Overview

Who Is Jake Ellis? #3

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Who Is Jake Ellis? #3

Credits

  • Words: Nathan Edmondson
  • Art: Tonci Zonjic
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: 2.99
  • Release Date: Apr 6, 2011

Imagine if Firestorm was not a superhero, but an escaped spy with a mysterious past.

That's the enticing world of Jake Ellis. Ellis is a suave, bald man who knows it all and sees it all. Jon Moore is his partner, or more often than not, especially when his life is in danger, his obedient ally. As Moore gets into scrapes that Bond and Bourne would be familiar with, he wisely takes Ellis' advice and dodges bullets to save his life.

When I first jumped into this new Image series, I , and a few others, it seems, assumed that Jake Ellis was a ghost and that this series was in fact a spy/ supernatural mash-up. After the revelations from last month's issue, we now know that Ellis is infact a part of Moore's mind, kind of like Fight Club, but with less anarchy. This issue opens in a nightclub in Strasbourg and shows just how bold and creative artist Zonjic is with his colour choices. It's a kaleidsocope of activity and works splendidly. After deciding to return to the facility that created their unique partnership, the pair travel to a dodgy shop in Toulouse for some weapons and then via train to Madrid, in a well-paced sequence, before kidnapping a suspect who has ties to their origin, with Ellis giving torture guidance as Moore wraps his hands around the man's throat. Filled with short scenes, and not lots of gunning and running like previous issues means this is where the story really starts to coalesce into a satisying whole. Each issue has been unravelling the mystery of Ellis and Moore just a little bit, and Edmondson has chosen the pace at which he does so wisely. The story never becomes just another spy tale with a twist, nor does it ever venture into over-the-top shenanigans.

The creative team has created two intriguing characters, meaning I'm happy to be discovering secrets as they do. There's a sense of style and refinement running throughout the book, from the dialogue driven narrative to the intriguing art that is not as simple as it may seem at first glance. Describing it as cartoony seems wrong, but so does whacking a "realistic" label on it. There's no excessive cross-hatching here, but it's obvious that both Edmondson and Zonjic have carefully thought about each panel and what it means to the larger story at work. Certain bright colours, like a blue or a red are present in every panel of specific scenes, using mood and foreshadowing with the skill of an expert filmmaker. Even the back and inside covers are well designed, like some minimalist movie poster. 

I can already tell that, like Edmondson's previous work, this will be even more satisfying in trade form, as it's hard not be swept up in the world of this odd, but highly intriguing, couple. 

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