Nexus #100 (Rude Dude Productions)
By Mike Baron & Steve Rude
Well, they took their time getting there, but we finally get to Nexus #100 this month. In part two of the four-part “Space Opera,” Nexus looks for ways to deal with the problem of the Elvonics… a story that’s actually surprisingly quiet until near the end where the tensions between the different factions erupts into a riot. We also get the lushly-painted “When She Was Young Part 2,” an (extremely thinly) veiled satire of the US Senate that also serves as something of an origin story for Sundra. Both stories are pretty good. I’d really say that the gem of the issue, though, is the lengthy “History of Nexus” essay, which is more an examination of the real-world history of the character, his publishing history and the like, explaining the path that has taken him through each of the four publishers that has served as his home. It’s a nice little look at comic book history of the past 25 years or so. A good issue, with great extras.
Nexus: The Origin #1 (Rude Dude Productions)
By Mike Baron and Steve Rude
With Nexus finally ending its 10-year hiatus earlier this year, Mike Baron and Steve Rude realized they overextended themselves a bit, with issue #100 taking far longer than expected to produce. To fill the gap, we get this origin issue, a reprint of a Dark Horse issue from 1992. While longtime fans may feel a little burned, I never read Nexus in the old days, so this issue is really perfect for getting me into the flow of the book. This is exactly what the title promises: the origin of Horatio Hellpop, from the meeting of his parents up until his first encounter with Sundra Peale. While I’m not usually big on heavy-handed politics in my comic, the way Baron handles the allegories to facism and communism really works well in the science fiction framework. (For some reason, it’s often easier to accept political satire in sci-fi form. Just ask Star Trek fans.) Steve Rude‘s artwork is, as always, beautiful — energetic, vibrant, and the perfect match for the story. If you’ve been with Nexus for years, this is retreading old territory for you. But if you, like me, are a newcomer, this is a really good way to get caught up.