Overview

Who Is Jake Ellis? #1

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Who Is Jake Ellis? #1

Credits

  • Words: Nathan Edmondson
  • Art: Tonci Zonjic
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: 3.50
  • Release Date: Jan 5, 2011

Who Is Jake Ellis? is cooler than a George Clooney snowman.

From the mind of scribe Nathan Edmondson and the artistic talents of Tonci Zonjic, this new Image mini-series is off to a deliciously entertaining start.

Edmondson debuted with the Image series Olympus and followed it up with the recent, and recently collected, thriller The Light. Jake Ellis is something entirely different. Whereas his two previous works centred on Greek mythology, and a deadly virus, Jake Ellis is yet another step into new territory for the writer. Mixing elements from genres as diverse as spy, adventure, supernatural and buddy cop in a frosted glass, this tale is hard to resist.

If you’ve seen the previews online (here at BF), you’ll know that the narrative is a unique reading experience. It opens in Barcelona, with Jon Moore meeting some suspicious gentlemen, when in a matter of moments, an action packed escape, the likes of which would make Bourne proud, ensues. Jon has an advantage over his enemies however, and that’s in the form of a dapper man whose name is in the title, and who is visible only to Jon.  Jake Ellis is a calm and collected spy offering life saving guidance to the more frantic Jon. Somewhat resembling Grant Morrison, all we know is that Jake is not fazed by the antics going on around him, probably because he’s immaterial, but also is able to scout ahead of Jon and tell him what direction to run in and so on. This technique is handled superbly in the introductory pages in which we see Jon talking to his criminal associates, and the same scene again, but now with Jake’s dialogue, so Jon looks less crazy, at least to us.

The supernatural element is handled very matter-of-factly and never feels like a goofy gimmick. Jake is never a disembodied head, nor does he walk through walls.  He’s simply shown as a Jiminy Cricket to Jon’s Pinocchio. Sort of.

It is filled with mystery and in fact, so much so that some readers may find it doesn’t reveal enough information, such as how are Jon and Jake connected and exactly why are a bunch of people trying to kill him? However, like any good spy yarn, it dangles enough threads to justify curiosity for what comes next.

The visuals by Zonjic, who has worked on Daredevil and Iron Fist, are simply gorgeous and are somewhat reminiscent of the best film posters from the ‘60s, but with a more playful and exotic colour palette. Zonjic handles the action scenes with great energy and has a light touch and sense of visual flair throughout. From the page where Jon runs to a detailed and imposing cathedral, to the creepy/sexy page where Jake silently watches Jon’s one night stand, it does feel like a Bond film with a twist.

It’s a streamlined story to be sure. There are no wasted pages here. Like Jon, you too will be running to keep up in a search for answers and though you may have to dodge the occasional bullet and jump through the odd window, it’s all worth it.

 

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