Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Black Summer TPB

I'm not the biggest Warren Ellis fan because his work often feels so mean-spirited. That is certainly the case here, his Seven Guns team is a group of hyper-active liberals out to redefine America, so you can kind of predict how they react to the Bush Administration. The book opens with John Horus, the most powerful Gun, killing Bush and much of his cabinet. The rest of the book is the fallout as the other surviving Guns fight off their creator, each other, and the US Army. And by fight off, I mean slaughter. These people absolutely demolish the US Armed forces. Innocent bystanders mean nothing until the closing pages. All levels of civil servants are torn limb from limb. This is clearly an Avatar title, because this story could have come across without all the gory deaths and anatomically correct chests on the ladies.

There are some nice ideas here, Ellis' pseudo-science sounds as strong as it always does. But man, I was put off by the over the top nature of the book. Avatar is an interesting publisher, giving well-known creators a place to write X-rated comics that could probably have been told with an R-rating. Ellis' team has a nice feel to it, the characters sound like they do care about each other even as they complain about everything they do. But these are not heroes. I'd recommend this to folks who love Ellis' super-science and ultra-violence. Fans of normal super-heroes need not appy.

The gore is rendered in bloody detail by Juan Jose Ryp. He's got the Avatar house style down pat. There are arms and legs decorating the background of about half the panels. Every lady is excited, judging by their chests.

I'm glad I just checked this one out from the library!


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