*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magiks mixed with ancient corrupt business practices, has had not just the colors of his fur switched, but a complete overhaul of his work ethic as well…I think I’m kinda okay with the mishap.
Not sure what “Comics Lust” is about? Take a look at the Introduction to “Comics Lust” post or take a look at the static “Comics Lust Table of Contents” page to jump to a topic.
Five Furious and Fast: Warren Ellis (Part 1)
When I talk about my all-time-favorite comic book series, say my top 25, or the books that would make life bearable on a deserted island, three of those series would be written by Warren Ellis. But if you take a look at say my top 50 or 100, you’re going to find a whole mess of other books by the prolific writer that are positively must-read material. Looking at just five? Yeah, seems kind of criminal, but don’t worry, we’ll return to the works of Ellis more than a few times in the near future. For now, let’s start with one of those three books I can’t live without.
The Authority. I needed to know more, but I had to do this right by starting from the beginning, or rather Ellis’s beginning. The story begins with a massive team of superheroes being called together by their commander, Henry Bendix, the Weatherman. The Weatherman promptly fires nearly all of the characters, not just from the team but from the series itself. In the pages of his first issue, Ellis then adds new characters of his own creation and sets up three strike teams of three people each: Stormwatch Prime to handle superhuman threats in warlike situations; Stormwatch Red to display the greatest destructive capabilities in an effort to deter hostile forces; Stormwatch Black for covert operations. Prime consists of Winter (Russian energy absorber), Hellstrike (a green, sentient gas energy projector), and Fuji (a Japanese, sentient energy powerhouse in a massive robotic suit). Red has Fahrenheit (fire creator), Flint (superstrengh and invulnerability), and Rose Tattoo (deadly assassin with a history clouded in mystery). And finally, Black consisting of Jenny Sparks (controls and projects electricity), Jack Hawksmoor (his strength and powers increase based on the size of the city he occupies), and Swift (winged, aerial tactician). I hammered through that first trade and quickly bought and read the other four, loving every exciting page as Ellis’s commentary on politics, the US government, and international relations set amidst an action/adventure/horror backdrop carried me into the even more amazing The Authority. The best way to catch up on these issues is through the fairly recent Stormwatch Volume One and Stormwatch Volume Two collections.
Global Frequency collection. This has jumped to the top of my reread list.
Fell collection contains only the first eight. Issue nine also came out over a decade ago with no progress on the concluding seven issues as a hard drive crash destroyed the scripts for the final six issues of the series and Image refused to print issue 10 unless Ellis and Templesmith also had completed scripts for issues 11 and 12. Fell was an experiment in producing a cheaper comic with a lower page count and received two Eisner Award nominations back in the day. The story follows homicide detective Richard Fell, who was banished to Snowtown, a city plagued with crime, poverty, and a police force of three and a half (you’ll have to read the book to get the joke) that has practically given up on their duties. Fell decides to fix Snowtown and vows to uncover the story of a strange, stocky person dressed in a nun’s habit and who wears a Richard Nixon mask while always appearing around areas they shouldn’t be in. The story is a dark, creepy, noirish, crime and character drama that saw the first issue go into six printings. I am dying to see how it all ends, but to be honest I don’t know if the series will ever finish. Don’t let the lack of an ending dissuade you, though, from checking out the glorious issues that have been released. Regardless of whatever happens, I will be here waiting patiently on the off chance we do get more.
Hellstorm by Warren Ellis Omnibus, which commands a prohibitive $75 retail price tag given that it contains only 10 issues of Hellstorm. Even the inclusion of the four issues of our next book might not be enough to prompt you to sell your soul to get ahold of a book that ought to only cost about half of what they’re charging. That even shorter-lived series is…
That’s it for this installment, Denizens. Now, go forth, collect, and read! Also, don’t worry, we’re not even close to being done with Mr. Ellis, so there’s more to come. See you next time!