Review by Tony Keen
Spoilers in review
This second volume continues the high standards for Nemesis the Warlock that Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neill set in Book One. However, some confusion enters at this point for readers of the weekly comic 2000 AD, in which these stories originally appeared. What was published there as Book Two of Nemesis featured the art of Jesus Redondo, due to O’Neill’s issues with meeting deadlines. Titan decided to skip Redondo’s Book Two, and reprint as Book Two O’Neill’s next contribution to the strip, Book Three from 1983. Confusing, eh? This book was later titled ‘The World of Nemesis’ because of the insights provided into the eponymous Warlock and his home planet.
It’s top-class stuff. Mills allows the reader to see a lot of the background to the society of the Warlocks, introduces Nemesis’ wife, and shows the birth of his son, Thoth. Then the action relocates to the planet Demotika and the basilisks of Ydrasil Castle, under siege from Torquemada’s Terminators. Mills is at the top of his game, writing an exciting tale, but filtering it throughout with humour. The overblown nature of the captions from Book One is toned down, or has become something the reader is used to. Mills even manages to bring back a character from his Ro-Busters strip (see sample image), thus tying Nemesis in with his wider writings for 2000 AD – and the clash of two giant robots, Mek-Quake versus Torque-Armada, is one of the funniest sequences here. O’Neill’s art continues to impress with its weirdness and invention. He even manages to include a self-portrait.
The story builds to a tragic conclusion that sets the scene for the next few books, and signals the start of a change in tone. The story continues in Book Three. The material from this present volume can also be found in Nemesis: The Beginning, The Complete Nemesis the Warlock Book 01, and in slightly different format in Nemesis the Warlock: Deviant Edition.