With one or two exceptions, I hate superhero movies with a passion. Marvel, DC, independent, I don’t care, they are equally terrible and they’ve hijacked our theaters with their spandex nonsense. Why bother with original Science Fiction when you can trot out Captain Buttocks for the 9th time or give the world Viking-Steampunk Batman? I have no fond childhood nostalgia for comic books either, I always found the stories to be idiotic even as a youngster although I enjoyed the characters. I do enjoy watching some of the better TV cartoon series with my kids, but even those are basically one long fight scene. The only good thing to come out of all this comic book overkill is the apparently never-ending stream of cool Lego sets and the occasional fan built model. Most of the work done by AFOLs within this particular brand of building is decidedly uninspired and at least 50% of all comic book related builds are some version of Iron Man’s walk in closet where he keeps all his armored suits. When you boil it down to gravy most builders who indulge in the comic book genre don’t really build at all, they focus entirely on the minifigs. I get it, the little dudes are undeniably cool, I endorse them without qualification but it isn’t enough for me. Without a compelling build to go with the figs, all you’re left with a catalog shot at best and clone-on-a-plate at worst. Now that you’ve stepped off my lawn, we can get down with today’s build. It was very refreshing to recently discover the work of Nexus-, who takes the shiny heroes and gives them a suitable stage to play on. I don’t often look at a build and picture it as an official set, but I would buy this particular set in a heartbeat. The scene is called “Cyborg – 0 – Application”. The gray-scale background really makes the figs pop, the details ar tight and I admire the clean look of the base. All good vignettes tell a story, like a cell in a comic book and Nexus- appears to have a good handle on the narrative action.
The diorama is part of an ongoing series that features a number of familiar heroes from across party lines and it represents a step up for Nexus- whose previous vignette efforts were not nearly as polished or ambitious. You can see a real progression in skill and style if you take a trip through the 2-year-old Flickrstream and it’s a pleasure to see. The series as a whole reminds me of the old line of Star Wars Micro-Machine toys from the 80’s, with its emphasis on iconic figures in small settings. The compact nature of the builds is very appealing and even though the super hero vignettes do not appear to be modular, they look like they could be with very little modification.
It is surely boilerplate to trot out this observation yet again, but every piece in a vignette must earn its place and Nexus- seems to understand that. With each new model he is clearly making the attempt to improve his work and that’s all you can really ask of a builder regardless of genre. I should probably also point out that Nexus- clearly enjoys writing back-stories for his builds and although they are not my cup o’ tea, his many followers seem to enjoy them immensely. If the builder can continue on this difficult path of steady, measured improvement, I think it’s clear we can expect truly great things from him in the future.
Each one of these builds has an interesting technique or dynamic action on display and unlike most builds in the genre and the movies that inspire them, they actually leave me wanting more…even with Aquaman involved. Especially with Aquaman involved. I’ll leave you with a clip from my favorite superhero series, Batman: The Brave and the Bold. In case you were wondering Aquaman is voiced by John DiMaggio who is responsible for both Bender and Jake the dog from Adventure time.