Advance Review – ‘Nemesis: Reloaded’ #1 Is A Bloody, Brutal, Bombastic Ballet
by Olly MacNamee
Nemesis is back with a bang. Hitting the floor running, the baddest of the bad doesn’t waste any time doing what he does best. And that is executing a city-wide criminal caper. In this case executing a cunning plan that will leave the City of Angels piled high with bodies and its storm drains flowing with blood. And, I dare say, more stomach-churning twists and turns too.
As explained in the introduction to Nemesis: Reloaded #1, Mark Millar and Jorge Jiménez are treating the return of Millarworld’s biggest, baddest bastard as a soft relaunch. But even with this slight relaunch what hasn’t been done away with is the over-the-top violence, all of which is part of a stunning, cunning plan that, as it unravels across this debut issue, leaves the reader’s jaw on the floor. As with the first mini-series, a big part of the entertainment value is exactly how Nemesis puts his plans into action; plans that usually leave multiple bodies, as well as long-term scars. Physical and mental.
Without giving too much away ,what is revealed is that Nemesis is in Los Angeles with a target on the newly elected mayor’s back. Which doesn’t bode well for the mayor, now does it? Or, for that matter, members of the criminal class. Or, for Los Angeles, if we’re honest. Wherever Nemesis appears, danger and death are not too far behind.
Choreographing the whole affair, like some kind of bloody ballet, is Jiménez, who depicts our lead star as a viciously elegantly, criminally intelligent figure who dominates each scene with his murderous moves. Confident, clever and cocky. A man who barely stands still, and comes of as a kinetically charged criminal mastermind, with a body that just won’t stop.
As well as the energetic, in-your-face art of Jiménez, we have the delightful dialogue of Millar, who captures the voices of the key players to a tee. With a good deal of metatextuality too, when we hear an L.A. gang boss regaling his entourage on the pros and cons of Quentin Tarantino. Only for the self-same gangster to practically do the very thing he accuses Tarantino of doing. It’s a lovely, sly in-joke that most of us reading this comic will get. After all, Millar assumes a certain level of intelligence of his readers, and he’s right to do so. He also knows waht his fans love, of course, and this debut issue does not disappoint.
Yes, in very crass terms, this is the anti-Batman. That’s obvious. But, DC Comics have done that too with The Wrath back in the ‘80s and, more recently, the Ghost-Maker. But, never with the same sinister style or over-the-top relish that Millar has been able to do. Especially as the Ghost-Maker was quickly rehabilitated. Something I don’t Nemesis has even considered for a single sentence.
So, if you’re going to buy any comic featuring an anti-establishment, pro-gun bad guy this week, then you’ll do no better than this one. But then, I suppose, Nemesis doesn’t have too much competition in that department. So, just go buy it because it’s such a glorious, guilty pleasure.
Nemesis: Reloaded #1 is out Wednesday 11th January from Image Comics