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Blogathon Best of 2012: Pre-2012 Comics – Nexus Omnibus Vol. 1

Something that always seems to get lost in year-end lists is that no one experiences just new things. You always have a mix of new and old and the old always get lost. So, mixed in with my top ten comics of 2012, I will discuss five comics (in alphabetical order) that are from before 2012 that I read in 2012 and loved. We continue with… NEXUS OMNIBUS VOL. 1 BY MIKE BARON, STEVE RUDE, AND OTHERS!

I heard great things and they were right. This was not at all what I was expecting. I was expecting something more superhero-y, I suppose. Instead, this reminded me a lot of Dreadstar in its tone. Not the art, but the feel of the series. That makes sense since they were done around the same time and, eventually, shared a home at First Comics. They were both series that took place in a cosmic setting with a protagonist that held certain superhero trappings. Nexus more obviously so, but Vanth Dreadstar became more and more like Superman as the series progressed. There was a lightness in both books contrasted with the extreme dark. In Nexus’s case, it was his dreams and the compelling need to kill mass murderers. That sounds like a superhero, right? My kind of superhero, maybe…

There’s a very freeform way to the way that Nexus is paced in these issues that’s surprising. While the tone is similar to Dreadstar, the adherence to Starlin’s issue-to-issue storytelling isn’t there. There’s a much looser feeling to this comic and a willingness to go where the story need to, damn what page it is. Also, Horatio Hellpop is a fantastic name.

The big appeal of this volume is watching Steve Rude become so good so quickly. I love his art now and watching him improve on an almost panel-by-panel basis is remarkable. He becomes more and more confident in his line work, more inventive in his approach to the page, and creates a visually stunning comic. The more confident he becomes, the looser the writing becomes, like Mike Baron knew he could trust Rude to keep things grounded and make it work. The 11th issue is a marked improvement over the 1st. You can’t always say that. I can’t wait for the second omnibus volume. Where will they go next? How good can this comic get?

In 90 minutes, the second-best comic of 2012. Any guesses?

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2 Comments

I had a friend who was interested in getting into comics this past year, and he asked me for some recommendations. I suggested some of the classical canon of Moore, Miller, et al., which he enjoyed. Then, one day, I saw a black-and-white digest collection of the first seven issues of Nexus in a bargain bin at my local comic shop and bought it just so I could lend it to my friend (my Dad owns the original issues that I read). A week later, he gave it back and said he really didn’t like it. After that, I realized that I shouldn’t waste my time hanging out with a guy who can’t appreciate Nexus. That’s how much I love this series.

All-time best

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