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Tuesday, August 04, 2015 

Why would boilerplate leftists like Nexus?

Mike Baron and Steve Rude's superhero creation in a futuristic world, Nexus, has been back in the news lately, as they're planning to craft a story this time in a special format like a newspaper strip. On which note, I found a CBR article from 2007 where a couple of leftists - including the article writer himself - actually professed their love for the creation of a guy who's more or less conservative-leaning. For example:
"The return of Baron and Rude and 'Nexus' is one of those events that gives me hope for the medium," said [Joe] Casey in the "Space Opera" announcement. "I've been waiting for this for a long time and for me, personally, it means everything. I mean, how often does someone have a chance to say these words: My favorite comic book is back!"

Casey's remarks were echoed by many of comics' biggest names including Joe Quesada and Erik Larsen. "Powers" co-creator Mike Avon Oeming declared, "'Nexus' made me what I am today. Baron and Rude are the reasons I do creator owned comics. Without 'Nexus,' there would be no 'Powers,' and one less creator out there. 'Nexus' is easily one of the best comic series ever, I can't wait to see it return!"

Neil Gaiman agreed, stating, "Learning that 'Nexus' is coming back is like hearing you're going home again after years in the wilderness."
As anybody familiar with Larsen and Quesada knows they're both ultra-leftists, so what about Nexus could possibly appeal to them? I own several back issues from the time it was originally published by Capitol and then First, and am quite aware of how it was developed as a metaphor for the Cold War, with Horatio Hellpop's father being the former head of the "Sov Empire", an allusion to the communists. As seen in this panel here, the communist metaphors are still an important part of the series' creation, with the father insisting there's no God because they're commies (and atheists).

So why would Larsen and Quesada take such a liking to a book whose premise goes against their beliefs? I guess for them, the book is appealing from a visual perspective: Rude created a very impressive cast of characters, human, humanoid and alien, including Sundra Peale and Judah, and his art style stands out as one of the best you can find, far better than anything Quesada's ever had to offer, and way ahead of Larsen's style for Savage Dragon. This would make their fandom for Nexus a superficial type only.

As for writers, Gaiman's a leftist too, and while I can't say any material I ever read from Sandman seemed to feature commie leanings, I do know his work was accused of featuring anti-family themes, and in real life, Gaiman once sided with the Occupy movement. I even recently spotted Ron Marz promoting the new Nexus project, and his views on politics and arts I've already long stressed many times. What could possibly appeal to these examples - certainly the latter - if they're not particularly concerned about the effects of communism? On which note, Ayn Rand's family were victims of communism, all the more reason why Marz's hatred of Rand is mysterious.

That told, I hope Baron and Rude's new venture does well in an age when sales for comics are minor compared to other mediums. I still think a paperback format or original graphic novel would be the best way to go, but I appreciate their trying out the current experiment. Baron himself is now writing Lions Forge's new Airwolf adaptation, based on the notable TV show that aired around the time he was first doing Nexus and Badger, and featured commie-style villains in it too. Even today, communism is still posing a serious problem out there, as Putin's Russia is proving with their arms sales to Iran, and that's why even a metaphorical take on the fight against communism can be well worth writing.

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Oh boy, Avi; do I have a link for you...


Thanks, I'll try to work on a post about it as soon as I can.

When "All in the Family" premiered, a lot of liberals hated it, because they did not understand that it was satire. Conversely, it may be that the anti-Soviet message in Nexus is too subtle for Larsen, Gaiman, Marz, et al.

Well, I suppose if they're middling creators, they should like middling creations.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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