on 4 June 2013
This volume collects the four-part self-published(?) mini-series from 2010, staring Nemesis, the anti-Batman, a billionaire criminal mastermind who devotes himself to hunting down the world's greatest lawmen and executing cunning plans which have taken everything in to account, down to the minutest degree and spread across decades of years. Obviously, Chaos Theory hasn't been discovered in this universe.
We meet our anti-hero in Japan, where he is finishing off his latest campaign of terror, using a bullet train to kill the chief of police, and bringing a building full of police down on top for good measure. We then meet his next target, the chief of police in Washington DC, Blake Morrow, who's date and time of death Nemesis has just announced, shortly before he kidnaps the President. We then get a flashback to the young Morrow arresting nemesis's parents, the head of a rich-people's crime ring, given as the reason for Nemesis taking to a life of crime. After a few cat and mouse games, lifting a lot of Batman's old plots and new film-related hardware, as well as a lot of Millar's own creative mayhem, we get a showdown in the White House, and a final reveal of even deeper machinations going on deep in the background.
If you like lots of widescreen violence and epithet-laden dialogue, with deep-laid plots and conspiracies, and outrageous acts of terrorism on an unprecedented scale, then this is for you. If you are a bit more picky about your comics, you might still enjoy this, though by the end you might be wondering just how it all really worked.
THE SPOILER ZONE
Issue #1 introduces us to Nemesis, as he executes the Chief of Police of Tokyo, using a bullet train, and demolishing a building containing the SWAT team trying to rescue his hostage, to create the maximum carnage. We then meet his next target, Blake Morrow, the Chief of Police in Washington DC, who we meet doing a Clint Eastwood on a five-man criminal gang robbing a store. Afterwards, he is informed that he is the next target for Nemesis, so he goes into planning mode, just as Nemesis hijacks Airforce One, crash-lands it in a city centre and kidnaps the President, announcing that he's back for revenge for what happened to his family 20 years before.
Issue #2 starts with a flashback to the young Blake Morrow arresting Nemesis's billionaire parents for serial murder. Young Matthew Anderson runs off to become a master criminal, and today he has his own Nemesis-Cave stocked with billionaires' toys, just like another cave we know. Nemesis launches a series of Riddler-like crimes, though with a Joker-level body-count, culminating in an attack on the Pentagon. Morrow lays a trap for Nemesis - though I don't understand why it worked - leading to a big shoot-out and more Batman-like toys being deployed, before nemesis is finally captured.
Issue #3 sees Nemesis escaping from prison, along with two thousand inmates, who find two thousand identical getaway cars parked outside. Apparently his plan was to get captured to lure out Morrow's family from protective custody, and he kidnaps the Morrow children, releasing them in exchange for Morrow and his wife publicly revealing their deepest secrets. One secret he doesn't reveal is that he has had a mole in Nemesis's organisation...
Issue #4 sees Morrow leading his men into yet another ambush, as he is captured yet again, and Nemesis reveals his own mole, who gets his just reward, before Morrow is lead into the Oval Office, where his wife and the President are waiting, wearing bomb-vests and holding the triggers for each other's bombs, which they have been refusing to trigger. Morrow is given the choice which one to kill, before Nemesis kills them both. However, the President makes his own move, giving Morrow the chance to finally bring Nemesis down. Morrow subsequently dies on the operating table, before being resuscitated, thereby achieving Nemesis's target of dying at midnight...
Then comes the big reveal, that there is a hyper-villain behind the scenes, pandering to bored rich people by selling them the chance to become a super-villain, and who has planned these crimes over ten years previously.