Because I hate typing Nyarlathotep…
The mythos of Cthulhu has had a huge boost in popularity, due in part to the comic book series featuring the old oneâ€™s name on the cover.Â Boom! Studios has cranked out horrific Cthulhu tales, side splitting comedy featuring three of the Lovecraftian gods, and tales that make readers want to read the issue again and again.Â This week, Boom! kicks off another mini-series, Fall of Cthulhu Nemesis, and Major Spoilers is bringing you a first look.
What I like most about this series is it is not set in modern day – or at least the bulk of the story is not set in the present, but rather the tale takes place in Atlantis during the height of the mythical continentâ€™s life.Â Itâ€™s a time when the Atlanteans and the Athenians are at war, the King Levin is doing everything he can to quell those who would protest his reign – especially if they are of the Atheanian persuasion.
However, as readers discover in this issue, the protestors appear to be the followers of Nyarlathotep – one of the outer gods also known as â€œThe Crawling Chaosâ€.Â Trouble is surely brewing for Atlantis, and this series may be presenting the final days of the continent before being brought down in a single day.Â I find it interesting that Michael Alan Nelson chose this Lovecraftian god to bring down the island nation instead of Cthulhu, and Iâ€™m interested to see how he pulls it off.
In an attempt to find the cult, Hadron, the high priest of Atlantis, goes to speak with the oracle to see if he can ferret out the location of the Nyarlathotepian followers.Â While one would expect the oracle to be of the type read about in ages past, this oracle is a horrid toad of a woman (being) that surrounds herself with all manner of beastie and demon. This adds another interesting layer to the story, as the Atlanteans know demons and gods really exist (as opposed to a belief system), making King Levinâ€™s claims of being able to bring the gods to their knees an even more ominous threat, and certainly a reason why Nyarlathotep may be lurking around sucking up victims one by one.
Things do get rather strange with Sysyphyx, the oracle, proclaims the high priest to be the last Atlantean, and while she tells him exactly where the cult resides, also tells him he will bare witness to the fall of the island.Â Itâ€™s a lot of spooky sorcery that fits nicely into the horror genre, and I think Nelson has nailed the feeling of the pulpy tales from long ago, even with the images replacing the drawn out wording of the tales from long ago.
The art by Todd Herman works, and the opening pages featuring the lynx like cat (which Iâ€™m guessing is a member of the nearly extinct North American Lynx, given the location of Arkham boarding house) is particularly eerie, given the monologue and evil look in the catâ€™s eyes.Â He also is able to draw some pretty creepy demons and minions, but fortunately keeps the grotesque sacrifice scene off panel.
Iâ€™ve jumped around the Cthulhu series from Boom! since the beginning.Â Some of the series have hit home with me, while others have been way out on the edge of interest.Â Nemesis has an interesting twist by setting the story 6,000 years ago, and it brings in some sword and sorcery absent from other Cthulhu tales.Â Boom! is going the safe route by only making this series four issues, and that is a low enough issue run to keep me interested for three more months.Â Fall of Cthulhu: Nemesis #1 fills the need for a good monster tale and earns 3.5 out of 5 Stars.