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

Home > CR Reviews

Nexus: Nightmare in Blue #3
posted January 6, 2006

Creators: Mike Baron, Steve Rude
Publishing Information: Dark Horse, $2.95
Ordering Numbers:

The third issue in a four-issue limited series marking the longtime independent favorite's return to its original black-and-white, Nexus: Nightmare in Blue #3 displays all of what's good and bad about late-period Nexus.

Steve Rude's art continues to be for the most part highly effective and lushly entertaining. Rude still has the Toth-like line, but in later years has been able to develop a more cohesive sense of page design. The move to black and white means we lose the more extravagant color from past mini-series, but Rude makes up for by experimenting more fully with his suggestive, shapes-oriented style that he originally used in his second big run on the original color title.

Mike Baron's scripting and story-work on Nexus has never been the title's strongest point, but at least this mini-series eschews the gimmicks and heavy-handed allegories of recent work for the title's basic menu of guilty superheroics and melodrama. Mostly, he just gets out of the way of his characters, who are finally able to use their past histories to gain story resonance, but who run the danger of becoming smoothed-over from constant exposure.

The melodrama is just that: the typical Ylum-in-crisis intrigue marked by a Nexus period of regret over his position as cosmic executioner. The set-up, as we've seen in the past, doesn't hold much more than that, but what you're left with is an effectively told, well-drawn fantasy story.

This review was written in the late 1990s as part of a then-ongoing freelance gig; I apologize if it reads oddly or seems incomplete.