Sunday, November 22, 2009

Yes, I can see how there would be...confusion.

Guest artists are great, but it didn't seem right to do a week of Nexus posts without any Steve Rude art; so we'll take a quick look at one of the Dark Horse issues.

When a death-row inmate on Mercury is broken out of prison, moments before his execution, by a fusionkasting vigilante, blame quickly falls on Nexus. Even though Nexus' mandate is to kill murderers. And his costume is a different color. And, um, other stuff...

The inmate then commences a new murder spree, and Horatio is forced to leave off his archeological dig on Ylum with Sundra, and set out as Nexus again. In his journals, Horatio tries to work out why he continues the Merk's mission: was he bred to kill murderers? Is he a force for justice on this side of death? Or does he just enjoy his work?

Horatio's current sponsor, GQ (another of the Merk's race, but seemingly far more stable and reasonable) asks him to devote his energies elsewhere this time. Horatio senses there is something unspoken there, but is not swayed.

Before Nexus can finish the inmate, he is stopped by his newfound opposite number: Plexus. (If you ask, "Why Plexus?" you might as well ask "Why Nexus?" Because it sounds cool. And somewhat off topic, back in the First comics days, I think editor Rick Oliver had a great column about how First sank a ton of money into subliminal advertisements in grocery stores, then realized their books were direct sales only and not even available there. All they did was drive up sales of some stupid shampoo...)

Nexus and Plexus are too evenly matched, and their prolonged use of fusion power is starting to have adverse affects on the sun and the solar system. Plexus points out that "You don't cure murder with more murder." Nexus argues back that they "can no more cure murder than we can the common cold!" Both have points: while Plexus' accidental release of the inmate led to more murders, when Nexus kills someone, they're dead with no chance of appeal.

Eventually, the two are forced to stop and repair their battlefield, and both sponsors appear: Kimbo for the Plexus, and GQ. Both claim to be the last of their race.
Nexus innocently suggests the sponsors withdraw their power, so the men can settle it man to man...then throws a shard of glass into the inmate's chest, taking away any reason for the fight. (Where Horatio used to be a bit hapless without his powers, over the course of the years he became pretty hardcore.) Plexus accuses Nexus of being a thrill killer, who picks unsympathetic victims and kills with style, but a thrill killer nonetheless. Kimbo and GQ start at it with eyebeams, then both disappear. (I would've preferred a slapping match, it suits them...)

Poor Plexus is left without juice, or a ship, or the sympathy of the casino the inmate had terrorized. Nexus returns home to Sundra and the (seemingly) cheerful insanity of Ylum. Sadly, we haven't (yet) seen Plexus return, nor is it even clear if his powers returned. From Nexus: Executioner's Song #3, "Negative" (or "Plexus") Written by Mike Baron, pencils by Steve Rude, inks by Gary Martin.

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