© Mike Baron & Steve Rude.
I’ve always thought of this as the dark days of NEXUS: no Steve Rude at all in these issues, and I was prepared for a tough slog reading it, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it wasn’t so at all, at least for the main stories written by Mike Baron. This proves once again that good writing can overcome inappropriate art. The art by Mark Heike, John K. Snyder III, Luke McDonnell and Hugh Haynes is not bad art, it just pales in comparison to that of Rude, and in the case of Snyder the style is jarringly different, creating great possibilities to knock one out of the story. It did happen a few times, but overall Baron’s stories kept me in his world, as we finally meet the menacing and oft-mentioned god Elvon (or do we?), laugh at the antics of Crocus, and follow Stan as Nexus trying to sort them out. Horatio Hellpop is here, too, but in a lesser outsider role that works well. The rest of the regular cast mixes it up on Ylum, getting into trouble as usual, with Elvon making things worse.
Here’s a scene with the ever-popular Sinclair in action against Nexus. Not great work, but not terrible, either. It just doesn’t seem like Nexus to me, though, visually.
As for the Judah backup stories, I’ve been skipping those, I find them tedious, not nearly as well written as the Baron feature stories. Despite my mixed feelings, if you’re a NEXUS fan, these issues have stories that will entertain you, and they form an important part of the entire saga. On that basis, the book is recommended.