Tag Archives: warren ellis

Comic Book Update: Preacher: Dixie Fried | X-Men: FF | Iron Man: Extremis Comic Books | My Reviews 23 SEP 2013

Every now and then I’ll pick up a comic book to read, though I have to say that these days it is pretty few and far between. Anyway, here’s a quick roundup of some of the graphic novels I did in fact encounter over the last couple of months…

Preacher: Dixie Fried (Volume 5) (1998)

preacher volume 5 fried dixie comic coverAfter destroying the headquarters of the all-powerful Grail conspiracy and freeing his hard-drinking vampire pal Cassidy from its dungeons, the Reverend Jesse Custer is about to reunite with his straight-shooting girlfriend Tulip O’Hare and resume his hunt for answers from an elusive God – provided that Tulip forgives him for leaving her behind during his little rescue mission.

But getting those answers will mean delving into the hidden mind of Genesis, the angel/demon offspring that has fused itself to Jesse’s soul, and that will require some serious spiritual excavation – the kind that only real, down-home black magic can offer. Luckily, Cassidy happens to know a voodoo priest in New Orleans who can help unlock the Genesis memories in Jesse’s head. In the same breath, unluckily, Cassidy also has a cult of bloodthirsty vampire wannabes in New Orleans after his head!

Even after all of these years Preacher still holds up as a thoroughly entertaining ready, a seriously black comedy drama that doesn’t care what sacred religious cow it touches, or in most cases, bruises. Twists and turns a plenty, weird and generally terrifying characters and situations, both subtle and not so subtle bits of injected dark humour, and just all in all a very engaging and gripping story, from start to finish.

And needless to say, Volume 5 (Dixie Fried) in this saga by writer Garth Ennis doesn’t disappoint in any of the above regards.

At the same time, artist Steve Dillon produces some fantastically detailed and emotive visuals to back up this great read, making Preacher: Dixie Fried a good recommendation to any of your not easily offended comic book reading friends.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preacher_(comics)

X-Men: FF (2012)

x-men ff trade paperback comic book coverWhen the Future Foundation discovers a distress beacon from another dimension, they turn to the heroes best suited to help: the X-Men! But these are strange times for both teams: the X-Men are aligned with their arch-nemesis Magneto, while the FF has forged an uneasy alliance with their own eternal enemy, Dr. Doom. When the two teams hop dimensions to rescue Cyclops’ ex-girlfriend, sea captain Lee Forrester, they encounter dinosaurs, alien invaders and an old friend in Skull the Slayer. But what is the greatest threat? The dinosaurs? The aliens? Or Doom and Magneto?

Plus: the mutant super heroes meet the new Ghost Rider!

Collecting X-MEN (2010) #15.1 and #16-19, the X-Men: FF trade paperback is written by Victor Gischler and illustrated by Jorge Molina, Mirco Pierfederici and Will Conrad.

The Ghost Rider meet-up aside (which feels like a forced exercise in padding to be quite honest), the X-Men: FF story arc turns out to be a hugely entertaining one, delivering a solid story that has all the hallmarks of action, adventure, humour and big fight scenes that you have come to expect from a great X-men comic book tale. There is plenty of “screen time” for all the involved cast members (both X-men and Future Foundation) and as per usual the interactions between the various team members, not mention the teams themselves, make for an engaging read.

(And besides, who doesn’t like a story set in a dinosaur-filled, lost Savage Land type setting anyway?)

Visually I have to say that I enjoyed the pages from all the artists involved, with all three art teams delivering work that is stylistically fairly similar, thus making the story feel a little less disjointed than what it could have (a problem often encountered with multi-artist story arcs). The colouring throughout is gorgeous, as expected from one of these top shelf franchises, and overall I have to say this is an enjoyable read to pick up if you have some spare time on your hands.

Obviously not a very deep, dramatic or seminal story being told here, but pretty damn good entertainment nevertheless!

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Men

Iron Man: Extremis (2005)

iron man extremis trade paperback coverA landscape of terrifying new technologies threatens to overwhelm fragile mankind! What is Extremis, who has unleashed it, and what does its emergence portend for the world?

Extremis is a 2005 six part story arc from writer Warren Ellis and artist Adi Granov that sought to redefine the character into a more modern day setting. It’s an extremely popular Iron Man story and indeed, elements from the arc were lifted to form the basis of the excellent Iron Man 3 movie.

Whilst this story of a virus capable of creating incredibly powerful superhuman subjects which after sabotage is set on a direct collision course with a greatly outmatched Iron Man is certainly entertaining and makes for a great tale, I have to say, I don’t quite get why it is such a highly regarded Iron Man arc. I do get the fact that it serves the purpose of redefining a more modern Iron Man quite well, but I have to say that for me it felt like more of a throw away story arc than anything else – and the often forced dialogue didn’t really help its case either.

On the art front Adi Granov’s visuals are amazingly detailed and gorgeous to look at, but in the same breath suffers from the problem most photo realistic artists suffer from – panels appear very static and it is difficult for a reader to get much in terms of action and movement out of it.

Still, it was a good read and on the whole the art IS gorgeous, making it a certainly recommendable read, particularly for those already heavily invested in the Iron Man universe.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extremis

Anna Mercury Cosplay: Anna Mercury (Belle Chere) Cosplay 07 APR 2013

Well known American cosplayer Belle Chere suits up in leather to bring to life Warren Ellis’ fiery redhead, Anna Mercury!

