Nemesis #1

Nemesis #1
Icon / Marvel Comics
(w) Mark Millar
(a) Steve McNiven
FC 32 pgs w/ ads $2.99 US / Higher in Canada

The tag line on the cover of the comic proclaims that Mark Millar’s latest “Makes Kick-Ass Look Like Shit”. It’s the kind of statement that Garth Ennis made when he started up The Boys. He was going to out Preacher Preacher. Millar likes to hype up his work. It’s good for business. But does this latest venture actual surpass Kick-Ass? Or Millar’s previous work.

First things first, McNiven’s art is awesome as always. But the short answer is it’s to soon to tell. The story follows a super-villain in a world with out super-heroes. He goes around the world and matches wits with various brilliant police detectives. It’s a game to the death for the cops and a brief bit of amusement for Nemesis. The idea is interesting if not unoriginal.

Awhile back I started reading the early, early beginnings of the super-hero in the form of early pulp fictions. While there was characters like Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan and Allan Quartermain around in at the turn of the century – in 1911 the first super-villain was born. He was created as a series of serial novels in France. The man was evil, mysterious and impossible to catch. His motives were at times elusive and he matched wits with a Sherlock Holmes knock-off called Juve. The villain’s name was Fantomas. And reading this comic reminded me of him. A year later Dr. Fu Manchu was born. In 1913 Fantomas made it on to the big screen and was quickly imitated.

The death, destruction and requisite costume are extremely similar. But comics have always used other ideas for inspiration. As for the comic itself, I enjoyed the first issue – let’s hope that Millar isn’t all hype and is going somewhere with this.

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