Nexus was a superhero science-fiction comic written by Mike Baron and drawn by Steve Rude. The basic premise is that Heratio Hellpop has been been granted super powers by a being called the Merk. Nexus's mission is to execute mass murderers,but who's truly evil isn't always easy to determine.
This issue's main story concerns an attack on Nexus's homeworld of Ylum by the Sov. Nexus previously killed their general and they have sworn vengeance. The Merk has cut off Nexus's power because Nexus is behind on his execution schedule. Nexus has to figure out how to fight the attackers without his powers while diplomats from Ylum decide maybe negotiations won't work in this situation. The back up story is Tales from the Clonezone by Baron and art by Mark Nelson. Clonezone is a lizard-like comedian/performer who has wacky misadventures and...stuff. I only skimmed this story so um, I don't have much to say about it.
The main story is very interesting and compared to today's comics much is packed into 20 pages. From the attack, to the diplomat's trials, to Nexus confronting the Merk...a lot happens, but none of it feels rushed. Interesting ideas abound,there's characters who are basically just floating heads, four armed aliens, and actual discussions of the price or power and violence and retribution.Baron is able to strike just the right tone between drama and humor with his script.
Steve Rude's art compliments Baron's story perfectly. It's lighthearted and whimsical,while still maintaining a decent level of mystery and drama at the same time. Rude's storytelling is very kinetic and keeps the reader involved. He's more than capable at drawing dynamic figures. Sometimes his compositions are a little busy, but not so much that they're distracting.
I think I remember reading some years back Baron and Rude shopped Nexus around as a possible TV cartoon. After talking to some industry people, they realized they would have had to water down the concept so much that it wouldn't have been worth the effort. I'm glad they didn't persue it and we're left with this version of the character.