Anna Mercury is a leather-clad, red-headed hero who travels between parallel worlds, fighting to keep advanced weaponry from being used by more primitive worlds.

On Earth, in the modern day United Kingdom, Anna Mercury is actually Anna Louise Britton, an agent of the government, tasked with missions in the nine parallel worlds adjacent to our own. Anna’s travels through the space between worlds charges her equipment that lets her defy gravity, move through solid objects, and perform other feats, though the energy is limited and must be monitored closely.

Anna appears in the comic book limited series “Anna Mercury”, created by Warren Ellis, published by Avatar Press, and with art by Facundo Percio. Issue 1 was released on 2 April 2008.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Mercury

Kaare Andrews: Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #4 Cover (2011) Comic Book Art | Comic Books 15 OCT 2011

Something is causing the children of an African village to be born mutated. Something in the woodland outside the village. Something they don’t talk about. But now, whatever it is, it’s being hunted, and the X-Men are trapped between the hunters and the hunted.

Of course, Warren Ellis’ story needs to be complemented by an artist, and although I’m not a particularly huge fan of Kaare Andrews’ internal pencils, the man does whip up some pretty awesome covers, and ignoring his hip-hop nods through the various covers for this short miniseries, his completed art for issue 4 is actually pretty attention grabbing.

Besides, it features Wolverine clutching a baby, claws extended, dark, billowing smoke, and of course Emma Frost for some or other reason draped around his calf.

Sheer awesomeness.

Thor #492 (Mike Deodato Jr.) Comic Book Art | Comic Books 23 APR 2011

Warren Ellis is know for turning just about anything he turns his writing hand to into gold. If a title is flagging, bring him in, wait for the controversy and watch those sales rise.

Needless to say, by the mid-1990’s Thor had reached this point and Ellis was brought in, immediately ringing some very big changes to what had become a slightly stale character.

The Enchantress and amnesia was to play a pretty big role in his “Worldengine” story arc, and what better artist at the time to pair this red hot writer with, other than the legendary drawer of completely unrealistically proportioned but extremely hot women, Mike Deodato Jr.!

1995’s Thor issue 492 by Mike Deodato features a very out of sorts Thor being framed by a very trademark Deodato leg!

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thor_%28Marvel_Comics%29

Covered: Astonishing X-Men #26 (Simone Bianchi) Comic Book Art | Comic Books 26 MAR 2011

Warren Ellis took over the reigns of the monthly Astonishing X-Men in 2008, kicking off in his usual style by controversially relocating the whole team to San Francisco.

Italian artist Simone Bianchi was handed the art chores and the result was the compelling six issue “Ghost Box” storyline.

Simone is particularly noted for his ink wash approach to his art, and as you can see by this stunning portrayal of everyone’s favourite blue learned furry, the results are spectacular to say the least!

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astonishing_X-Men

Marvel Anime: Iron Man: Episode 1 Anime | My Reviews 12 OCT 2010

Iron Man Arrives in Japan – So Marvel’s Iron Man has come to Japan at last, under the steering hand of comics maestro Warren Ellis and anime director Yuzo Sato, who bring to us a 12 episode long anime series from the combined efforts of Marvel Animation and the legendary Madhouse.

According to the press releases Madhouse has been given free reign with Marvel’s house of superheroes, meaning the potential for unchained re-imaginings with a Japanese slant is heavily on the cards, starting off with Marvel’s current film poster-child, Iron Man.

Marvel Anime: Iron Man episode 1 kicks the proceedings off and unlike the recent Iron Man: Armored Adventures which is more geared towards kids, Iron Man puts the familiar playboy billionaire genius Tony Stark right in front of us, making his way over to Japan in order to oversee the completion of his ambitious arc reactor project which seeks to bring free energy to the whole of Japan.

However, one thing no one could have expected is that Tony Stark is also in the process of stepping down from his role as Iron Man, instead handing over the reins to a new generation of pilots who will be piloting a new Iron Man model nicknamed the Dio.

But of course, for a man as flamboyant as Tony, fitting into the more culturally reserved Japan is going to prove tough enough on its own, never mind the fact that despite his desire to step down, a sinister organisation known only as the Zodiac is about to rear its very ugly head!

Episode 1 is a solid start to what should be an entertaining anime series, even if it clocks in at the short 12 episode mark. We have already been given a good plot line to follow up on, been introduced to some sinister new enemies for the armoured hero and more importantly, been introduced to all the necessary supporting characters who no doubt will keep us entertained as the differences between the West and East are further highlighted as the show progresses.

In terms of the animation, once you get over Tony Stark’s rather foppish hairstyle and face lines, you’ll realize that this is one slick animation presentation. Fluid, great detail and some fantastic action sequences make for a very good looking, and enjoyable anime experience. The CG is particularly well handles and integrated into the 2D animation and as a whole, Iron Man, simply put, looks damn good.

Similarly, the soundtrack together with both the opening and closing music tracks are all a hit, in addition to which, it must be mentioned that Keiji Fujiwara provides a rather fitting voice to our playboy Mr. Stark.

In other words, a good start for what looks to be a decent anime series well worth checking out, particularly if you are as big a Marvel fanboy like I am! :)

Download Iron Man 1: Removed

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_Anime