The opening book has Nemesis The Warlock admit that his stand on good and bad is ambivalent as he actually gets turned on by the excitement of his actions, much to Purity Brown’s disgust. However, although he might show some of the same harsh decisions, he also does good by his actions and that of the people he employs. In this case, he curbs the memory of Purity Brown so she can get really close to Torquemada and be kept up to date with his plans for a few decades and save people. Considering that Torquemada doesn’t even like pets, it does make you wonder why he would want a wife but I suppose he must have some sense of morality and companionship. Artist David Roach’s clean ink style, which doing it with hatch and keeping it tidy and making use of the white space is probably the closest you can get to seeing what would have happened had Brian Bolland done the strip. What is annoying is if you want to see what happened to Purity Brown at the end, then you have to buy ‘The ABC Warrior Volume 3’.
Without that volume to hand, there is colour break, which might have gotten away with a more limited colour palate by Clint Langley, with a couple stories defining Purity and Torquemada as the latter finds a weapon off-world to defeat Nemesis.
The final book is also the final moments for Nemesis and Torquemada which ultimately ended the title. Then again, how much more do we have to witness Torquemada torturing his own people as he tries to eradicate aliens out of human territory? So, too, with Nemesis. After all, when your entire life is devoted to fighting an enemy, you must get to a stage that you wonder what you would do when he’s gone. I love the twist that Nemesis gives by telling Torquemada that in earlier incarnations he was an alien. The artwork by Henry Flint and Kevin O’Neill is clean but immensely detailed. If anything, having so much in each panel leaves you with a choice of gawping at the art or reading the story. As a long-term comicbook reader, I tend to absorb as I read than let anyone aspect take over.
The last section of the book features three miscellaneous Nemesis stories. The middle one, ‘The Enigmass Variations’, drawn by Carl Critchlow and coloured by Steve Potter and written by Pat Mills and Tony Skinner is a fun piece. Six sorcerors get together, only for them to be attacked from within and killed. The selection of sorcerers is fun, especially as a couple of them appear to be amalgams of Marvel’s The Watcher, Dr. Strange and Thor.
The final story, ‘Bride Of The Warlock’ by Pat Mills and artist Chris Weston and coloured by Annie Parkhouse actually makes use of a better bright colour palate as Nemesis hits Torquemada where it hurts with his two wives. The result of that is actually a joy, well except for Torquemada, removing one sadist and redeeming the other.
Be pure. Be vigilant and above all, read them. We aren’t likely to see the likes of Nemesis The Warlock again. If you’ve ever had a need to question prejudice then this series will at least have made you think or at least turn them into a laughing stock and not want to be that way yourself.
(pub: 2000AD. 208 page in black and white and colour graphic novel. Price: £19.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-905437-48-1)
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