Overview

Who Is Jake Ellis? #2

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Who Is Jake Ellis? #2

Credits

  • Words: Nathan Edmondson
  • Art: Tonci Zonjic
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: 2.99
  • Release Date: Feb 23, 2011

Like Bourne with a mysterious twist, Jake Ellis is one cool, and entertaining, customer.

Nathan Edmondson writes with great skill and strategy and his partner in this caper, Tonci Zonjic, keeps up every step of the way. A concept that sounds like a Hollywood production, but which avoids the kind of disappointment that such big idea films often deliver, Who Is Jake Ellis? is shaping up to be another bold entry in Edmondson’s resume.

Last week, I watched Lethal Weapon 3 and 4, after recently watching the first two films in the series. They really are the ultimate buddy cop movies, and the thought of the impending remake has me shivering. I mean, who could possibly outdo Gibson and Glover’s great repartee? Even when they weren’t shooting bad guys, and were just shooting the breeze, their chemistry was mesmerising, and there’s a strong element of that in Jake Ellis. To clarify, there are no zingers or hilarious puns here, but the differences of our two heroes make for great reading.

CIA analyst Jon Moore is the harried action man while his subdued partner, Jake Ellis, is...well, not a man at all, but that revelation is achieved in quite a subtle, and satisfying, fashion.

Set not long after the events of the first issue, more tantalising hints are dropped here, such as the opener which shows Jon in “The Facility” being experimented upon, and the fact that Jon was also the only on to escape said facility, thanks to his fruitful first meeting with Jake. The conversation the pair has after another daring escape is the most revealing of the series so far. Edmondson is peeling away the layers with great care here, building a mystery which puts Jon and Jake’s friendship front and centre. They are undoubtedly the driving force of the plot, with us as desperate for real answers as Jon is, while Jake’s confidence and aloof nature gives him a slightly sinister edge. Contrasting Jon’s real range of emotions with Jake’s mostly disembodied voice giving his partner life-saving directions (while occasionally showing his ever-shadowed eyes) is a great summary of what makes these two men’s actions so appealing.

Zonjic makes these pages pop just like he did with last month’s issue. There is more action here which allows him to amp up the tension, and strangely, also the beauty. This has got to be one of the best looking series on the stands right now.  It was a bold choice to fill it with muted colours and simple textures, seeing as it’s an action driven mystery/spy/thriller tale, but it pays off handsomely. Even the first few pages go from a red glare to a stark interrogation room to, ultimately the book’s best sequence, a well staged getaway in a downpour. It just feels…wet.

To paraphrase this book’s tagline, Jon Moore can see Jake Ellis, but Jake Ellis can see everything, and if you want something different and dazzling in your comics diet, you should see Jake Ellis too.

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