Many mainstream comic books borrow from contemporary fringe conspiracy theories…but few do so as intelligently as Patrick Kindlon and Paul Tucker’s Nobody Is In Control.
The first issue of Nobody Is In Control came out all the way back in May, and it was one of only a handful of new monthly series I looked forward to reading. Of course, per my luck, a second issue didn’t arrive in June, nor July, nor even September. I had assumed that the book, published by indie imprint Black Mask Studios, had been shelved or otherwise cancelled.
But it’s November—month of such paranoid milestones as the JFK assassination, Nixon’s “I’m not a crook” speech, Guy Fawkes Day, and of course the debut of the animated Disney short “Steamboat Willie”—and Nobody Is In Control is back.
For a quick intro to the comic, please check out my review of #1 (which also includes an overview of another “conspiracy comic,” Descendant from AfterShock—another title I need to catch up on).
OK: so as down the rabbit hole as Nobody Is In Control #1 was, the second issue totally “goes there” with basically…basically a theory ultimately regarding the “creation” of deadly incels. Have I got your attention yet?
The issue opens with former conspiracy radio talk show host Richard Savare and his strange new acquaintance Nick on the run from the black helicopters and etc. Nick asks Richard how many of the calls he received on his show were just hoaxes—and then comments that it only takes one “real” call to make all the difference.
From there we go through a series of different timelines, scenarios, and etc. as Nick explains his conspiracy metatheory. This takes us from a 1980s NYC subway to a mass shooting at a Midwestern McDonalds to a highly offensive colonial “rape” videogame to military psychic experiments to Nick inexplicably sporting a woman’s naked body in a black-and-white zine more than a little reminiscent of the movie Under The Silver Lake.
So obviously, the storytelling gets a little nonlinear at this point—but it’s an effective narrative device to “illustrate” Nick’s theory. And what is Nick’s theory?
I don’t want to spoil it, other than it does involve the aforementioned incel contingent, as well as who might have been one of the first technical “deadly incels,” Bernie Goetz. Oh, and the Halloween Tylenol scare of the Eighties. (And yes, MKUltra as well.)
In fact…this comic is so political—so on-point and relevant to the current sociological/political situation—it sort of makes me wonder if this might have played a part in the second issue’s delay. Certainly, a mainstream publisher like Marvel (especially one with such interested bedfellows) couldn’t put out a story like this that so nakedly references a good portion of their readership.
Anyway…if any of the subject matters I’ve mentioned in this post interest you, please check out Nobody Is In Control. You can buy the comic at your local comic shop (maybe), or purchase digital copies here.