Nemesis by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven (2010)

nemesis 2

L: 8.5/10

M: 8/10

Analysis by wet newspaper clippings, drying in a house fire:

It’s somewhere between issues three and four of Nemesis, where the absolutely insane amount of violence begins to blur. A prison guard’s eyeball is kicked out of his head, and then a baton is jammed through the back of another’s skull, in the most graphic of splash pages I’ve ever seen. I recall fondly the first time I read this series. It was the first Mark Millar book I ever read. Immediately after reading issue one, I did a deep dive into his other work and fell in love with the Ultimates line for Marvel and some of his other MillarWorld titles. He definitely has a trademark style of making a comic that’s made for a film. I.E., Kick-Ass, Secret Service, and even the Juggernaut that is known as the Marvel Cinematic universe.

As time has gone on and my pull list has grown in diversity and volume, I can only take Mr. Millar in small doses. Every line is cranked up to eleven, and each panel is crammed full of an amount of scenery-chewing that would make the Fast and Furious franchise blush. That being said, each time a new title is announced, an immediate email is sent to my comic shop to add it to my list.

Mark Millar attracts the best of the best when it comes to the art side of his titles. Steve McNiven is one of the biggest hitters when it comes to Marvel’s current day. His art is consistently clean and easily digestible. His faces are hyper-realistic, and his action sequences flow beautifully time after time.

Nemesis is violent. The best way to describe it would be to say what if Batman was a super-villain, with even more unbelievable resources at his arsenal. That aligns perfectly for me, as I always was drawn to a title with a good villain. Almost a decade has passed since I first read this run, and I still check for updates on a sequel or a film adaptation reasonably regularly. It is safe to say that this book has made me a Millar fan-boy for life.

Analysis by a casualty of the Reddit wormhole:

Holy hell, this shit is intense!! Each time I go into reading something new in this genre, I worry that I will get lost or not understand it. I was pleasantly surprised at the flow and ease of learning this trade. In fact, as I was reading, I missed all of the third issues, which flowed so well from the second into the fourth that I didn’t even realize. While undoubtedly violent, the writing is clear enough to where all setups are followed through, and the main storyline is delivered with a crisp finality.

Now seriously though what the damn hell is wrong with this guy?? I love a villain. Give me your Lex Luthor or Loki, and I’m weak in the knees. I like the way a mind works that is unpredictably evil, but this may be a bit much for me. I have to say that the whole sister being pregnant with the gay brother’s baby makes you wonder what is going on in the author’s head. Clearly, he’s a layered fellow.

The artwork was intriguing and grey when not splattered with blood, which is actually rare. It’s graphic. It’s gory. It’s violent. It feeds the 13 yr old boy in me who needs all the violence and blood and guts you can dish out. Truly there is no other way for this to be illustrated. It would do the story an injustice for the visuals to be beautiful and have any soft edges at all.

In all, I enjoyed the read and will be looking for future works from Mr. Millar, who has, incidentally, been added to my top five people I have irrational crushes on list.

Mark Millar

Steve McNiven

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