ABC Warriors – A Potted History 2 of 6
Part 1 can be found here
Out of retirement : Hanging out with the Warlock
It’s been said Mills has said that there was a large gap in their appearances due to the nightmare of scheduling in the first series, which also explains the variety of artists that appeared. It’s said that Nemesis was initially going to be the return of Deadlock from the ABC Warriors. But in book 3 of Nemesis we had strong hints that there may be a return in the offing for the war robots. Mek Quake, the bulldozer foil from “Ro Busters” still functioning thousands of the years in the future, is part of a Terminator invasion force, almost unrecognisable from his early days in the disaster squad of distinction. Reassuringly (:D), there is no change to his moronic, cowardly, and fundamentally sadistic character.
The end of the book finds Nemesis’ wife Chira dead and his son, Thoth thought to be, but very much alive and in the care of a Terminator called Sir Hargan on Termight (earth, thousands of years in the future),
In Nemesis Book 4 : “The Gothic Empire” Hammerstein’s old Ro Busters side kick, Ro Jaws resurfaces working on the hotel staff for the hotel Majestic on the Goth homeworld. The Goths : an alien species heavily influenced by the radio transmissions from 20th century Earth. The Goths were the latest target of the Terminators. Having suffered some serious losses in their galactic crusade, the Terminators reinforced their invasion with the ancient robot armies, which included a battered, war weary and cynical Hammerstein and his new comrades Hitaki, a samurai robot and Mad Ronn, a former bomb disposal robot.
A reprogrammed and kill crazy Hammerstein is prevented from assassinating the Queen of the Goth’s by a disguised Nemesis. Freed from his assassin programming, Hammerstein inspires Nemesis to reform the warriors to help save the Gothic Empire. Except, there is no chance of a reunion. Sadly, Happy Shrapnel is dead, and the Mess had been left on Mars. Conveniently, the remaining Warriors all live on the free robot planet of Mekaka.
A now more verbose and heavily redesigned Joe is working as an undercover police officer, Mongrol works in a circus as their main attraction, Blackblood is a “respectable” business man and Deadlock – well Deadlock, turns out is Nemesis. Deadlock, a worshipper of Khaos, meditated for hundreds of years to raise himself to a higher level, and finally met his god – Nemesis. In a condensed version of the recruitment drive we saw in the original run (and a plot device we will revisit repeatedly in the future), the warriors are reunited.
Together with Mad Ronn and Hitaki this was the “meknificent” new line up. Kev’ O’Neill starts the run, with his usual bizarre characters and designs, but it is completed by Bryan Talbot, who retains the feel of the strip, but lends a darker atmosphere with his extensive cross hatching and innovative design work. I’ve said it before, but this is my favourite 2000ad story ever.
The Warriors stick with Nemesis and Credo (the alien resistance organisation) in fighting the Terminators. Between books Mad Ronn is killed, but is replaced by Mek Quake in Book 5 of Nemesis “ The Vengeance of Thoth”.
Nemesis finds his son is still alive, but Thoth has plans to take revenge on his father and the man behind the death of his mother – Torquemada. He hatches an elaborate plan, bringing a previous incarnation of Torquemada from the past to the future to torture him and put him into a time loop so that he dies endlessly, but he also seeks to destroy his father’s work, by destroying the galaxy. He intends to do this by destabilising the white and black holes that are at either side of Termight (Earth, thousands of years in the future).Termight would be caught between the two destroying the planet and sterilising the galaxy.
Suffice to say, Nemesis doesn’t want this to happen, and with the warriors in tow, sets after Thoth down the time wastes, tunnels where the by products from the construction of the white and black holes is stored. In the process, Hitaki is beheaded, and his body crushed by Mek Quake. Nemesis decides to continue in his pursuit of his son, but then sends the Warriors, including Ro Jaws to the control room at the centre of the time wastes to stabilise the white and black holes, preventing the destruction of the galaxy. And this is where the strips diverge again.