In many ways it is hard to shake the feeling that Pat Mills probably didn’t have much more to give his narrative for “Nemesis The Warlock: Book Two” once Brother Baruda escaped the Caretaker of Arachnos’ clutches and Tomás de Torquemada’s host was eerily ensconced within Zelotes’ eight-legged corpse. For whilst this twenty-one page periodical does continue in its depiction of the duo desperately trying to mislead the meeting of the Cabal on Novala into believing that all humans must be destroyed, the lion’s share of the story-telling firmly sits at the feet (or rather hands) of artist Jesus Redondo, as opposed to “the godfather of British comics”.
Indeed, just as soon as Nemesis has resigned as leader of the Cabal, and his human friend Purity has discovered that their supposedly captive terminator isn’t anywhere near as helpless as first thought, there’s a decidedly evident absence of dialogue within each panel until the adventure suddenly concludes several action-packed sequences later; “We were wrong to doubt you, Dark Lord. We should have known Torquemada plotted your downfall.” Fortunately, such a shift in workload is in no way detrimental to this book’s quality, as the Valladolid-born illustrator seemingly leaps upon the opportunity to show just how truly terrifying close combat must be when your opponent is giant bull-sized spider.
Admittedly, the Spanish penciller does slightly skimp on the background details to his drawings, but this technique simply throws the combatants into sharp relief upon the page, and one can actually feel the hairs rise upon the neck when Zelotes leaps upon a befuddled Nemesis’ back, wraps his elongated legs around the warlock’s torso, and sneers into his foe’s ear that he is about to deliver “the death bite!”. In fact, both the “fire-breathing” alien’s battle with his arch-nemesis and Baruda’s swordfight with Purity are so dynamically story-boarded, and resultantly draw its audience into the conflict ever tighter, that these scenes arguably take longer to ‘read’ than Mills’ far wordier passages elsewhere within the comic.
Equally as impressive is this publication’s secondary tale focusing upon Chira and Magna’s ritual joust for Nemesis’ love. Unbelievably well-pencilled by Kevin O’Neill, and simply packed full of armour-shattering weapon impacts, as well as a distinct lack of ‘centaur sportswomanship’, this nine-page tale provides plenty of insight into the Holder of the Sword Sinister’s domestic life, and sets up the groundwork that will enable Ashtar’s daughter to ‘get rid of her rival – forever!”