Saturday, November 10, 2012

The man they call Nomad

Travelling across the United States is a man called Nomad (aka Jack Monroe).  He used to be somebody.  Bucky, former sidekick to the one and only Captain America, (well not thee Captain America, but another Captain America who changed his name to Steve Rogers.  The real Steve Rogers was still frozen.)  This Cap and Bucky duo had kinda gotten the Super-Soldier Serum, but it wasn't complete, so they were a bit crazy.

Bucky got a little better in the head and figured there was no point in being Bucky, so he went with Nomad.  Bright blue wearing super hero (abridged version of origin).  But of course that didn't last.

I don't know what I am, maybe I'll just wander a bit .
I'll be a super-hero again.

Now Nomad got all dark and brooding.  Grew his hair out, got a big trench coat and screamed, "Hey 90's!  I'm here."  And somehow he acquired a baby from some drug addicted prostitute, which he named Bucky.  This baby definitely went through a lot strapped to Nomad's back.  Swinging across buildings.  Breaking through glass windows.  Listened to the soothing sounds of gunfire.

Just swinging across the city

Nomad wandered around, took odd jobs as a "handy man".  He stayed in motels, drank Mountain Dew, and bought diapers.  On nights that he didn't want to bring Bucky with, he managed to befriend locals and they were willing to babysit.  All while being chased by the Government.

A way with words.

With this dark brooding theme going on it became apparent that he needed to have a crossover with some happy-go-lucky characters.  Enter: Dead Man's Hand, or Daredevil and Punisher make a new friend.

"Angel and Devil on my shoulders"
Gratuitous Deadpool appearance
Major crime families were invited to Las Vegas to figure out how best to divvy up the criminal empire in Kingpin's absence.  (Yes, Kingpin was taking a sabbatical.  He falls, he gets back on top, then he falls again, then climbs back up.  That is his unending cycle, similar to Daredevil.)  Bucky has a nice adventure. She gets kidnapped by someone named Bushwacker, gets to meet the Punisher, and gets some quiet time away from Nomad.

Elsewhere in the Marvel Universe there was this event going on called Infinity War.  It was mandatory that all participate in some fashion.  The premise was alien doppelgangers were coming to Earth to take the place of the real heroes.  It seemed, at least on a cosmic scale, that Nomad was small potatoes and had no doppelganger.  But that didn't stop the crossover.

Crazy hair? check! Trench coat? check!
Cool shades?  check!
Mutant power to charge up stuff?  wait, what?
It became a matter of being in the right place at the right time.  Nomad needed to take a plane to meet up with Bucky.  It just so happened that Gambit's doppelganger needed a plane to get to Louisiana (because the interstellar travel agent sucks and should be fired).  People in the airport start dying and Nomad keeps telling himself its not his problem, but the super hero in him takes over. Later on he ran into the real Gambit, which made for an awkward conversation.  He also ran into Man-Thing and battled the Hate Monger along his cross country journey.

Cold Hard Steel
While in LA, Nomad also decided to help out during the riots.
In my world, everyday is garbage day.

The series really had a knack for taking on various social issues, including transvestites, Aids, gay rights, cruelty to animals, and white supremacy.  The last of which factored in heavily in the final story arc "American Dreamers."  Quick Nomad childhood recap:  his father was a Nazi sympathizer, as was the majority of the town he grew up in.  FBI was investigating, questioned young Jack, he turned his father in.

With Bucky in the caring hands of a "favor banker" (don't ask), Nomad was ready for a final suicide run and planned to take out the white supremacist senator.  The senator's past and current affiliation was becoming known so he planned to blow himself up along with whoever is at the press conference that he called.  Nomad shows up with a typical 90's style gun.  An explosion happens and Jack Monroe is declared dead....but thanks to an FBI agent Mr. Monroe is next seen in a suspended animation chamber awaiting to be thawed when his country needs him next.  The End.

When the series first came out, I recall finding it cool.  A lone brooding vigilante was traveling the countryside with a baby on his back.  I tried to get every issue when they came out, but I found myself skipping some here and there.  By the time the series ended with issue #25 I think I was missing about 10 or so issues, mostly the latter ones.  So I became determined to collect the entire run and in time I accomplished that feat.

The series was written by Fabian Nicieza (whose work I thoroughly enjoy) and the artists tended to change every few issues.  And as time went on, (just like with Morbius, the Living Vampire) the art worsened as it reached its end.  The art got so bad it really took away from the finally story arc.  I think the story was good, but the art!  My god!  (The same thing happened with Doom 2099 as well).  Before the final arc, it was scheduled to be cancelled, so they probably didn't care how the art was.  (Now that I think about, Nomad started to look like Ravage 2099.)  After the series ended, nothing was heard from Nomad until Fabian brought him back in another series he was writing a few years later.  Click here to be spoiled.

So ends this journey of Nomad.  Perhaps I'll visit his earlier and latter exploits, as well as what happened to baby Bucky.