How good is Who is Jake Ellis? Click and find out!
Credits & Solicit Info:
story NATHAN EDMONDSON art & cover TONCI ZONJIC
The multiple-sellout miniseries Newsarama calls 'a modern noir package that is not to be missed' and MTV 'couldn't put down.' Jon Moore is a mercenary spy on the run, protected only by Jake Ellis, a man invisible to everyone except Jon. Collects WHO IS JAKE ELLIS? 1-5
Format: TRADE PAPERBACK
If you heard a voice in your head telling you what to do, how long would you have to hear it before you start to listen?
In the case of Jon Moore, it wasn't long, and it continues to work to his benefit. Since escaping the confines of a top secret government facility, he has been living the life of a mercenary and a spy. He has two things working for him. First and foremost, he is in top physical condition, superbly intelligent and completely qualified in every aspect of reconnaissance and hand-to-hand combat. Second, he has the advice of an invisible conscience known as Jake Ellis, who only he can see and hear, helping him along the way.
The simplicity of this story is truly its shining gem. The story, while refusing a direct linear structure, is not only easy to follow but also compelling to the reader. As we begin to uncover the story of just who Jake Ellis is and why he and Jon are intertwined, questions are raised that, and this is key, are actually answered as we read on. We are shown the story entirely from Jon's perspective, and it makes him so much easier to get behind. You want to root for him the entire way. Even though he is clearly a criminal, you want him to succeed. And that is another reason to stand behind this comic: the character.
This story has two primary characters; Jon and Jake. They are both very well-written and intelligent. And, one of the most important facets of any well-written story, they are likeable. Jon is distinctly human; flawed yet capable of overcoming great adversity when given the opportunity. He isn't some man of steel or a magic-conjuring wizard; he's just a man who uses his resources to come out on top. Even Jake, who seems to have some kind of supernatural or fantastic origin, is still relatable. He may not be a normal human, but you can tell that there is still a heart in that chest of his. There is something going on with him, and even he doesn't know what it is. When there is a brief spark of his humanity in the form of a beautiful girl, he does what he can to get there, risking everything, including his only attachment to the real world, Jon.
The dialogue is fantastic. Although we are not given the depth of the relationship, it is apparent that they are very close since they talk like they are old war buddies. They've gone through so much, and they know so much about each other, that they can only be two friends who have seen the worst of times one could ever know. They aren't to the point of finishing each other's sentences, but it's not far off.
At the risk of gushing, I also appreciate the simplistic nature of the art and the colorization. The artwork and atmosphere have a nostalgic feel. By plunging us into the heart of a story that is already going on, we are given the feel of a serial, which is assisted by the mercenary / whodunit spin of this story.
Final verdict; there isn't a single thing wrong with this story. The length is good enough to entice readers yet not so long you are begging for something to happen. There are enough action beats to make it interesting, but not so much that it drowns out the dialogue. The book is intelligent, but doesn't use big words needlessly. This story is a perfect addition for anyone not wanting just another superhero stopping some invincible force to save the planet.
3 and a half stars out of four.
Review by: Dan Buckley, Outhouse Contributor