One of the great things about comics is that for all the new stuff that comes out now, there is plenty of older fantastic material just waiting to be discovered. And sometimes the old and new blend together.
When I got back into reading comics while in high school, I was aware of a comic called Nexus. I didn’t pay it too much attention because I was not ready to venture out of the safe, known world of DC Comics.
However, I couldn’t avoid the good press and positive word of mouth about the work writer Mike Baron and penciler Steve “The Dude” Rude were generating on the title and slowly Nexus worked its way up into my consciousness as something I should check out when I had the opportunity.
That opportunity presented itself a couple weeks ago at Free Comic Book Day. Baron and Rude, who are set to publish new Nexus tales after taking a 10 year hiatus from the character, published a free Nexus primer of sorts. So when I was at Graham Cracker Comics I decided to pick it up, but didn’t get to read it until during my trip to Atlanta.
Even though the free Nexus comic didn’t have a complete story in it – more like a collection of “best of” scenes from the comics twenty plus year history – I was completely hooked on the character by the time I finished reading the book.
The short explanation of what Nexus is: He’s Horatio Hellpop, the son of a communist general and ruler of the planet Vradic who elected to murder all ten million to prevent the over-throw of his government. Horatio was born on the planet Ylum after his father escaped the exploding planet. There Horatio came under the influence of the alien entity called the Merk, who in return for giving Horatio the super-human powers of the Nexus demanded in return that Horatio kill a certain quantity of human mass murderers when the Merk demanded it. Horatio accepts the power, and the threat of insanity it brings, to atone for his father’s sin of murder and to defend his home planet of Ylum.
With big concepts and complex characters, Nexus is a wonderfully engrossing space opera comic. It’s big and bold. In fact, just from the little snippets that I got to read in the free comic I realized that Nexus was/is unlike anything else I’ve read. The scenes I read demonstrated such a strong commitment to character it was hard to believe that it starred a super-powered protagonist. I totally fell in love with the book.
So suddenly the five Nexus archive books that Dark Horse has published have jumped to the top of my wish list for comics to own, and I will be looking for the new Nexus comics set to hit shelves this July.