Great British Comic Book Characters: Nemesis The Warlock

Nemesis Copyright: Rebellion 2015

Nemesis Copyright: Rebellion 2015

“I am the shape of things to come, the lord of the flies, holder of the sword sinister… the death-bringer, I am the one who waits on the edge of your dreams… I am Nemesis”

Borag Thungg my fellow Squaxx Dek Thargo, and welcome to another instalment of “Great British Comic Book Characters.” In our last episode we introduced you to the UK’s biggest selling anthology comic of all time, 2000AD and its much celebrated principal star Judge Dredd, from this episode onwards we shall be exploring in detail the plethora of other characters that make up this diverse and innovative weekly comic book compendium.

2000ad #167 

Demonic alien entity Nemesis made his first appearance in 2000AD in prog #167 in July of 1980, created by writer Pat Mills and artist Kevin O’Neill.

Protagonist Nemesis is a fire-breathing alien who opposes the tyrannical and oppressive subjugation and systematic extermination of alien races by the evil human Termight empire and their fascist leader Tomas De Torquemada. His self appointed pursuit of justice against the xenophobic human forces began after discovering that his wife Chira and son Thoth had been murdered by termite’s terminators under orders from Torquemada himself.   

 

2000AD prog #167 first introduced us to our eponymous alien advocate in a short story entitled “Comic Rock: Terror Tube.” This initial adventure saw our freedom fighting anti-hero escape from the clutches of the then Chief of tube Police, Torquemada, after a sustained chase through a complex tube travel system on a planet named Termight (later revealed to be Earth.) Though for his first ever appearance he was strangely conspicuous by his absence, all the reader saw of Nemesis was the exterior of his ship, the Blitzspear. 

nem 6

Though short, Terror Tube set the scene for the continuing crusade of Nemesis and his lifelong antagonist Torquemada, the Termight Police were modelled closely after the Spanish Inquisition and extreme right wing factions such as the Nazis and Ku Klux Klan (Torquemada himself was named after notorious Spanish Inquisitor Tomas De Torquemada) which made it easy for the reader to easily empathise with the plight of the subjugated alien races and the violent struggle of our titular lead Nemesis. Though Nemesis himself is far from pure and virtuous, with his human aide and confidante Purity Brown ultimately realising that his mission of vengeance was used as an excuse to cover his own hatred of Humans and his mission to exterminate them from the known Universe.

nem9

Our main antagonist Torquemada began his evil quest as a young boy, embarking on a crusade to rid the Galaxy of aliens. Betrayed by the crusade’s leader he was sold into slavery, ending up as a minion for an alien race for over five long years. This scarred him badly leaving what little compassion and humility he possessed to be discarded, with his hatred of other lifeforms outside his own, intensified tenfold.

After his stint as tube police chief, he eventually rose to become the overriding leader of the entire Termight empire, with the assistance of his superficially religious police force The Terminators. Later in the series he became a powerful phantom like figure after losing his physical form in a bizarre teleporting accident. He continued his existence and zealous quest through the possessing of a succession of host bodies, though these would have to be replaced often as the host itself would rot at an escalated rate.

nem7

 

The majority of Nemesis’ crusade appeared as “Books” with the odd short story intercutting in various annuals, one-offs and specials. Book one entitled “The World Of Termight” introduced the leading players and set the scene for the epic galaxy spanning war. Each subsequent book would add more layers to the expansive storyline, culminating in book ten, “The Final Conflict” which saw both Nemesis and Torquemada killed at the culmination of the tale.

Like most of Pat Mills creations (Judge Dredd especially) he drew on real world politics and inherent human prejudices of the unknown. Nemesis spoke on many literary levels other than the ones accepted in the comic strip at face value. Bigotry, hatred and fascism were all explored in detail, and none of the leads were of great moral fibre, including our “hero” Nemesis, who is tainted by much the same abhorrence and repugnance as his arch enemy Torquemada, ultimately leaving this dystopian story exceedingly ambiguous.

Splundig Vur Thrigg…

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About ArcaneHalloween

Fanatical about comics, gaming and horror movies....but then isn't everyone?

Posted on October 5, 2015, in Comics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Florix Grabundae, amigo, for this zarjaz Post! Deserving of a Krill Tro Thargo!!
    Loved Nemesis – was glad this Summer to track down Vol 1 of this series – I have gone too many yrs without The Warlock
    Remember seeing th scrotnig Terror Tube back in th day – loved Kenny Everett’s cameo appearance!
    Blitzspear was awesome
    Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Borag Thungg, and thanks for reading my friend. Nemesis is most awesome, along with Dredd himself, it’s possibly my fave storyline to come out of 2000AD. I was going to mention Kenny Everett, but he was very much unknown outside of Blighty that I thought his mention may be a bit obscure. Splundig Vur Thrigg my man!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was that close to doing a Post on Nemesis myself, but I thot my good buddy Bruce wld b th only 1 to respond favourably so skipped it.
        Wise move re or Ken.
        Keep up th good work, good sir!
        Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sure you could work an appearance of Nemesis into one of your sci-fi pieces somewhere. He could always become a future inductee in Brad’s Badass Brigade.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank u! Th Badass Brigade r fine and dandy as they are, my friend. I will have a British comics-related Post sometime soon! Need to wok out a theme. Already collected Nemesis pics and quotes – twould be a shame not to use em.
        Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I very much look forward to that post my friend, British comics have such a long and interesting legacy that is oft overlooked. Hurrah for blogs and their ability to allow us to share these great characters with others across the globe!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting spotlight to shine on characters I don’t know well over here!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading and commenting, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Most characters originating from here in the UK haven’t travelled well outside of the Isles unfortunately. The only real exception of course is Judge Dredd who has become rather popular over in the USA and some parts of Europe. I will be posting about other lesser known Brit Superheroes in the next few weeks, which will hopefully help increase interest in them outside of the UK. Once again thanks so much for reading, have a great day. 🙂

      Like

  3. Wow! Now this is really cool! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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