Preview: Nemesis – The Deviant Edition
Before I started regularly buying and reading 2000AD for the blog a year plus back very few things really tempted me about the UK’s weekly delivery of thrill power. The exceptions were rare but very important; Dredd sometimes, Zenith, and Nemesis. Loved Nemesis. It felt slightly wrong, a little bit grubby, a little bit… well, deviant.
So far the only chance to appreciate the wonder of Nemesis has been through three volumes of 2000AD’s black & white Complete Nemesis The Warlock. That contains the complete Nemesis cycle, written by Pat Mills and featuring art from so many greats to grace the pages over the years; Bryan Talbot, David Roach, Jesus Redondo, the much missed John Hicklenton and co-creator Kevin O’Neill.
Here’s a little of what I wrote when reviewing the Complete Nemesis….
Nemesis is far better, nastier, darker and funnier than anything else in 2000AD – equal parts social commentary, satire and out and out action Sci-Fi.
Here, humanity is the villain and the aliens the oppressed heroes. Nemesis is a cloven hoofed, disciple of chaos, with torpedo shaped head and bizarrely twisted body leading the alien resistance movement against the tyranny of the Human Termight Empire.
Nemesis’ arch-enemy in all this is Torquemada, ruler of Termight and full of the overblown psychosis and ridiculous behaviour that befits a truly great villain. Torquemada rallies his troops with the cry of “Be Pure, Be Vigilant, Behave” but he’s willing to bend this rule once he becomes a wandering spirit, inhabiting human and alien alike, and becoming the deviant he so hates in his obsession to destroy Nemesis. But whilst we see through Torquemada immediately, Nemesis is more opaque – his motivations and morals always remain deliberately hidden, alien to the last.
Of the artists it’s O’Neill that captures the sheer otherworldliness of Nemesis best, getting every dirty, grotesque detail onto pages of incredibly detailed, unsettling and graphic artwork.
Well, now we get more Kevin O’Neill Nemesis The Warlock, in a beautiful hardback, in colour, and with extras. This is Nemesis The Warlock – Deviant Edition and it’s available from Thursday September 12th.
This new hardback collection collects all of those Eagle Comic editions from the 80s with Kevin O’Neill doing his own colours and adapting the original artwork for US sized publication. It also collects the ‘Nemesis Poster Prog’ story The Tomb of Torquemada. For those who weren’t around, Eagle Comics were just one in a line of attempts to take 2000AD characters across to America. Unfortunately, because of the different format of 2000AD, the original art on a US comic page has something akin to a letterbox effect. Hence O’Neill redrew a few panels and changed a few things around to make it work better.
This really is one of those books that you need. Storytelling and art are spot on, and it’s well deserving of this hardcover treatment. Right then, how about I actually show you some of what you’ll be getting?
First a couple of pages from The Tomb Of Torquemada…
A couple of those original Eagle covers, included as extras in the Deviant Edition:
And finally, a selection of pages to whet your whistle….