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Comic Book / Nemesis (Mark Millar)
aka: Nemesis

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You evil, evil man!

What if Batman was The Joker?

Nemesis follows the adventures of a rich playboy that enjoys the finer things in life: fast cars, beautiful women, and "dealing" with someone on a 28-day (violent) crime spree. Marketed as the comic that "Makes Kick-Ass look like shit!", this was written by Mark Millar for Icon Comics, an imprint for creator-owned works at Marvel Comics. The series was illustrated by Steve McNiven.

In August of 2022, it was announced that Millar would be writing a new Nemesis comic book, titled Nemesis: Reloaded, with art by Jorge Jiminez. The book is set to be five issues long, the first of which was published in January of 2023, this time by Millar's comic book studio Millarworld with Image Comics. Millar has said that it will lead into a crossover series involving Nemesis and three other Millarworld series, Big Game.

A movie adaptation has been in the works for years, initially with 20th Century Fox, but the rights have since gone to Warner Bros.. In 2021, Millar said that Emerald Fennell had written the most recent draft.

Should not be confused with Nemesis the Warlock or Star Trek: Nemesis. Nor should he be confused for the vigilante with the same name from DC Comics or the horror board game Nemesis. You may be looking for Nemesis from Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.

Nemesis contains examples of:

  • Antagonist Title: Officer Morrow is the actual hero of the comic, but it's titled after its super-villain.
  • Artistic License – Pharmacology: When Morrow is first informed about "the Nemesis situation," he calls for a full meeting of his team, plus fourteen americanos and one green tea for Casey Mitchell, who's given up caffeine for Lent. Green tea naturally contains caffeine; you'd need to order a decaffeinated green tea specifically.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: Invoked by Nemesis during his prison break. He elects to take on nearly a hundred riot cops by himself in front of the locked-up convicts just to show what he is capable of. After freeing them all, he becomes their leader.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Blake's almost as prescient about what criminals will do as Nemesis is about what Law enforcement will do.
  • Canon Welding: The ending of Kick-Ass 3 as well as the author himself reveals that the Kick-Ass/Hit-Girl series, the Wanted series, the Superior series, the Kingsman series, the MPH series, and this series are all set in the same universe. Also counts as Shared Universe and The 'Verse.
  • Cop Killer: Nemesis' main recreational activity. His main target isn't politicians or landmarks, but well known police commissioners.
  • Deconstruction: The series is this to comic book series focusing on the escapist exploits of supervillains, by stripping out everything that creators typically use to make us root for characters like that. Nemesis isn't fighting people who are as bad or worse than him, he has no tragic backstory or loved ones to make the audience sympathise with him, he's not a Noble Demon like Doctor Doom or Black Adam; in fact he's Jerkass with no Affably Evil or Faux Affably Evil traits, and his evil isn't cartoonish and over-the-top enough to make him fun like the Joker or Deadpool.
  • Expy:
    • Blake Morrow is obviously one for Commissioner Gordon.
    • Nemesis himself is a fusion of Batman's intelligence and resources with Joker's sadistic, hostile, and violent personality and mannerisms, and this horrible amalgam is not played for laughs. See below.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Nemesis' downfall was because he didn't anticipate that the president would willfully sacrifice himself, leaving him stunned for a few precious moments.
  • For the Evulz: Nemesis' motivation for everything he does. He kills, destroys and torments people on a whim all for his sick pleasure. While he tells Blake he is doing this out of revenge for busting his parents and sending them to their deaths (see It's Personal) it's actually false, and he is just doing this for kicks. The heroes exploit this when they managed to arrest him by tricking him into stealing a little girl's heart transplant (its actually a pig's heart with a tracker) because they knew he couldn't resist doing something so cruel, though it turns out getting arrested was part of his plan.
  • Freudian Excuse Denial: Nemesis states that he's the son of criminals that Blake Morrow busted, supposedly the reason why he becomes a super-villain. When Blake confronts him about it, Nemesis admits he was lying just to screw with him. He has no reason for what he does, he's just rich and bored.
  • Gainax Ending: The comic otherwise had no supernatural elements but at the end, Morrow checks into a hotel and finds a letter summarizing the story's events has been left for him. The hotel clerk said the letter was left there ten years ago.
  • Gambit Roulette: Over the course of the book the ante is sequentially upped until the planners appear to have outright clairvoyant omniscience.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The mysterious group that turned Nemesis into a supervillain. Their existence is only revealed at the end of the comic, they are still at large and planning to expand their operations, though they promise to leave Blake and his family alone.
  • It's Personal: Nemesis' parents were two psychopaths that Blake busted and sent to their deaths and this is the reason why he wants to torment the good officer so badly. Subverted when its revealed Nemesis is merely impersonating the son (who died years before the story began as an opium addict in India). Nemesis is just some rich, bored guy looking for kicks as a supervillain.
  • Karmic Death: Considering that Stewart willingly helped Nemesis with his atrocities and is actively gloating about it its not hard to feel sorry when Nemesis blows his brains out.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: The Japanese police commissioner at the comic's prologue is tied by Nemesis and left to be ran over by a train, dying while cursing him.
  • Light Is Not Good: Nemesis who is a villain in a pure white costume
  • Medical Rape and Impregnate: Nemesis artificially inseminates Blake's daughter using her own brother's sperm. Nemesis then made sure that, if they made her have an abortion, Blake's daughter would never be able to bear more children. She is later seen with triplets.
  • One-Man Army: During the prison break away scene, Nemesis mows down 97 riot cops by himself in front of some convicts just to show what he is capable of.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: When Blake is faced with a Sadistic Choice, the President or his wife, both of whom are rigged with explosives, the President enforced a third option. He gets in Nemesis' face and orders Blake to blow him up.
    President: OH, FUCK YOU!
    Nemesis: ... Excuse me?
  • Played for Horror: This comic turns the Batman mythos into a horror story by showing what would happen if a character very similar to Bruce Wayne turned out to be more like Patrick Bateman instead of Batman.
  • Practically Joker: Again, as stated above, Nemesis is what you would get if you gave Batman's resources and skills to the Joker, he even wears a similar costume (its all-white and lacks the ears), plus the cover to the first issue of Nemesis Reloaded shows him painting a grin on his face with blood.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: A messier version, but this is how Blake finally kills Nemesis, with his blood and brain splattering the sidewalk.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The only way "Holy shit. I'm covered in old person." works at all.
  • Rule of Cool: How else is Nemesis able to stay on the outside of a plane mid-flight?
  • Sadistic Choice: Nemesis puts Blake through this at the climax where he straps chest bombs in his wife and the President's chest, forcing Blake to choose between saving his family or his career.
  • Take a Third Option: When Nemesis forces Blake to chose between saving his wife and the President, the choice is taken out of his hand when the President decides to take out Nemesis himself and orders Blake to detonate the bomb strapped on him.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Exaggerated in the most ludicrous way, though in letter format instead of an actual video tape. At the end of the comic, Blake receives a letter from Nemesis' benefactors congratulating him for defeating him and revealing they are an organization that provides bored rich people to live out a perverse supervillain fantasy. The kicker? The letter was written 10 years ago and somehow managed to correctly predict all that happened in the comics such as Blake's daughter being impregnated and having triplets.
  • Villain Protagonist: The titular character, though Commissioner Blake shares as much screentime with him.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Nemesis gets flustered when the President is willing to die in order to stop him, and is openly enraged after Blake beats the crap out of him.
  • White Shirt of Death: Nemesis's costume is entirely white, leaving blood highly visible on it whenever he's slaughtering people.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: This is what Blake's playing at least. Just as Nemesis planned he would.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Nemesis does this to his henchmen.

