the artist JACOPO CAMAGNI who pulled it off like a breeze. Amazing work on the art.
I hope this detail has something to do with the story and is not just a cool character traits, but how smart and awesome is that? I personally thought it gave an interesting dynamic to the story. And made me even more into it.
Another interesting detail is how the friends mentioned Becca’s instagram account during her birthday party. The handle is also written down the page… So I went straight to my phone and looked for it.
It’s an actual instagram account for Becca! She’s basically dreaming about letters and words and illustrate them on this account: @_nomen.omen_
I think it’s smart. Making the story multidimensional and interactive for us. +2 points for the idea.
The number goes on for a another 10 or so pages where we discover Becca is actually being followed by a strange… person? which almost looks like some sort of demon?
A horrific ending to this number, which I don’t want to reveal, makes you wondering even more what actually happened that night of the accident and who (or what) is Becca.
I’m sincerely happy with this first number. I thought the writer is smart and has a lot of creativity. I browsed a little to learn more about the whole concept and his vision. Turns out that MARCO B. BUCCI seems genuinely passionate with witchcraft and other related subjects. I think that’s what is usually lacking those type of stories: someone who research and believe in that stuff. I think he does.
Also, if you are interested in some extra material, take some time to read the text at the end ( don’t lie, most of the time we don’t read it). The writer takes the time to explain his vision of magic and what inspired the story. It’s almost poetic and it really helped me to see the authenticity in his vision.
“This will be a cruel story, I have to warn you.” - Marco B. Bucci
I’ve never been so excited to be hurt by a story before. Can’t wait to see where this new series is headed!