Friday, November 1, 2013

Yet More Artifacts From Ylum!

The third omnibus volume of the Nexus adventures hits another gear for the series. The storytelling seems to have matured and for the most part the characters are largely in place. Nexus has grudgingly accepted his role as the agent of the Merk, but still seeks to find ways to soothe his master and still meet other obligations. To that end he makes use of some of the most fun characters introduced into the series, the Quatros. The four-armed assassins Kreed and Sinclair are loyal to Nexus and provide some of the most potent moments in this leg of the series run.

Children also seem to have become a recurring theme. Nexus makes peace with the mother of his own twin daughters and finds a way or sorts to be in their lives. The three daughters of the slain General Loomis return and haven't forgotten their vendetta against Nexus. A little girl from Sov turns up on Ylum and gets Nexus to take a look at his long-ignored homeland, a place where horror is a product of the state. Religion gets a turn when Nexus tries to save the last vestiges of Christianity on an isolated world the Sov regime deems heretical. Sundra returns and gives Horatio Hellpop some solid ground to begin to rebuild his life on Ylum. By the end of this volume you get the sense that there is hope for the patchwork cultures stranded on Ylum to form a real thriving society, albeit one with myriad flaws.

A raft of really fine guest artists step in to give Steve Rude a break away from his co-creation, but Mike Baron's solid scripts keep the stories strong and on a solid track. With the likes of Mike Mignola, Rick Veitch, Butch Guice, Paul Smith, and the totally awesome Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez the books looks magnificent even when "The Dude" is away.

And best of all, Judah the Hammer gets the back-up spot with some deliciously funny and rockem' sockem' yarns. He's much better than Clonezone, much better. 

Below is a cover gallery of the dandy issues in this particular Dark Horse collection.

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