The Names starts with a Wall Street suicide, or so it is staged to be. This book asks one of the big questions Americans are asking: Who is controlling the money?
Unfortunately the book starts to answer bizarre unasked questions and brings in too many other elements which drag down what might have been.
Katya Walker’s husband commits suicide by crashing through a window 50 stories up. However, all signs point to a cover up. It is then up to Katya and her high functioning socially awkward and sexually aware step son to get to the bottom of this conspiracy. The two discover the secrets behind how the world works. Money manipulation, armies at war, strategic deaths. They are not pawns in game of chess, they are overlooked pieces in a global tournament to crown the new world order. It is an all too real story in this day of digital finances. A lot of people lost their homes because of people playing with numbers, the events of this book are not that much further from happening.
Until the numbers become self aware. All of the information and numbers in this grand NWO database has morphed into an AI that has its own agenda. Markets rise and fall. Programmers themselves are manipulated. What was this world spanning conspiracy now leaps into sci fi and throws in a supernatural elements as well. It becomes too much for a limited series. The story begins to buckle under the weight of multiple genres and while the ending is acceptable it does not feel satisfying.
The art by Leandro Fernandez however is not just satisfying, its engorging. His staging is incredible and every panel pops with details. He uses the resources of the page to merge words and pictures into one thing that accomplishes what neither can separately. When so many thousands of pages of comics involve one person punching another its impressive to see an artist know how to choreograph a fight. Katya is capable of holding her own but not without taking as good a beating as she gives. The artists have been in a fight or two in their lives because not only do they know how to show a fight but they show the results of the fight. Those injuries don’t heal over night and adaptations must be made.
I suppose its this human skill to adapt that proves to be the undoing of the antagonists of the story (without giving anything away). Its tough to anticipate your opponents next 100 moves when the first one isn’t even on the list. Its equally as tough to try to enjoy one story that tries to be a hundred.