Friday, October 05, 2007

Once again, it's Friday Night Fights!

Fighting is all well and good if you've been training since the age of six, or have insane super-powers, or can heal from grotesque and crippling injuries rapidly. For everyone else, though, it's a bit more of a boondoggle. We don't want to get hit, we don't know how to hit properly, and we sure as hell don't recover quickly. (I personally haven't hit anyone since college, and am strictly amateur hour. I left the violence to the pros.)

This week, Nexus finds himself in the same boat. You might assume someone who's job is killing mass murderers might have some fighting skills, but Horatio just isn't a hands-on kind of guy. If you can zap killers with fusion blasts, why get your hands dirty...unless your powers aren't working, as was the case when he and Judah and Badger were trapped in the Bowl-Shaped World. (This was a fill-in issue, set right after Nexus #6 rather than the current storyline.)

Possibly even more galling for Horatio, Badger and Judah are both masters of several martial arts, wrestling, armed and unarmed combat, defenestration, etc. Without his powers, Nexus is a philosopher with a neat costume and hip boots.
I could see being eaten by the intercontinental champ maybe, but a mere all-star? Hell no!
Stuck in a seemingly endless desert, the three are already starving, particularly since the Thune Judah "needs to eat about half his body weight every day." Eventually, they come accross a caravan of those weird mouth-stalk aliens I'm positive Giffen drew in every old issue of Legion of Super-Heroes. Badger jumps out, and the aliens shoot arrows at him. Nexus and Judah sit this one out. 'M-E-H. Meh.'

Once they run out of arrows, the aliens kneel before our heroes, then feed them. Horatio notices "my porridge is starting to flow," but the aliens just fed them their translating MacGuffin, the Leaf of Larger Thought. Great name, though.
'That's the plot of every kung-fu movie, ever.'
Now I imagine the aliens as having that squeeky-froggy voice from the Slurm slugs on Futurama, and they mention their prophecy, which Badger intones solemnly. (Actually, people would probably pay to see a movie called, 'Generic Legend.') And out of his ass. Not entirely convinced these are the heroes of legend, they still let Badger, Judah, and Nexus eat all their food on the way to the walled city.

That night, Horatio wrestles with the ethical problem of deluding the aliens. Judah argues it would crush them, and Badger figures they probably are the chosen ones. Who else would've shown up?

The next morning, the aliens greet them at spearpoint. Accusing them of being false prophets and demons, the aliens present the new heroes of legend, three other travellers. Judah tries to play it off as if they were in the wrong universe, but Horatio confesses they are only lost. And one of the new heroes punches Badger in the face, so it's on.
I don't think Judah ate the ear, but I can't rule it out either...
While Badger and Judah pummel their foes, including a pre-Tyson ear bite from Judah against a guy that looks like Furball from Five Years Later era Legion; Nexus discusses this heroes-of-prophecy business with the third man. The new 'heroes' are lost travellers as well, and not above exploiting or enslaving the aliens; and Nexus is forced to choke a b--wait, his name was really Miracle Whip? Choking's too good for him. Nexus apparently twists his top off.
Tangy zest or no, you've got to go!
Nexus apologizes again to the aliens for misleading them, and offers their help. The aliens explain they used to have water, that flowed through a mysterious keyhole in the mountains, and that none who had ventured there had ever returned. The heroes set out to see if they can bring back the water somehow, leading an alien to proclaim "some (prophets) are more false than others!"

In the mountains, they find a dimensional gate, like a wall of static, apparently broken. A skeleton lies at the base, and they deduce the gate is only one way now: the other way. Judah argues they could go through, but Nexus advises checking with the aliens.

Back at the walled city, Nexus smells a disturbingly familar scent: cooked flesh. The aliens have eaten the false heroes, since they now have new gods that said it was OK: three new heroes of legend, including a Quatro. Nexus tries to explain, there's just a lot of strangers coming through right now, and not every one of them is going to be the prophecied chosen.
Is the yellow guy on fire, or does he just look like it?
Things turn violent shortly thereafter:
The big guy that looks like Groot, from Omega Men, doesn't seem to put a lot of effort into the fight; while the Quatro's still game after getting an arm punched off.
'Look what you make me do' isn't exactly a stirring battlecry.
With the aliens and heroes against them, Nexus, Badger and Judah have no choice but to make a break for the gate. Reappearing underwater, the three make their way to shore; discovering a new land, with game, water, and the continuation of their journey...

And back at the walled city? It's time for a Giffen big-eye panel...because Quatros have big eyes, really.
Injury to the eye motif.
There's a lesson here somewhere, but it's not in a little box like the end of a Groo comic, so you're on your own...

From Nexus #23, "False Prophets" Written by Mike Baron, guest pencils by Keith Giffen, guest inks by Rick Bryant. Giffen's art is to my taste, but I wonder what Rude's fans thought of this one. And Bahlactus is the safety word. Don't pretend you don't hear it.

1 comment:

SallyP said...

Great stuff. Man, I haven't read Badger or Nexus in quite a while, but they were ALWAYS fun.

Demented perhaps, but fun.