(Or ‘The Adventures of Mega Douche)
“What would you do if you won the lottery!?” Cringe-worthy words uttered by the most dim-witted of interviewers, poking out the most bland of answers such as “Buy meself a house, possibly”, or “Pay off my student debts”. Such bland answers to a dream scenario. Crop up the response “Train to the utmost physical fitness learning every martial art known to man and build an arsenal of warfare vehicles and mega-weapons to become the greatest super-villain in the world.”, however, and you’re probably Nemesis, a man worthy of our attention, and one who’s certainly going to get it.
Nemesis doesn’t get bogged down in back stories, emotional traumas and narrative which digs underneath the skin of all its characters. It tells the story of a millionaire playboy who loves to kill in the most extravagant ways possible. To him, murder is not only a spectacle, but an art which only exhibits beauty in compulsively complex plans and copious amounts of corpses. Gaining a reputation amongst the world as a dangerous super-criminal and earning places on everyone’s wanted lists, he takes his sadistic games to the States to track down one Officer Blake Morrow. The planning of his murder isn’t due to some over-dramatic revenge ploy, nor does he pose a particular threat to his existence. Morrow’s blood is only wanted to quench the super-villains ego.
Stemming from the mind of Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar, Nemesis is a whole new breed of character. A terrifying super-criminal dressed head to toe in white, it’s not to deceive you into thinking he’s some sort of saint, rather to highlight the amount of blood he practically spreads onto himself on any given evening. He’s scum, not in the loveable anti-hero sort of fashion. He’s just pure scum. An arrogant attitude built upon the foundations of constantly staying one step ahead of his competition, and an unshakeable determination to achieve his goals, Nemesis is a downright frightening character with a seemingly infinite amount of resources to take advantage off and an unquenchable blood-lust to arouse.
But although Nemesis practically has armies of blood-thirsty minions and treasure troves of military hardware, he also has the sadistic brains needed to play mind games on his victims. As gruesome as Nemesis’ slayings are, it’s what he can do with a hostage or two that truly earns high merits for achieving ‘Scum of the Earth’ status. Whatever the battle, physical or mental, Nemesis never lets up with the pace, and is truly commendable for slaughtering time rather than simply killing it, making the whole series a rapid blast to read through.
A fantastically disgusting spectacle that you won’t regret reading
Pencilled by Steve McNiven, the art has its moments of gory brilliance. Execution scenes seem to take on a macabre Mortal Kombat exaggeration, organs proudly flying through fountains of blood and something of a Millar staple since Kick-Ass of an exploding headshot. There’s an impressive amount of detail in certain sections, however, that it completely lets other sections down. Whereas some characters are so detailed you can see the wrinkles in their skin, others feel like they’ve got something of a disappointing minimalistic look to it. It’s not something that mars the enjoyment of Nemesis, but is certainly something that stands out artistically.
The blatant shock tactics Millar uses throughout the whole of Nemesis are enough to separate lovers and haters. For some, Nemesis is a gory thrill ride that delivers exactly what it promises. Pure, unadulterated, balls to the wall bloody torment. For others, it’s purely an immature comic that doesn’t even attempt to delve into any sopgistication. For those on the fence, it’s a tough one to judge. I can’t deny that I myself have been totally engrossed in the mini-series from beginning to end, yet it’s in no way going to impress those with its lack of intelligent narrative to offer comparison to the more grisly scenes.
It’s fair to say that sitting through the gory blitz that is Nemesis isn’t going to impress those looking for a comic to really sink their teeth into. However, the super-terrorist that is Nemesis is such a fascinatingly grotesque character to explore that the series is definitely worth the admission price. He’s sick, twisted and a hate figure who you can endear to in absolutely no way shape or form, and yet the humaneness that resides through his sane exterior makes him a frightening entity you can’t tear your eyes from. He’s a blood soaked jester with all the intrigue of an exceptional car crash, and readers are the onlookers who really shouldn’t be glancing at it, gawping wide-eyed. Pick up the horridly brilliant mini-series Nemesis and don’t expect the greatest of comic books to grace book shelves, but a fantastically disgusting spectacle that you won’t regret reading.
The Bad: Not a comic for those who wish for some narrative richness, Art style is really highlighted when certain sections use very minimalistic