Nexus (First Comics) (Horatio Hellpop)


(Horatio Hellpop)


Nexus first appeared in 1981. In his own comic, by Mike Baron and Steve Rude, published by the short-lived Capital Comics.

He never was huge, but he was an important character during the rise of the early 1980s high-end, indie, creator-owned comics. He and Mage’s Kevin Matchstick would be the first two names that come to my mind for this era.

This article is old. It was done when the community was more about chatting about DC Heroes stats and rules, rather than making full-throttle character profiles. Still, it has S P O I L E R S about the 1980s/1990s stories.



Horatio Hellpop is the son of General Theodore Hellpop, and his wife, Marlis. General Hellpop served the crumbling Sov empire on the planet Vradic, whose citizens were struggling to overcome Sov oppression. When a rebel uprising resulted in a coup, Hellpop and his pregnant wife fled Vradic.

Rather than allow the loss of Sov control, his superiors ordered the general to destroy the planet from space, thereby killing millions of people. Ashamed by his actions, Hellpop charted his ship into a black hole. His hope was that he would be transported to a remote sector of the universe.

Marlis eventually gave birth to their son, Horatio, aboard their home-ship. At first, Horatio was not breathing, and a mysterious voice instructed his father to “put him in the tank”. A tank filled with strange fluid appeared, and Theodore desperately threw his son in. Little Horatio survived, and this would be the first of many trips inside “the tank”.

Growin’ up

Years passed by aboard the ship. When Horatio was a toddler, two strange creatures, calling themselves Alph and Beta, appeared to him. To his parents, they were Horatio’s “imaginary friends”, but in reality, they were something else altogether.

One day, Marlis strayed down one of the ship’s many endless corridors. Three months later, Horatio and his father found her, dead of starvation. Theodore Hellpop was a broken man after this. In the years that followed, he fell deeper and deeper into despair.

From the age of nine on, Horatio began having infrequent “attacks”. These forced him to submerge in the tank’s fluid.

As a young teen, his fusionkasting abilities emerged, and he began having vivid dreams, which illustrated the atrocity Horatio’s father had committed against the people of Vradic. Alph and Beta continued to speak to the young man, indicating to him that in order to stop the dreams, he had to kill his father.

Eventually, Horatio did what they asked, executing Theodore Hellpop for his crimes.



Two more years passed, until another attack sent Horatio into the tank. When he emerged, a costume was waiting for him, and a name – Nexus. Horatio now knew his purpose – to go out into the universe and execute mass murderers. He was drawn to a distant moon that orbited around twin suns, and he set up his base of operations there.

The cycle of justice always began with the attacks, which drove Nexus to the tank. Once there, he dreamed of a specific murderer. If he did not execute this person, the dreams would become more severe, and begin taking physical manifestation on him. Eventually, Nexus would die in the manner the victims died, unless he took action.

In 2583, a fledgling Nexus appeared on the planet Thune. He freed its citizens from slavers. One Thune, named Dave, has since become Nexus’ closest friend and companion. Wherever he went to commit his executions, Nexus ended up bringing back refugees, orphans, etc. They soon populated his moon, called Ylum (or EYE-LUM), short for asylum.

Nexus’ exploits soon became legend throughout the universe, and he was worshiped like a god in some circles.


Nexus attracted the attention of the Cohesive Web, a system of worlds aligned with the Earth government. The Web sent agent Sundra Peale to spy on him. But she fell in love with him instead, and remained with him on Ylum. Another Web agent, Ursula X.X. Imada, later seduced Nexus, and bore twin daughters, Sheena and Scarlett, from this union.

After several years operating as a cosmic executioner, Nexus learned that the source of his powers and dreams came from the Merk. This supposedly was the last survivor of a race dedicated to justice. The Merk had sent Alph and Beta, extensions of his own consciousness, to guide Horatio from little on.

It was later revealed that this Merk was insane and lying. Several other Merks have appeared over the years, most notably GQ, the one that currently provides Nexus with power.

In Nexus-time, “now” is as of this writing the year 2596. He no longer suffers from the attacks or dreams, and only uses the tank to rejuvenate himself, as GQ is a slightly more benevolent Merk than the last one. Nexus still executes mass murderers, but of his own volition, and has truly accepted his role as cosmic executioner.


Nexus has accepted his duty, and his powers as a means to fulfill it.

He is very reluctant to assume any kind of leadership role, although his popularity among the citizens of Ylum would seem to warrant it. He is content to let Tyrone, Ylum’s elected President, run things, leaving him free to do his job as executioner.

He is a sucker for refugees, and cannot leave behind anyone who has been abandoned in the wake of atrocity. He is trying to be as much of a father to his two daughters as possible, which is difficult, as he and Ursula are not always on the best of terms. This makes him sort of a “weekend dad”.

Horatio has always been an emotionally tight person, only allowing a few friends and Sundra to get close to him. He is extremely loyal to the few close friends he has, however. Sundra is the love of his life, and the two are planning a family of their own soon.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 07 Str: 06 Bod: 08 Motivation: (Formerly) Unwanted Power, (Now) Responsibility of Power
Int: 08 Wil: 08 Min: 07 Occupation: Executioner
Inf: 12 Aur: 10 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 13
Init: 029 HP: 150

Damage Transference: 17, Dispersal: 12, Energy Absorption: 06, Energy Blast (solar fusion): 22, Flash: 05, Flight: 25, Force Field: 14, Matter Manipulation: 06, Mental Illusion: 03, Mind Probe: 03, Sealed Systems: 07, Telepathy: 03

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Damage Transference can only be used when others are placed inside “the tank”.
  • Dispersal has an Area Effect. While he is Dispersed, Nexus can choose to Disperse other characters within a 3AP radius of himself.
  • Energy blasts ignores Force Fields.
  • Force Field still protects him while he is Dispersed. Dispersal affects his physical body as normal, allowing him to pass through solid objects, but his Force Field can “follow along” protecting him and any other characters inside at full AP value.
  • Force Field is powerful enough to repel gas and radiation attacks as well. It traps a pocket of air within its volume, enabling Nexus to breathe in space. This ability is represented by the Sealed Systems Power.
  • Mind Probe has No Range.
  • Sealed Systems can only be used after Nexus activates his Force Field in an aired environment.
  • Nexus’ powers increase in solar systems with more than one star. For example, he is more powerful on Ylum, which has two suns. His STR, BODY, and all his Powers increase by 1 AP for each extra sun in his vicinity.

Acrobatics: 06, Charisma: 15, Martial Artist: 05, Vehicles: 06, Weaponry: 05

Area Knowledge (Ylum) ; Buddy (Dave of Thune) ; Free Access ; Insta-Change ; Iron Nerves ; Leadership ; Omni-connection ; Popularity ; Scholar (archaeology, universal dialects) ; Sharp Eye.

Clonezone the Hilariator (High), GQ (High), Headworld Government and Citizens (High), Judah Maccabee (High), Mezz (High), Ylum Government and Citizens (High).


  • Serious Irrational Attraction to finding and executing mass murderers.
  • Dependent (Sundra Peale).
  • Public Identity.
  • Loss Vulnerability : Complete absence of solar energy, range of 0APs (affects all Powers, and a maximum of 2APs each of STR and BODY).
  • Misc.: Use of Nexus’s Fusionkasting (Energy Blast) Power at the full AP value for more than 6 APs of time, results in causing solar flares on the resident sun. These continue until Nexus ceases using his power.

By Daryl Kuxhouse.

Helper(s): Robert Reineke, Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: First Comics Nexus comics.