Nexus [1985 series]
33 issues [1985 - 1989]
8 - 11, 13 - 19, 22 - 33, 35, 40, 42, 49 - 51, 57 - 60
This is the long-running series created by Mike Baron and Steve Rude, a sci-fi adventure book featuring Horatio Hellpop, possessor of the cosmic powers of Nexus but cursed by dreams of mass murder which make him seek out and execute various inter-galactic despots. Along the way he picks up a large supporting cast, including various floating heads, aliens and some weirder things. A fascinating books, with a lot of action, humour and general zaniness, but also a lot of musings on morality, responsibility, the nature of power and other themes.
Published by First, which took over the numbering from the Capital series starting with #7 and running to #80 in 1991 (though Rude didn't draw it after #60), then published by Dark Horse as various mini-series and one-shots (mostly with Rude back on the art) until a few years ago. Early issues are currently being reprinted in hardcover by Dark Horse, and there are occasional rumours of a return to new stories by Baron and Rude.
Like most late 1980s book, I started reading this after it was cancelled, I think after I saw some of Rude's other work. I picked up a few random old issues, but initially the Baron writing didn't excite me. He has a kind of weird style that takes a few consecutive issues to pick up the rhythm and language, with weird gaps in the story and seeming non-sequiturs. Eventually I did, and picked up a whole bunch of issues, first mostly the Steve Rude stuff, but most of the early non-Rude artists are pretty good themselves. When you've got Eric Shanower, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Paul Smith and Adam Hughes among your fill-in artists, can't really complain.
At some point I need to pick up the 21 issues I'm missing before #60, and then maybe start on the last 20 issues. There are worse things to have than a complete run of NEXUS.
Because of that weird rhythm of Baron's writing, the random order I read them and the consistently good art, it's hard to pick out highlights. My favourite run is probably #10 - #20, which has some great action as well as choice bits on the major "serious" themes of the series. Also of note, among the non-Rude issues, #30 is one of the few times you'll see Garcia-Lopez artwork outside of DC comics.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Nexus [1985 series]