Black Summer #0

By | Wednesday, June 06, 2007 Leave a Comment
As I noted just yesterday, I've only recently come to really appreciate Warren Ellis as a writer. Just in time I'd say, too, as this week saw the release of his new Black Summer #0 from Avatar Press.

The issue is brief, only eight pages of story and a two page text summary by Ellis. (What do expect for 99 cents?) But in those eight pages, Ellis effectively, succinctly, and elegantly establishes a world not dissimilar to our own, several characters and a general outline of their backstories, and fires the opening salvo of what the whole series is premised on. I was amazed, in retrospect, at how much he accomplished in those eight pages; it seemed like several chapters' worth of material. But it never felt rushed or forced or overly expository, but it all seemed perfectly paced and flowed easily.

Now, as to the premise, I'm finding it hard to explain without substantially spoiling the story for those who haven't seen it yet. But let me say that I actually was reading it in a Subway restuarant as I was eating lunch today, and I had to restrain myself from jumping up from my chair and yelling, "Now that's what I'm talking about!" It's a ballsy story in every positive aspect of the word, and one that I daresay that many conservative readers might take offense to. It's a story about a superhero who decides to fight against the real injustices in America at the very highest levels. It's about the reality of "freedom" in America and what kind of drastic measures really need to happen before the opiate-infused public wakes up to just how bad the situation actually is. It's the story that should be inevitable if mainstream superheroes honestly did believe that with great power must also come great responsibility. It's about sacrificing one's own soul for the greater good. It's about trying to right everything that's wrong in America today.

It's about damned time.

This is a book that everyone who appreciates freedom -- real freedom -- should buy. Ellis is a man with an incredibly simple, but poignient, message. Yeah, he's just writing fiction, but it has a greater Truth (and a far, far greater eloquence) to it than most newspapers. And that should scare the crap out of everyone.

Read Black Summer.
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