Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ignition City TPB

Warren Ellis writes a certain kind of story. Everyone is usually pretty mean-spirited, but there are cool ideas tucked away and mixed up with foul language and a lot of drinking. Ignition City is EXACTLY in line with those expectations.

The core concept is a strong one, an alternate world where space travel and alien encounters became commonplace during World War II. In an effort to cut Earth off from the alien universe, the only still-functioning spaceport on Earth is the artificial island of Ignition City. Its where spacers go to die, since they are not really wanted anywhere else. This is where Buck Rogers, Jon Carter, Flash Gordon, the Rocketeer, all those types of guys would end up.

Now, since this is an Ellis book, the city is a filthy place where everyone eats space food, can’t go to the bathroom, and drinks too much. The curse constantly, and bribe the heck out of each other. It’s really sad seeing the washed up relics of those archetypes I mentioned above, but it is a neat idea. The aliens are a lot of fun and Ellis has planted enough interesting characters to make Ignition City a place I wouldn’t mind seeing again. In fact, I almost think subsequent chapters will be BETTER, once we have the status quo set up at the close of this trade.

But man, everyone is so scummy. They curse non-stop, they have very little loyalty to anyone or anything (with a few exceptions). The lead, Mary Raven, is a strong, tough spacer. I like her, but why does Gianluca Pagliarani have her regular uniform be a bra under a leather jacket? (I love Pagliarani’s ray guns, by the way.)

So this is a cop-out review. If you like Ellis’ mad ideas and abrasive characters, this is a book for you. My favorite Ellis stories are the ones where one or two good people have to interact in those crappy situations (see Thunderbolts).


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