NOMEN OMEN #11, available Wednesday from Image Comics, dives back into a world of dark secrets and hidden magic. Dark forces have become commonplace as Becky’s battle for revenge (and for her heart – literally) continues.
We can all agree that as a whole, the series of Nomen Omen has never been afraid to get dark*. Both in the literal, and figurative sense. After all, the protagonist is literally fighting to get her heart back. A heart that was stolen by an ancient entity will ill intentions.
Still, the series has surprised readers (myself included) on more than one occasion. Nomen Omen #11 continues that trend, throwing characters and readers alike into a dark and twisting series of events that feel next to impossible to predict.
Even with all those odds, it still feels impossible to do anything other than root for Becky and her most unlikely group of allies. No matter how hard we root, it won’t change the fact that there are now only four issues with which her battle may be wrapped up.
Nomen Omen #11 is a conundrum. On the one hand, it feels like a bright spot of hope. On the other hand, it is also the most depressing issue of the series (so far – no promises about what is to come).
Don’t get me wrong, it is brilliantly written, and all credit goes to Marco B. Bucci for that. In many ways, it feels like we’re hitting the climax of the series, and that means there are some twists in store for those that are invested in it.
And as we all know, when magic is involved, not all twists leave one feeling all happy and bubbly on the inside. The surprises in store stick true to the core of this series while leaving us wondering where things will go from here.
What is fascinating is the inclusion of other perspectives in this issue. That’s where the real sense of humanity comes from (ironic, given a few of the people we’re talking about). It grounds this new plot arc, while simultaneously reminding us of the stakes.
The artwork for Nomen Omen #11 is every bit as captivating as the writing itself. If not more so, in a couple of places. This is arguably the brightest issue of the series, visually speaking. Again there’s a sense of irony there, given what is going down.
Jacopo Camagni’s artwork is simply divine. The whole series has had a creative way of portraying magic – having a lack of color depict the absence of it, and vibrant scenes showcasing a world full of magic.
Well, that whole concept is taken to the farthest extension here, all while creating some truly breathtaking images. Honestly, they’re striking even without the context of what is happening. Throw that vital context in, and suddenly you have something otherworldly and frighteningly beautiful on your hands.
Fabio Amelia’s (from Arancia Studio) lettering is just as impressive. There are understated pages, and then there are times where the lettering becomes part of the background and artwork itself. Only to flawlessly transition right back. It’s breathtaking and brings with it a certain sense of weight.
Nomen Omen #11 may be the darkest issue of the series, but there’s still that lingering sense of hope. Not to mention, a very strong feeling of curiosity. We all know that the end may be near, but it isn’t here yet. So there is still time to battle, and thus still time to see things through.
*Nomen Omen #11 does indeed get fairly dark at points, though not quite as graphic as some of the previous issues. It does however provide a harsh reminder to past events, in the portrayal of a character and the setting they are trapped within.