Overview

Who Is Jake Ellis? #5

Review

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Who Is Jake Ellis? #5

Credits

  • Words: Nathan Edmondson
  • Art: Tonci Zonjic
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Oct 12, 2011

Yes, it’s a bit late and yes, it’s worth the wait.

Debuting in January was this excellent mini-series from Edmondson (The Light, December's The Activity) and Zonjic (Daredevil) that immediately showed itself to be a prime example of a high concept with well-executed pacing, and of course, it looks like nothing else on the stands. From that premiere issue, it was obvious that this was to be a story that took what it liked from the action, mystery, and buddy genres and concocted a hearty stew from them all.  

In summary, this comic is memorable. For those who read a multitude of convoluted superhero epics each week, you’ll be relieved to have no need for a recap page here. Under the false assumption that Jake was a ghost of some sort from the first issue, I’m glad Edmondson quickly proved me wrong with a much more believable alternative. In essence, Jon Moore is an out of action agent, who is becoming increasingly disheveled, but also focused, while his duotone partner Jake Ellis is his invisible, and handy know-it-all, guide. The touted tagline that Ellis sees everything and only Moore sees Ellis is a wonderfully simple concept for this streamlined tale. The tantalizing promise of more issues than this one (which was supposed to be the conclusion) makes sense, but to say more about Moore’s discovery in the Moroccan research base would be to spoil it for this title’s loyal readers.

This easily could’ve been an over the top blockbuster that would make Bond or Bourne blush and while there are the occasional globetrotting escapades and intense moments of derring do, Edmondson and Zonjic know that at its core, it’s the men and their unique partnership that drive this series. 

Only Zonjic’s art could give this series the focused, crisp art and colors it deserves. He seemingly brings more dazzle from every page with fewer color selections. It’s sun drenched, claustrophobic, dusty, bloody, intense, all at once. Panel arrangements and the overall sense of design lend a Hitchcockian flair, and the seemingly simple and economic visuals belie the precision of Zonjic’s choices. 

Like Zonjic, Edmondson too knows what he’s doing. Ellis has been, and largely still remains a mystery, but throughout the course of the story has never veered close to becoming a one-note excuse for a good story. Here Moore discovers more of himself and for the first time we see the two men outside of each other’s heads, which unveils a desperation and concern that Moore hasn’t really shown previously. The bold conclusion lends a dangerous, unknown vibe to the last few pages and is a reminder that these two men need each other. Together, they can achieve great things and enjoy endless adventures.

This will be a great trade read for those new, or devoted, to the series, but I still want more Moore. And Ellis of course.

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