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Ignition City #1
By Zak Edwards
April 11, 2009 - 19:13

Avatar Press
Writer(s): Warren Ellis
Penciller(s): Gianluca Pagliarani
Inker(s): Chris Drier
Colourist(s): Digikore Studios
Cover Artist(s): Gianluca Pagliarani & Chris Drier
$3.99 US

Wednesday is new comic book day, obviously, but this day also means another consistency: Warren Ellis starting a new series.  Probably one of the busiest writers in comics, Warren Ellis seems to be creating a new series every week and is writing so much it’s impossible to keep track.  But I managed to get this one, thanks to a tip, and Ellis’ new series this week, Ignition City, is just plain cool.  A warning, while not as offensive of some of his other stuff, this title could probably do with a looking over before handing it over to a young comic book fan to read.

Conceptually, Ignition City is intriguing. Set in an alternative nineteen fifties where spacecraft has been commonplace for some time and there is even a presence of aliens, although they seem to be slaves.  Spaceships have been experiencing widespread use privately and are now slowly being outlawed in many parts of the world, all of which appear to be in economic decline.  An exception to these legal moves against spacecraft is the artificially made island, Ignition City, a run-down town which completely entails the combination of the western and science fiction the series is going for.  As it is an issue one, Ellis spends much of his time exploring the characters and world he’s created while sticking to a fairly simple plot.  The protagonist herself is surprisingly flat and fairly uninteresting, a woman with both mommy and daddy issues which are fairly melodramatic.  She doesn’t seem to have a voice to really any extent.  While there are wonderful moments which are recognizably Ellis, a man taking what looks lie a fairly painful crap and dumping it out his window onto a drunk astronaut for example, really, I’m excited about the concept and where he goes with it.  Ignition City has a lot of characters in it who seem to be able to contribute to a decent series, and while it is taking more than a single issue to get off the ground, Warren Ellis has something of interest.

Artist Gianluca Pagliarani seems to reflect this emphasis of the world over the characters inhabiting it, even on the first couple of pages.  These pages feature a highly detailed landscape shot of Berlin, complete with traffic james and flying blimp like vehicles while the characters in the other panels feature very little detail.  But the whole look of the landscapes in the issue are really something worth looking at, drawing on the combination of western and science fiction of the writing.  It’s very pretty to look at, even if the characters lack of detail reflects their lack of interest.

7/10    Flat characters, but cool concept combined with pretty art is enough for issue #2.

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