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A fast paced spy genre thriller that will leave you asking, “What and who is Jake Ellis?” This book reads like an action-thriller movie and even takes a few queues from the film genre as well. Basically if you want your heart pumping while reading a book, then check it out.
Jon has just botched a job for some very dangerous men. After explaining to them that he was unable to attain all of the information they required he makes a startling get-away that’s fit for any action-thriller in comics or movies. But then the story rewinds and we see Jon, being guided by a man only he can see. We can assume that this is none other than Jake Ellis and he can see briefly into the future to help Jon.
Jake guides Jon whenever he’s in danger and gives him advice like, “Shoot through the bottle, it’s high-proof” or the ever so convenient “Duck.” Yes, Jake is the man that makes Jon look too good to be true. After his narrow escape Jon decides to hide out in France where against Jake’s best advice he decides to spend the night with a beautiful waitress. As he lays in bed deep in sleep from a night of love making, Jake yells for him to get up. He instructs him to run and that he doesn’t have time to get dress.
As Jake climbs out the window, unknown men burst into the room and shoot the waitress. Jon continues on his way with Jakes guidance. Jake once again guides Jon to safety and the two try to figure out who is after him. They wonder if it’s the “Americans” or if it’s men from the previous employer that Jon pissed off. Whatever the case, Jon is far from being out of danger and the reader is even farther from finding out just who the hell Jake Ellis is.
Writer Nathan Edmondson uses this first issue to introduce the hook of the story, that being the fact that Jake Ellis can see in the future and only be seen by Jon. The book’s story is broken up into a typical three part structure, but you’ll find yourself reading so fast that you’ll come to the end of the issue before realizing you’re out of the first act. Edmondson has believable dialog and doesn’t allow his characters to give away details to the audience that would be foreign to the conversation. Jake and Jon really seem like two different people which is very important when one character looks crazy talking to himself.
I’ll be upfront and say that the art is probably going to turn some people off. The lining is not crisp clean lines and smooth edges. No it’s rough and gritty and matches the expectation of the genre perfectly. After all, it’s not a superhero book and that’s important to remember when you pick it up to read. It doesn’t need to look like a typical “tights-n-capes” book, it needs to look worldly and real and frankly artist Tonci Zonjic does a great job in that regard.
With the first issue already selling out, I can completely understand why… it’s damn good. What’s surprising is that this is one of the few Image books to sell-out in recent months that didn’t come from Shadowline, but fell under just the core Image banner. If you’re looking for a break from the “tights-n-capes” genre (let’s be honest you should be) then I highly recommend you join the rest of us in finding out just who is Jake Ellis?
Story – 9.5
Plot – 9.0
Pencils – 9.2
Color – 8.7
Overall – 9.4
If you’d like to know who Dustin Cabeal is you can follow him on Twitter where he’ll tell you about his obsession with Foursquare badges and Xbox 360 achievements.