From the cover you can probably venture a guess about what Project Nemesis is about. You’d only be half right though. It is a Kaiju tale, but rather than a monster created from our nuclear waste to wreak havoc on the world we get a more Americanized approach. The story begins in Alaska during a winter training mission. Two soldiers stumble upon the remains of a dead Kaiju and alert their General. The three men are the only ones to know about it and the General informs the men that they’ll need to stay there and work directly for him for a few years. One of the soldiers basically declines the offer and the General hands the other one a gun with live ammo. Without hesitation, Katsu Endo shoots the man in the head realizing the offer the General was making.
From there the story flashes forward, but you get the basic idea. The government is going to be behind the Kaiju of our story, but there’s more to it than just that.
We then head to Maine and meet Jon Hudson, an agent of Homeland Security that investigates the paranormal. He’s in Maine looking for bigfoot and with the help of the local Sheriff he’ll stumble into a mess. They happen upon a government fence that intentionally looks old. Hudson busts out some knowledge about painted rust and the year razor wire was invented right before an undercover agent pops up behind them. They get out of the situations barely, but they find themselves involved in a bigger one.
Inside the facility we find the General getting a heart transplant from a little girl. He asks for the body to be destroyed like garbage, but before that can happen the little girl changes shape and begins to grow. The creature that becomes known as Nemesis after writing it on a wall in blood, continues to grow and rampage. Now Jon and the local Sheriff must figure out how to stop it and what exactly the General and his man Endo were up to.
The story is basically the government making Kaiju, but in the worst way possible… with a human host. We learn a little about the plan in both issues, but ultimately we’re going to have to follow the series to get everything. In the second issue Nemesis goes on the attack/hunt as she begins developing more as a predator.
The writing is solid. Some of the dialogue is more on the exposition side of things, but frankly I’ll take that over the usual terrible dialogue associated with Kaiju stories. Writer Jeremy Robinson has found an interesting way to incorporate the humans in the story. There’s a conspiracy to sort out and the General is attached to the monster. They’re not sitting there waxing hypotheticals about where it came from what it will do and no one says, “Let them fight.” There’s not time. It’s destroying and killing everything in its path and they have no idea what its capable of. There’s several successful ways of tackling the Kaiju genre and Robinson has found one of them.
Matt Frank’s art is a great fit for the story. he balances the monster elements with the human and gore elements. There’s a lot of great gore in this comic which was a nice plus. Usually with Kaiju stories there’s no gore which makes Project Nemesis stand out. The art is detailed and has a rough look to it. It makes the world look worn and used rather than sterile. Accompanying Frank’s art is Diego Rodriguez on coloring. Rodriguez uses some great lighting effects and thought this is a horror book, it’s very vibrant. It’s actually more of a day time horror which is nice since I hate seeing big ass monster stomp around at night. Why anyone would want to see that is beyond me since it would be difficult to see, *cough*newGodzillamovie*cough*.
If you’re a fan of monsters or Kaiju stories, then you’ll want to check out Project Nemesis. It does enough to be different, but manages to stay true to the genre and craft an enjoyable story with plenty of gore.
Project Nemesis #1 & #2 Writer: Jeremy Robinson Artist: Matt Frank Colorist: Diego Rodriguez Publisher: American Gothic Press Price: $3.99 Format: Mini-Series; Print Website