This Week in Reviews: Nemesis #1
Greetings from the most popular comics-news article on the Internet, as decided by one man: TREHERN. That comic-news article is, of course, Geek Tyrant's own This Week in Comics. Today, I'd like to introduce a new semi-regular article entitled This Week in Reviews, where Alan Trehern can freely express his critiques, ideas and love for newly released gems in the comic book world. Will I do one every week? Probably not. Will each one be worth your time? ABSOLUTELY!!
Written and Co-Created by Mark Millar
Artist and Co-Creator, Steve McNiven
Colors by Dave McCaig
Publisher: Icon Comics, imprint company of Marvel
This week's review is on the highly anticipated indie book entitled Nemesis by Millar (Civil War, Kick-Ass, Old Man Logan) and McNiven (Old Man Logan, Civil War). It unravels the tale of a criminal mastermind as he treks across the world outsmarting the countries' greatest policemen. Millar makes it known right up front that there are only TWO players in this game, and they're the only ones that really matter, because everyone else is likely to die.
I can already tell this is going to be mindless enjoyment. Within the first scenes you've already witnessed what this super criminal can do, and he does it the best way he knows how: monumental death tolls! When his adversary, the good cop, makes his appearance, I thought for a second it would be the Stallone character from Cobra. But then it turned out to be some old man that looks like Jay Garrick. Meh.
The dialogue is okay, and I use that term to portray how average more intellectual comic fans might find it. The super criminal (still unnamed) sounds like he's some foreign debutante, as he refers to the U.S. as "America" instead of the "the rockin'est place on the planet" as a real American would say. His drones seem pretty brainless, which makes the super criminal seem less "super" since he needs help to commit his crimes. I guess the Joker needed his henchmen from time to time. Whoops! What a strange parallel! Why hasn't somebody come up with that yet??
Like I said, the super-criminal's character isn't drawn out enough yet to make a concrete evaluation. He comes off as a rich foreign snob, but he talks like a third-string villain. Dropping the F bombs and taunting Police Chief Morrow doesn't make the super-criminal seem as intelligent as he's suppose to be. His feats of villainy, though, are well-worth the $2.99 price tag.
Chief Morrow is more uppish than the super-criminal: "...call Howard Anderson and let him know I'll be late for baccarat this evening..." Yeah, no problem, Mr. Thurston Howell III. Who plays baccarat in America except James Bond enthusiasts? He's old, he's thoughtful, he's caring...he's your all-around really good guy. But to beat this super-criminal, he's going to have to go above and beyond his farm boy ideals if he stands a chance of going toe-to-toe with the maniacal Man in White.
McNiven has always proved that he can draw with the best of them. I met him once at a convention, and although fan-boys were berating him with copies of Civil War, he signed them all with a smile. I've gone on to appreciate his work in Civil War, and he manages to deliver in Nemesis as well.
At first I was put off by his use of blackness behind the characters, but as it turn out, it was used to conceal the super-criminal's location. The only real critique I have of McNiven is his overuse of wrinkles. Yeah, you heard me. Each character's facial craters are put on full display, and although it doesn't take you out of the story, it does make everyone look really ugly. I guess we're just used to comic book characters looking chiseled and emulating the best physical human features that we forget that not everyone looks like Kevin Sorbo's Hercules. The gritty feel of this world, though, prepares the audience for the heinous crimes that the super-criminal has in store for his newest nemesis.
If you dig really violent deaths and cop/villain intrigue with a hint of pomposity, than Nemesis is the four-issue story for you. Hollywood will definitely try to make this series into a movie, especially with the forthcoming success of KICK-ASS, and when they try and fail than try again, the perfect actors would be Viggo Mortensen as Morrow and Vinnie Jones as the super-criminal. There you go, where's my check?
Now a lot of naysayers are claiming that Millar's story has been done before, and that he can't come up with any original ideas. Sure, Lex Luthor is a rich super villain, but in Millar's world, this is it. The super-criminal is a Lex Luthor-archetype in a world without Superman, and he chooses to destroy it instead of saving it, as Luthor constantly claims to do if the Man of Steel were destroyed. I don't know, I just think people should enjoy it for what it is: a story with violent crimes and mind games between cops and the bad guy...Cobra without Stallone...My life if I could tip over a skyscraper. You get the picture.
So what did you think of Nemesis? What would you have changed or included? Let me know!