Nemesis Reloaded contains examples of:

  • Blackmail: Nemesis creates a suicide bomber out of an airline pilot by having his men seduce her years ago, then having her perform more and more crimes in the hopes of her infidelity not being revealed to her family… leading to those crimes also being held against her until he demands she perform the bombing.
  • Broken Pedestal: Joe Costello was elected mayor of Los Angeles due to his reputation as a fantastic cop and being seen as a good man by the people. Nemesis' public revelation that Costello framed two drug dealers for a serial killing spree, with so much of the destruction being therefore because of him, forever tarnishes his name and any good he did.
  • Buried Alive: Joe Costello ends the comic alive, but buried in a casket with the skeletons of Nemesis' parents, which itself is buried beneath city hall.
  • Canon Welding: Explicitly takes place in the same universe as Wanted, as Nemesis joins the Fraternity at the end.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Aside from Nemesis himself, Margot immediately shoots her husband in the head on being told to duel him for a butler job in the last issue, not even letting her prospective employer finish explanation, not wanting to give her opponent a chance to react.
  • Continuity Reboot: The series is effectively the same as the previous one but with notable changes to Nemesis' backstory, with the story starting off with him narrating "Everything you heard before is a lie." Specifically that he really is Matthew Anderson and that he was trained by Wesley Gibson of Wanted (assuming that he even is the same Nemesis).
  • Denser and Wackier: Reloaded leans far more into Black Comedy than the original comic, with Nemesis' schemes being so absurdly over-the-top and nonsensical that it loops around to being outright comedic. While the original comic tries to treat Nemesis seriously as some sort of "evil genius," Reloaded seems to play up the silliness of the whole thing.
  • Expy: This Nemesis is one to minor Batman villains The Wrath and Prometheus as the children of criminals who became killers targeting policemen - the key difference being the Wrath and Prometheus' parents were gunned down, while Nemesis' were drug dealers that were framed for several murders by a group of hotshot cops, leading to their executions.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: It's revealed at the end that Joe Costello and his comrades busted Matthew Anderson's drug dealer parents by framing them for a series of serial killings. The real serial killers are the old couple that Nemesis conscripts as henchmen in the beginning.
  • Hero Antagonist: Joe Costello, the recently-elected mayor and former District Attorney of Los Angeles who was elected via his career as a hero cop with a tough on crime stance.
  • Secret History: Nemesis' final task for his master is uncovering the mystery of the forgotten President of the United States. The reason no one can remember him is due to the Fraternity's altering of reality.
  • Sequel Hook: The final issue's revelations lead into the Millarworld crossover Big Game.
  • Shout-Out: The forgotten American president's name was Ernest George (E.G.) Marshall, whose brief, tumultuous time in office is said to have ended with three alien fugitives invading the White House. Along with the trophy of the tattered Superman expy's cape, it seems like something resembling the plot of Superman II actually happened in the backstory.
  • Wham Shot: Two right after the other in the final issue. The proof of the secret history of the world is (Not)Superman's cape, and Nemesis' master is none other than Wesley Gibson.

Alternative Title(s): Nemesis