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Nexus #99


By Leroy Douresseaux
October 23, 2007 - 11:42

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Nexus: Space Opera #1 of 4 (Nexus #99) is the first new Nexus comic book in 10 years, but under the direction of series creators, Mike Baron & Steve Rude, it’s as if a decade has never passed.  It’s the same old Nexus, for good or bad.

Set 500 years in the future, the series’ focus is on the title character, Nexus, a human named Horatio Hellpop.  Horatio was given incredible energy power by a mysterious alien creature known as The Merk.  As Nexus, Horatio became a kind of cosmic avenger, using those powers to assassinate murderous tyrants, war criminals, genocidal mass murders or any kind of mass murderer, for that matter.  Ylum, the small planetoid that was his base of operations, eventually became a home for refuges fleeing persecution.

Space Opera opens on Ylum as Horatio and his long-time companion/girlfriend, Sundra Peale, await the birth of their first child together.  Meanwhile, a dark cabal plots the death of the child, a boy, and bitter religious rivals, the Elvonics and Alvinites are on the precipice of total war.

THE LOWDOWN:  For some, Space Opera is the long-awaited return of a beloved 1980’s superhero.  Back then, Nexus was a darling of alternative publishing – a superhero title that was as good as some and better than most superhero comics that DC Comics and Marvel Comics were publishing at the time.  The sci-fi setting creators Baron and Rude gave the concept made Nexus all the more fresh.  Ten years after the last Nexus comic series, Nexus: Nightmare in Blue (Nexus #95-98, published by Dark Horse Comics), Nexus remains a unique concept, but no longer seems so special, perhaps, because the issue that inaugurates its return is a bit underwhelming.

The first installment of Space Opera is quite busy.  It’s as if writer Mike Baron is trying to stuff an entire story arc’s worth of intrigue, motivation, and sub-plots into 22 pages of comic art.  As for the art, it’s also busy, with artist Steve Rude crowding the pages with characters and sets and art direction that mostly become background noise.  The story, feels lacking, and what should be clear in terms of storytelling, the art, is cluttered.  Only because Mike Baron is a good (and much underrated) writer and Steve Rude an extraordinary artist does the return of Nexus have a chance in hell.

POSSIBLE AUDIENCE:  Strictly for Nexus fans who’ve been waiting.

B-

 


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