Saturday, March 18, 2023

Nexus Omnibus Volume Four!

With the fourth omnibus volume from Dark Horse, Nexus enters a mature phase of the series. Mike Baron has been the writer since day one, and Steve Rude has been the regular artist requiring only a few fill-ins here and there. But that will change as Rude's art is seen less and less. In the back of the book the Judah the Hammer series is written by Roger Salick with a range of artists stepping to draw these much lighter misadventures. The talent on this light-hearted romp of a back-up includes the likes of Angel Medina, Jim Balent, Mike Harris, Mike Docherty among others. 

The first few stories we encounter in this volume show Nexus encountering different kinds of murderers and using a variety of methods to fulfill his obligation to kill them for the Merk. One entertaining story had Nexus using a series of disguises to trick four killers into offing one another. He seemed almost as if killing was becoming boring to him, and he needed to find novel ways to pursue his mission. The main thrust of this collection though is the journey Nexus makes with allies Judah the Hammer and surprisingly the Badger back to the Bowl-Shaped universe inside the black hole. He does this to acquire power and or expertise to stop a black hole from forming right next to Earth due to careless technology. This odyssey takes up six issues and leads into the fiftieth issue of the series, a remarkable accomplishment for a comic from the 80's independent era. The trio battle a most powerful villain named Sklar. 

Another major plot in these issues is the saga of Kreed, the four-armed Quatro master warrior who in a fit of madness killed thousands of Martians. Nexus is a close friend of Kreed's and protected him from prosecution at the time along with his Quatro ally Sinclair. But Kreed increasingly feels the need to atone for his behavior despite not being in his right mind. He gives himself over to the Mars authorities with tragic results. Nexus has a difficult time accepting this and even tries futilely to revive his friend. His despair causes him to resign as Nexus, and he leaves Ylum. 

This plugs directly into a a third simmering plotline about the three Loomis sisters. These young women (one is still a little girl actually) seek vengeance against Nexus for killing their father, a decent man but the man responsible for countless deaths as part of his work with the very device that nearly destroys much of the solar system with a black hole. These girls relentlessly seek a way to fulfill their plans and when Nexus resigns, they are picked up as the "Next Nexus". Steve Rude will draw this four issue limited series which will run concurrently with the regular ongoing Nexus book. The results of this will be played out in the next volume. 

Paul Smith is increasingly used as Steve Rude's replacement, and Smith's smooth slick artwork is a nifty match for the series, allowing little cause for concern for the reader in that regard. But that will change. Things are indeed about to change in significant ways in the series. More on that tomorrow. 

Here are the issues in this volume. 

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