19 September 2009

Ocean by Warren Ellis

The kindly postman brought me Ocean by Warren Ellis and Chris Sprouse yesterday morning and I read it today. Given that I read most comics around six months after I buy them, that is quite some testament to my enthusiasm. And my enthusiasm was justly rewarded.

At it's heart this is a simple sci-fi romp. It's set a hundred years in the future when man has mastered space travel enough to have spread through our solar system. The main action is on Europa, the sixth moon of Jupiter, which is covered in ice. Underneath the ice there is a dark and ancient threat.

There is a hero, who looks and behaves a little too like Nick Fury, and some baddies who just may be the descendents of Microsoft.

The supporting cast is small and light in terms of the role they play and their characterisation but that is not a problem. The story is all about Nathan Kane, agent of the United Nations, and how he deals with the threat and neutralises the enemy.

Chris Sprouse's artwork is uncluttered and sharp which suits Warren Ellis' minimal writing style (just as Paul Duffield's does on FreakAngels).

Ocean was originally published as a six part comic by Wildstorm, way back in 2004, but collected as a graphic novel it still reads well. The story is well paced, a compelling page turner and ends satisfactorily. It's a good but simple story well told.

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