From A Library – Avengers: Endless Wartime

Written by Warren Ellis Art by Mike McKone Tblunka, capital city of Sorenia, nestled between Iran, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. A mercenary, part of a force formed by the unseated regime trying to retake the country from the democratically elected government, shoots down something strange with ‘US Air Force’ on it. Stark Towers. The Avengers: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Hawkeye, Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers), Iron Man, Black Widow, Wolverine; the characters are introduced by Ellis in a clean, quick, efficient manner but with lovely sharp banter that essays character (Stark: ‘Captain America wants to stomp on me.’ Pepper: ‘Well, in his […]

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Author Appearance: Warren Ellis at Foyles

I have been very fortunate to see several of my favourite comic book creators giving talks or in conversation – Alan Moore and Alan Davis in the same day, and Grant Morrison at a similar event at Foyles – and this was another enjoyable personal appearance from a favourite creator. Warren was in The Gallery at Foyles on Charing Cross Road in conversation with journalist/author Sam Leith, specifically to talk about his new novel, Gun Machine, but conversation obviously took in comic books, as would be expected, and Warren – smartly dressed in jacket and waistcoat and with a freshly […]

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Notes On A Film: RED

I can’t believe the cast list for an adaptation of a Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner comic book: Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban, Morgan Freeman, Brian Cox, Richard Dreyfuss, Ernest Borgnine. And room for Julian McMahon. How on earth did this film attract such a collection of well-known faces? The director, Robert Schwentke, must have some allure of which I am unaware – the most famous film he’s done is probably last year’s The Time Traveller’s Wife, so I don’t think it can be that. RED is a silly but enjoyable action comedy film. Loosely […]

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Thunderbolts: Caged Angels TPB

Thunderbolts #116–121 by Warren Ellis and Mike Deodato Jr Although I was initially hesitant about tyring Ellis’ run on Thunderbolts, borrowing the first trade from the library, I was won over by the story and Ellis’ approach and handle on the characters. I know I’m predisposed to like Ellis comic books, but this is still really good, which is why I broke down and bought both the trades (an aside: I won the Wimbledon sweepstakes at work; we didn’t put money in but the company gave us winners £30 Waterstones gift cards. Result. I used it to buy this trade […]

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Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Box TPB

Astonishing X-Men #25–30 and Ghost Boxes #1 & 2 by Warren Ellis and Simone Bianchi For someone who is supposed to dislike ‘pervert suit’ comic books, Ellis can write an excellent superhero story. Ghost Box is no exception: starting with a murder mystery, it leads to pre-stages of invasions from parallel dimensions and mutants with the mutant gene on different chromosomes and someone engineering new mutants with triploid chromosomes. All of this happens organically within the context of an X-Men story, with the characters acting within the parameters of their natural limits and using the history of X-Men (Forge is […]

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From A Library – Ultimate Human

[Full title: Ultimate Hulk Vs. Ultimate Iron Man: Ultimate Human] issues #1–4 by Warren Ellis and Cary Nord Ellis seems to have a free remit to write more or less what he wants for Marvel, especially the Ultimate universe (his run on Ultimate Fantastic Four, the Gah-lak-tus trilogy) – all he has to do is put in some traditional superhero action to satisfy the hardcore base and he get away with indulging his own whims. What is interesting is that Ellis seems to treat these books as writing exercises, seeing how the structure ticks while introducing ideas that interest him […]

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Comic Book Review: Aetheric Mechanics

By Warren Ellis and Gianluca Pagliarani This might be a week late, but I wanted to talk about Ellis’ graphic novella from Avatar (under his Apparat label), Aetheric Mechanics. The basic premise is Ellis’ version of Sherlock Holmes – this is a good thing: I remember an Ellis-written draft of his take on Holmes and Watson, in his unique style, which had an excellent grasp on the characters and even made Watson an ally worthy of Holmes, rather than a bumbling idiotic sidekick (I wish I could locate it to provide an excerpt – it had Watson meeting Holmes in […]

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From A Library – Thunderbolts: Faith In Monsters

Thunderbolts #110–115 by Warren Ellis and Mike Deodata Jr Warren Ellis’ work-for-hire books for Marvel falls into the category ‘wait for the trade’; when he is brought onto an ailing title for the purposes of boosting sales in the wake of a crossover, this is a confirmed decision. Thunderbolts was always in the lower tier of Marvel’s titles – the book started off with a bang, with the great reveal of who the Thunderbolts were – but the idea of bad guys pretending to be good guys apparently didn’t seem enough. As part of Civil War, the Thunderbolts are still […]

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Book: Crooked Little Vein

Being a fan of Warren Ellis (see this rather extensive selection of previous posts about Ellis’ work), it was obvious that I was going to buy his first novella; the only question was how much I would enjoy the book. The story of Crooked Little Vein is pure Ellis, a mix of his love of hard-boiled fiction (e.g. Scars, Desolation Jones, even Gravel is hard-boiled meets magic/action) and his love of the strange (Transmetropolitan and his former website, www.diepunyhumans.com). Michael McGill is a down-at-heel private detective and a shit magnet (his last case was an adultery case where the husband […]

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FreakAngels

Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield’s free webcomic, FreakAngels, is six pages of full-colour sequential art on a weekly basis that has been going on for the last few months. Completely free. That’s impressive. It will be collected into hard-copy form eventually, but it will still remain free online. God bless Warren Ellis and his continual desire to plough his own furrow and do things differently from the norm. It has a great start from the opening intro: ’23 years ago, twelve strange children were born in England at exactly the same moment. 6 years ago, the world ended. This is […]

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