By Hervé St-Louis
June 11, 2010 - 19:41
Publisher(s): Marvel Comics
Writer(s): Mark Millar
Penciller(s): Steve McNiven
Inker(s): Steve McNiven
Colourist(s): Dave McCaig
Letterer(s): Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Artist(s): Steve McNiven, Jonh Cassady, Laura Martin
20 years ago, Detective Blake Morrow caught Matthew Anderson’s parents’ youth kidnapping for rich men and women. Anderson now calling himself the Nemesis, the world’s foremost super villain wants revenge and after having kidnapped the President of the United States, sets his sight on the Pentagon. Will he succeed or will Morrow put a bullet in his head first? This comic book is not recommended for younger audiences.
The game of cat and mouse has begun but it’s hard to guess which one is the mouse and which one is the cat. Nemesis is everything a top villain could be. He’s sharp and vicious. With the amount of damage he wrought, it will be fun to read the issue where Morrow finally stops him for good. The thing is the scales are so high, the threats and feats so big, that there will be nowhere else to go for this series after a few stories. Millar is not dragging his feet here. A lot happens in every issue. This one in particular gave us an origin and motive for the villain while it wasn’t even necessary this early in the series. The origin put the entire comic book series in familiar comic book logic of motivation and retribution. While Nemesis’ origin is a perfect symmetric opposite of Batman’s. The first issue was more exciting in that he was just an anarchist and a lunatic, not someone caught in some childish dream fantasy of revenge. On that point the comic book fails because instead of rising over other comic book clichés, it bathes in their midst. But now that he introduced the origin, I wish Millar had expanded on it and explain in more detail what the rich folks in his parents’ club were hunting exactly. A similar origin was given years ago to Valiant Comics’ Archer, of Archer and Armstrong fame, but the outcome was much different for the protagonist. Will Millar put all his good ideas in the first few issues or can he sustain the rhythm over a longer stretch?
The answer to this will come mostly from what McNiven can do. It would be hard for this series to switch artist in the middle of its run. The last issue was several months ago and it does not seem like the artist will increase his cadence. Again, the work is beautiful and more attuned to European comic books than American comics. The realism of the character shines and the action is easy to read. There are a lot of poster worthy pages in this comic book. Some of the images don’t even look like McNiven applied inks to them but it’s not a complaint. It feels raw and it’s good. This series is recommended for readers who enjoyed Kick-Ass
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