Sunday, 4 August 2013


Mark Millar & Steve McNiven Nemesis (2012)

Collecting all four issues of Nemesis, this is a slim volume, but nevertheless just about the size it needs to be to tell the story. Nemesis, being the tale of a caped millionaire genius who sees himself as an extralegal righter of wrongs, is almost a real world Batman at least in so much as Millar's Kick-Ass is real world; except the twist is that Nemesis is an absolute cunt, blowing up trains full of innocent people and shooting anyone who gets in the way as part of some obscure vendetta apparently waged against just one man; and more worryingly, he's a devious and unstoppable cunt.

If whoever is presently turning this into an action blockbuster wants he's a devious and unstoppable cunt as the strapline for their movie poster, be my guest.

Nemesis is beautifully drawn, ingeniously plotted, and laced with just the right quota of sparky dialogue; and as such oozes at least as much class as any bande dessinée you care to mention, albeit with some emphasis on those bandes dessinées where something gets blown up every third page. It's the kind of story that has become generic Bruce-Willis-vehicular action blockbuster shite on the big screen, and yet done this well in the pages of a comic book, I can't help but be impressed; and as something of an aside, not least because although Nemesis is violent to the point of absurdity, Millar pulls back from anything too needlessly visceral or psychologically stomach churning shoved in the reader's face, perhaps recognising such shock tactics as potentially detrimental to the story.

The only flaw I can find is that with so much going on over so few pages, relatively speaking, the narrative seems to collapse under its own weight towards the end, genuine surprises yielding to the perhaps inevitably nested twists which don't quite make sense, at least not to me.

Still - musn't grumble.

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