Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

June 3, 2012

Comics I Read In Series Form In The 1980s: Nexus


Nexus always felt like a traditional superhero comic book to me, rather than as the transitional series the way I've heard it described by friends. It was the source of a lot of unabashed pleasure for pre-teen and teenager me. Nexus had a kind of modern genre TV show set-up: a sturdy premise that allowed for individual adventures combined with a rich, soap-opera background against which to unfold lengthy, personal plots. The art by Steve Rude was to die-for pretty, the kind that made kids ache to see the rest of the universe being depicted, while the clipped dialogue and strident satire worked better here by a multiple of ten than it would anywhere else in Mike Baron's career (at least to date). I was very fond of the character Dave, and when I finally obtained the issue with a spoken soundtrack the actor intoning "Tyrone. What it is." became a kind of recurring joke amongst my nerdy friends. Nothing that can be explained -- there was a just a quality to it, and we reveled in obscurities of which comics provided many.

I liked the whole package of Nexus, and I must have developed a sense of industry politics by mid-decade because I remember being pretty fascinated by the collapse of Capital Comics and the comic book's move to First (a company in a city with which I was actually sort of familiar). I also remember later on being fairly and fundamentally baffled by the title's employment of talent other than Steve Rude. High-pedigree fill-in issues from Mike Mignola and Paul Smith worked okay, but still felt jarring. When the title actually changed artistic hands for a lengthy time I quickly stopped reading the title. My memory is that it also seemed to me that the promise of the title's central mystery hadn't paid off at all -- another connection the series had to some modern genre television shows.
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