Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Classics - Nexus #5

   In the 1980s, the so-called "Independent" comics companies were on fire!

   The fledgling Capital Comics company didn't last long - their titles were quickly picked up by First Comics - but what they had was tremendous.

   Their top title was Nexus, an astonishing tour-de-force by the team of writer Mike Baron and artist Steve Rude.

   They were (and are) a match made in comic book heaven - two creative titans looking to shake up the norm and tell massive, cosmic tales loaded with imagination, wit, sex, terrific characters and amazing visuals.

   At the center of the series was a surprisingly dark element - Nexus was Horatio Hellpop, a mysterious cosmic-powered man who dreams of murderers - and is driven to track them down and kill them.

   Despite that grim angle, the series was loaded with humor and energy - like this issue, for example. The irrepressible Judah Maccabee (The Hammer) is bored, so he talks Nexus into going on an adventure, visiting some of the most dangerous bars in the galaxy.

   Hilarity follows, as they get involved in bar-fights, save the neck of Clonezone the Hilariator, face disaster and destruction - and get drunk.

   Oh, and the backup story with Judah taking part in the strangest wrestling (rassalin') match ever is a hoot!

   Balancing the spontaneous script is the incredible art of Rude - amazing character designs, somehow combining the spirit of Jack Kirby with the energy and power of Alex Toth's animation work (with a special nod to the classic Space Ghost). Rude is simply one of the best artists in the history of comics!

   There were few comics that matched this series - in a just world, this series would have run forever.

Grade: A



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