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Nexus Archives: Volume 7

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Nexus is Horatio Hellpop, a young man who grew up in isolation after his parents fled to a planet filled with mysterious technology. As he matures, he begins to have unbearable nightmares that drive him to kill mass murderers-of whom this galaxy has an endless supply. A flashback reveals how Nexus's first dream compelled him to kill his own father, and this larger-than-life tale takes off from there. In the present day, reporter/spy Sundra Peale comes to write a story about Nexus, now a godlike but mysterious celebrity, and ends up helping him liberate thousands of decapitated, telepathic heads, collected by the slaver Clausius to power his plans of domination. Space opera at its finest, the initial story line spins off into a dozen other plot threads, fueling this book's original 100-issue run in the '80s and '90s. Baron's sweeping yet quirky stories recall Alfred Bester, Heinlein and Sturgeon. Rude, one of the most accomplished comics artists of his era, captures nuances of tragedy, comedy and everything in between. Although these earliest issues have rocky moments, like those other writer/artist duos Lee/Kirby and Morrison/Quitely, the Baron/Rude team surpasses anything they have done separately, and Nexus is a masterwork deserving the archive treatment. (Dec.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Horatio Hellpop's terrible dreams of the galaxy's mass murderers will destroy him unless he eliminates their cause-so he becomes the dreaded Nexus, and uses his mysterious fusion powers to kill the killers. An intensely private figure, he lives on the moon of Ylum with a variety of political refugees he has rescued during his grim errands. When journalist Sundra Peale arrives on Ylum intent upon learning Nexus's secrets, she is drawn into his world far more strongly than she had planned. This hardcover collects the series' inaugural episodes from the early 1980s. The first stories, in black-and-white, are somewhat crude but inventive, introducing the bizarre use of networked, telekinetic amputated heads in jars as a power source. The bright full colors of the later stories contribute to a partial lightening in tone, as Rude's artwork quickly matures (gaining a look reminiscent of Russ Manning's Magnus, Robot Fighter), and Baron adds some comic relief. The supporting cast-including Judah the Hammer, a boisterous, apelike "independent adjudicator" who models his exploits after Nexus's-begin to come into their own. Winner of multiple Eisner Awards, this series is recommended for teen and adult fans of science fiction adventure. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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