REVIEW: ‘Nomen Omen,’ Vol 1 Trade Paperback

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Nomen Omen TPB
WARNING: This series is graphic and is intended for a mature audience.

Nomen Omen Vol 1, published by Image Comics, is written by Marco B. Bucci, with art and colors by Jacopo Camagni, and lettering by Fabio Amelia. Nomen Omen tells the story of Becky Kumar. A young woman brought into the world under strange conditions.

A warning for those who need it, this story does contain multiple panels of nudity and scenes of a sexual nature. So if that is not your cup of tea, turn away now.

For the rest of you, let’s begin! Nomen Omen Vol 1 is all about the strange tale of Becky Kumar. From her birth, all the way to her 21st birthday, Becky is unlike anyone else in this reality. Issue one covers in great detail how her mother Meera became instantly pregnant with her after a chance meeting with a woman who later dies from her wounds via a traffic accident. The woman, who was heavily pregnant, is aware she was at deaths door, and through magic, gifts Meera with her baby. This is just the start of the fantastical story of Nomen Omen.

Nomen Omen Vol 1

After jumping forward through time we next meet Becky on her 21st birthday celebration with her friends. The party is marred for our protagonist however, when a magical creature attacks Becky in the bathroom and rips out her heart, seemingly leaving her for dead.

When we pick up the story in issue two, Becky picks herself up off the ground and wanders back to the group. It’s as if nothing had ever really happened, as if it were all a dream. From this point on in the story, reality starts to unravel around Becky, as it’s revealed to her that there are multiple realities and that magic is real. Somehow, Becky Kumar is now in the middle of a centuries old war, and to survive it, she needs to rescue her heart.

Bucci, Camagni, and Amelia have created something truly wonderful, and otherworldly. It’s difficult to pull apart the contributions from the three creators as their work blends together so fluidly.

Bucci’s dialogue and story is so bizarrely captivating. This alternate reality seems to just exist beyond the sight line of humanity, and it’s filled with such grandiose characters that spill from the page. The big element that allows Bucci to have this believe separation is that the characters he introduces are the embodiment of a fairytale, myth, legend, or a play that they are featured in. From Fer, to Lady Macbeth, to King Taranis, these characters feel ancient and godly. Bucci’s passion for magic is so tangible, that you can feel it through the story.

Taranis is such a fascinating character. The whole time reading through this TPB I had this familiar sense, like there was influence there. I realized later on in the story, that Taranis embodies a lot of Jareth the Goblin King from Jim Henson’s The Labyrinth. Not long after I came to this realization, there was a visual nod of Jareth buried as an easter egg. See if you can find it!

Camagni visual style is enthralling. When Becky exists in her own reality, the color of the pages is just shades of grey. We learn early on that she suffers from achromatopsia, a condition characterized by full, or partial, absence of color vision. With Becky as the narrator, her vision of New York is seen in shades of grey due to her visual disability. When she crosses into her dreams or alternate realities, the pages burst to life with an abundance of color and depth. There are so many details that Camagni works into his panels. This is not a story you can just rapidly thumb through the pages. The art styles housed in Nomen Omen really elevate this story into the upper echelons.

Amelia’s lettering style shows a dedication and understanding of the story within the styles of visual dialogue that appear in the panels. When the fantasy characters trigger their abilities, the dialogue highlights the colorized capability that matches with their talisman power. Effort was taken in creatively developing a style that fit many of the characters. Not to mention the onomatopoeia is delivered with a wonderful gravitas that further enshrouds this story in a strange mythical light.

Overall, I was truly captivated by this story. Nomen Omen is breathtaking both in its visuals and character development. I warn you, this is one you will want to binge read!

Nomen Omen Vol. 1 is available in stores now.

Nomen Omen Vol. 1: Total Eclipse of the Heart (TPB)
4.5

TL;DR

Overall, I was truly captivated by this story. Nomen Omen is breathtaking both in its visuals and character development. I warn you, this is one you will want to binge read!