Saturday, March 25, 2023

Nexus Omnibus Volume Six!

While his name is still on the cover alongside Mike Baron's, there is only one painted cover in this volume by Steve Rude. (See above.) The absence of Rude really knocks down the quality of the Nexus stories collected here. There are some fine comic book artists, working diligently, but none of them touch Rude. It's hard to say, but it's just plain true. 

And in fact it's rather a misnomer to call this a Nexus collection since most of the stories deal with Stan Korivitsky, the fifth Nexus. Stan has not been able to call upon the power of the Merk almost from the beginning of his tenure as Nexus, and so he's had to rely on his training as a Gucci assassin. As a consequence there's a grittiness to nature of the stories as the killings of mass murderers is not accomplished with a magic bolt but with more traditional weapons and acts of violence. He eventually finds another source for classic Nexus-like powers when he partners with a group of former slave heads called the "Bad Brains". Ultimately Stan loses his mind and begins to kill more wantonly with no regard for innocent bystanders. It requires that Horatio Hellpop resume his identity as Nexus and make some bargain with the unsettled Merk to end this new threat. For his part Horatio spent much of the time in these stories trying to find himself in an agrarian society which was suffering under a brutal dictatorship. 

Baron writes all of the Nexus main stories in this volume, but the back-up feature starring Judah the Hammer is written by a cavalcade of comics scribes including Roger Salick and Peter David among others. I'm not going to try and attach names to certain stories but some of the artists included in this volume on both the main and back up features are Mark Heike, John Snyder, Kent Burles, Tom Baxa, and Hugh Haynes who becomes the mainstay on the regular feature in the last half of this tome. He's a talented artist, but not close to Rude in his ability to capture drama. Les Dorschied produces some handsome painted covers for the series. 

This is the last volume of regular Nexus stories and ends with the final First Comics publication of the character. There is hardly a neat ending, but we'll have to wait until next time to see how all of that comes out as Nexus leaves First and finds some refuge at Dark Horse Comics, the very folks who published these wonderful reprint tomes. 

We'll wrap this up tomorrow. Below are the covers for the comics included here. 

Rip Off

No comments:

Post a Comment