Horatio was the only son of Sov General Theodore Hellpop. General Hellpop was the president of the Sov agricultural colony Vradic. When Vradic broke out in civil war, Hellpop escaped, after following orders to destroy the planet. His ship was sucked through a black hole to the far end of the galaxy near a dead world that had two moons. The moons later called Ylum (eye - lum) and Marlis respectively had vast underground cavern systems that were still habitable. Hellpop settled on Ylum where his son Horatio was born. Horatio was trained from birth by Alph and Beta, two creatures that posed as his imaginary friends, but were actually manifestations of the near godlike alien known as The Merk. Horatio developed the ability to fusion-kast, drawing his power through the Merk from nearby stars. The gift of this power came with a great price. Horatio would have to use it to kill his race's most egregious killers, starting with his own father. When he disobeyed, he was given unbearable headaches that escalated to the point where they could kill him. The only cure was to go into a dreaming chamber called the tank, where he would envision his next target.
In a galaxy very deep in complex politics, The Cohesive Web of Planets which included Earth and many of the inner systems, did not look kindly upon this new power. Known galaxy wide as Nexus, Horatio was branded an outlaw by the ruling politicos, but quickly became a hero and savior to the many races he freed while performing his duties for the Merk. For his part, Horatio was merciful to the victims of the murderers he destroyed, taking many of them to Ylum which quickly became a haven for political refugees from across the universe. These refugees came in all colors and shapes, among them many allies of "The Great Nexus", notably famous wrestler and chef Judah Maccabee, the Cohesive Web spy who defected and later became his lover Sundra Peale, and Wisconsin psychopath The Badger. Nexus became the masthead of Ylum, but refused to be its leader, allowing the populace to elect their own candidate.
Nexus was created by writer Mike Baron
and artist Steve Rude
for Capital Comics
in 1981, after their original pitch for "Post Apocalyptic Encyclopedia Salesman" was rejected. The company wanted a super hero property, and the two creators obliged. Capital published three magazine sized black-and-white comics and six color issues before the company went belly up. Nexus publishing rights were sold to First
comics, who picked up the series where Capital left off at issue #7. Nexus ran a total of 80 issues at First, lasting until the company went bankrupt in the early 90s. Baron and Rude then took Nexus to Dark Horse Comics
, where it was published as a yearly group of mini series. The final mini series Nexus: Nightmare in Blue
was published in black and white as a cost saving measure, but with low sales and an admitted lack of interest by the creators, Nexus retired into comic book limbo. With the formation of Steve Rude's publishing company, Rude Dude Productions
, the team brought Nexus back, ostensibly to finish up the dangling storyline from Nightmare In Blue. The series lasted four issues until once again discouraging sales forced the company to suspend publication indefinitely.
Horatio Hellpop was a moral man who wished nothing more than to lead a life of creativity and learning. His destiny as humanity's executioner overshadowed that however, to the point where Horatio sought out any way he could to remove his ties to the Merk. Horatio tries several times to give up being Nexus, even going so far as to have a chip implanted in his head to keep him from dreaming. Eventually the Merk gets fed up with his chosen executioner, and allows him to quit being Nexus, choosing the daughters of one of Horatio's victims the Loomis sisters as his successor. The Next Nexus
quickly show themselves to be more concerned with avenging their father's death than following the Merk's plan. The Loomis sisters are defeated by Horatio's daughters Scarlett
, and the Merk withdraws their power, instead choosing to hold open auditions for the role.
After several failed attempts at a replacement, the Merk finally gives the job to Stanislaus Korivitsky
. Stan is a warrior poet and a scholar who idolizes Horatio. He is at his core a decent man who successfully fills Horatio's shoes as the conscience of humanity. Eventually, the constant pressure of the job, coupled with the increasing insanity of the Merk prove too much for Stan and he suffers a psychotic break. Horatio reluctantly takes up the mantle of Nexus once again to stop Stan's indiscriminate killing spree. Ironically, Stan is ultimately destroyed by a former enemy of Horatio's seeking revenge and ultimately unable to tell the two Nexus apart as they fight.
Horatio finally makes contact with a different Merk that calls itself GQ. It agrees to maintain Nexus power in exchange for Horatio's help in defeating the insane Merk, now referred to as Drizripool. With the help of his friends Horatio defeats the insane Merk, and GQ is true to his word, agreeing to maintain Nexus' fusion-kasting ability without the need to chase mass murderers.
Major Story Arcs
Nexus is highly politically charged, and often deals with themes such as consumerism run rampant, and the philosophical effects of religion and politics on humanity and the different alien races. The major story arcs in Nexus mainly serve to reveal back story of Horatio Hellpop and illuminate his constant searching for mass murderers. None of these stories are self contained however, and minor characters often come back later as major characters, having important ramifications on later stories. The series changes in tone when Horatio quits being Nexus and he becomes a background character to Stan his successor. Horatio eventually takes center stage once again during the mini series.
Powers and Abilities
Nexus has proven on several occasions that he can communicate telepathically, however his range seems to be limited to line of sight.
The primary power of several characters in the series as well as Nexus himself is the ability to fusion-kast. The wielder needs a power battery (in Nexus case the Merk). The battery then channels power from nearby stars for a variety of effects including disintegration blasts, super strength, flight, and force fields that allow for protection against everything from energy weapons to the rigors of space.
Weapons and Equipment
Nexus uses a variety of spaceships for long distance travel.