Despite a somewhat sedentary start mingling with the assorted demonic-looking guests at Chira’s celebratory ‘Hatching’ of her first egg, Pat Mills’ script for Issue Six of “Nemesis The Warlock” must have whipped the comic’s audience into a feverishly frothing frenzy by its end, on account of the sensational giant robot battles he pens later in the book.
Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a more impressive series of towering automatons as the ones which prominently feature throughout the Siege of Ydrasill Castle, especially the homicidally violent Mek-Quake, whose over-enthusiasm to “crush those alien hordes” causes him to inadvertently stomp upon Terra’s own terminators, whilst lowering his boarding ridge too early; a decidedly dire decision that sees his ballooning belly’s “serjeant-at-arms” mistakenly lead his fanatical squad straight off the edge of the siege device uttering the words “The moment the tower reaches the wall, that ramp will drop down… I want you out and over the battlements – at the double! Now! Death to all devia…”
Fortunately, these somewhat sentient machines aren’t simply placed into the narrative just for the sake of it either, as there’s plenty of exposition as to just why Sir Evric, “the sinischal in charge of the siege”, requires such fallible colossi to help him breach the outer walls of the Great Donjon of the Basilisks and help “cleanse the galaxy of all aliens!”
Motivated by the ever-pervading threat of Torquemada’s infamously lethal dissatisfaction, and plagued by the endless excuses from his siege engineer, Brother Hieronymus, the “bigoted human” soon requires more than boiled Roc’s venom to help his headaches when the titular character arrives on the planet Demotika and pushes his men back into the care of the army’s abusive Vestal Vampires. In fact, this apparent set-back to the knight’s plans only forces the milksop to rely ever more heavily upon the robots which “are hundreds of years old” and date “back to the Lost Age of Science!”
Undoubtedly however, all of this compelling combat wouldn’t prove a tenth as captivating if it wasn’t for Kevin O’Neill’s mouth-wateringly detailed story-boards. Mek-Quake’s over-sized “Big Jobs!” panel alone is well worth this publication’s cover price, and that’s pencilled well before the mobile battle tower inadvertently locks horns with the Imperial flag robot, Torque-Armada; “a giant effigy of the grand Master himself” whose double splash page barely manages to encompass the Man of War’s thirty guns, six catapults and two dart throwers…”