Nemesis, as a comic character, must be well up there with the most evil ever. He has a total disregard for mankind, in general, in his quest for revenge. He is also very clever, as he has planned his revenge against Chief Blake Morrow for years. He has kidnapped the president, wiped out the Pentagon, publicly humiliated Morrow, and, worst of all, he artificially inseminated Morrow’s daughter by her brother. How low can he go in his quest? I’m sure this final issue in the Millar/McNiven classic series will answer that question… or will it?
At the end of issue #3, we saw Blake wondering if Nemesis is someone he knows. Blake and his team head towards Howard Anderson’s house. Blake suspects that Nemesis and Anderson are one and the same. The swat team close in. As they storm the house, they see Anderson wired up to explosives with three seconds left on the timer. With no time to react, the swat team are wiped out in a massive explosion, which levels the house and knocks out Blake.
As he comes around, Nemesis stands above him, saying that he knew all about Kirby, the mole that Blake had thought was giving him good information. Turns out he was only saying what Nemesis wanted Blake to hear. Nemesis has turned the tables on Blake, as he introduces his own mole he planted in the police force: Stuart, Blake’s right hand man, steps forward, stating he couldn’t turn down $10 million. As Blake is stunned, Nemesis puts a bullet through Stuarts head. What’s going on here? The whole story about wanting to get even with Blake was just a front. Nemesis is just rich and bored, traveling the world, picking targets. He is in the business of pain and suffering and he is an expert. As the curtain comes back, the President and Blake’s wife are standing with bombs strapped to them. Throwing a remote at Blake, he tells him to take his pick between his wife and the President. As the countdown nears zero, the President walks up to Nemesis and tells Blake to detonate him. He does so, taking out Nemesis at the same time. Blake dives on the dazed Nemesis. As they trade punches, Blake picks up his gun and points it at him. As he is about to take his shot, they are both taken out from a helicopter above. Is there no killing these two? As they lie in a pool of blood, they grab a gun each and shoot each other. The police check the body of Nemesis to find he is dead, but the chief is still alive… but only just.
The surgeons battle to save Blake, as his family wait outside. His son look’s through his wallet at family photos. This is a good piece of writing from Millar here, as you actually want Blake to pull through and the scene with his son really pulls you into the story. As he stabilizes, his son looks at the clock. It reads midnight, just as Nemesis predicted. As he said, flatlines still count. We see Blake recovered, getting on with his family life, having a meal with his wife. During the last few pages, we get to read a letter that Blake was sent.
Whoever wrote the letter gives congratulations to Blake for defeating Nemesis, also saying he was pleased to see that his daughter had given birth to triplets and that Blake and his wife had adopted them. He also promises that they will be safe from the next supervillain. What does this mean? The letter is from a businessman who runs an operation allowing rich people to be supervillains and live out their fantasies. Stranger still is the fact that the letter was left for Blake ten years ago, only to be delivered when he turned up. The story ends with our mystery businessman drinking wine on the beach. Who is he and how does he know Blake so well? Roll on Nemesis 2.
If I could, I would give this final issue 11/10. It’s honestly that good. A genius bit of writing all the way through, but this issue was a class apart, with more twists and turns and knockout artwork. Perfection! Mark Millar must be up there with the best writers at present. In my humble opinion, anyway.