Nexus in action. Artist: Steve Rude.


Medium: Comic books
Originally published by: Capital Comics
First Appeared: 1981
Creator: Mike Baron (writer) and Steve Rude (artist)
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The early 1980s saw a revolution in the comic book industry. Many consider it to have started when Pacific Comics, a direct market distributor, entered the publishing arena with Jack Kirby's Captain Victory, the first issue of which was dated November, 1981. But Pacific wasn't actually the first to do so. Five months earlier, Capital City Distributors, under the imprint "Capital Comics", had put out a modest, unassuming black and white comic book about a character called …

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Nexus — who outlasted both Pacific Comics and Capital City Distributors, and made stars of writer Mike Baron and artist Steve Rude.

Nexus lives 500 years in the future, on an obscure ball of rock called Ylum. He is haunted by dreams about mass murderers. The dreams become more intense, unbearably so, until he goes out and executes the criminals, using "fusion casting" power provided by the same mysterious entity that sends him the dreams. The first murderer Nexus executed was his own father.

After three issues, the black and white comic gave way to a standard full-color series. Baron also created a companion title, The Badger, about a contemporary superhero whose schtick is that he's certifiably insane. Capital put the two out sporadically for a couple of years, then retreated from the publishing sector of the industry, leaving its characters homeless.

In 1985, First Comics, which was making a reputation among fans with comics like Warp, E-Man, American Flagg and Jon Sable, Freelance, picked up the orphan series. First continued to publish Nexus until its 80th issue (May, 1991), and then that publisher, too, faded from the scene.

Since then, there has been no regularly-published Nexus series. But the character has been featured in several oneshots and mini-series from Dark Horse Comics, where quite a few other characters, including Groo the Wanderer and Usagi Yojimbo, found homes after trying out several publishers. Through all that time, the vast majority of Nexus stories were written by Mike Baron and drawn by Steve Rude.

So far, Nexus's only foray out of the comics medium was a phonograph "flexi-disk" bound in with the third black and white issue, giving that story an audio component. No novels, TV cartoons, big little books, major motion pictures — just comics, and those haven't been coming out regularly in recent years. Still, interest in the character, and the fully-realized future world in which he operates, remains high, so we can count on seeing him again.


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