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Black Summer [Paperback]

Juan Jose Ryp , Warren Ellis
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
Price: 15.21 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

7 Oct 2008
Warren Ellis' eight-issue opus of masked hero revolution, Black Summer, perfectly complimented by the stunning and explosive art of the genius Juan Jose Ryp, is nothing less than a sequential masterpiece! The world goes black in this epic story of super-powered heroes and villains. The story begins when the political situation in the United States becomes more than Horus can stand, and he moves to take matters into his own hands. Unfortunately, not all of his team-mates are quite so eager to throw the world into chaos, and an epic conflict ensues. With Horus and the rest of the surviving Guns facing off against the military and each other, no one is safe as the bodies start to fall.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Avatar Press (7 Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592910521
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592910526
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 16.3 x 25.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 312,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Warren Ellis has created and written The Authority, Transmetropolitan, Orbiter, the award-winning Planetary, Ministry of Space and much more. Juan Jose Ryp is a Spanish comic book artist whose has worked on Black Summer, No Hero, Frank Miller's take on Robocop, Moon Knight, Punisher, and Wolverine.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different look at the superhero 23 May 2009
This is a great read, in a similar vein to comics such as The Authority or even The Ultimates, taking a look at how super humans would possibly behave in the "real world". John Horus, one of the surviving members of a team of science/technolgy based super heroes called the Seven Guns decides to take the law into his own hands by assasinating what he's percieves as a corrupt american government in order to give power back to the american people. Typically the rest of the Guns must come together to deal with the fallout grom this attack and all hell breaks loose. The writing is typically Warren Ellis and an interesting and believable world is put together before people start to get killed in inventive and unusual ways, and the story is actually thought provoking, but not in a deep way. Juan Jose Ryp is not your typical American comic artist, perhaps because he's not American, and his art may not appeal to some, but you can not fault his eyes foe detail and the work that goes into every panel is phenomenal, just check out his Apache gunship drawings. His designs are pretty good too, very different from the usual superhero character design. If your looking for a good superhero comic with a more mature subject matter than typical good versus evil then give this a go. The characters are very morally ambiguous with deeper motive than to just be ggod guys and the story a complete self contained read with no need for knowledge of the lengthly history of most comics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Never mind the politics, here's the seven guns 2 Sep 2009
At the core of this book are political & moral issues, but for most of the time they take a back seat to big explosions and gunplay.

Juan Jose Ryp's artwork is spectacularly detailed (if a little stiff for my taste); comparisons to Geoff Darrow aren't far off the mark.

Ellis' story raises some interesting issues but only hints at personalities for many of the characters; I wouldn't have minded seeing some of the double-page explosions trimmed to allow a little more characterisation.

This isn't by any means classic Ellis, but it's a decent enough read and zips by pretty quickly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Summer killin', happened so fast... 5 Jan 2011
By Sam Quixote TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In a world where superheroes police the world, one superhero goes ultra-pious and decides that the US President isn't good enough to lead the country and murders him along with his staff and key members of his administration. This leads the Army to take out the rogue superhero while his former colleagues wonder how it came to this - weren't they supposed to be doing good?

I wanted to like this book more than I did mostly because Warren Ellis is a wonderful writer and partly because I'd heard so many good things about the book but I came away from it thinking "Is that it?". The story seems very similar to Ellis' other famous superhero series "The Authority" where a group of superheroes police the globe and take things into their own hands and away from the governments of the world as they are too corrupt while the Authority are "more evolved". The fallout from that is similar to the chaos that ensues in "Black Summer" but the characters aren't as interesting as Hawksmoor, Swift, Jenny Sparks, the Engineer, Midnighter, Apollo and the Doctor.

The superhero's "powers" are kind of stupid too - super-guns give them the ability to take out tanks and helicopters but they can also say a password that turns them into a different shape (eg. Regular man says password and becomes masked muscle man) and have other powers. It's a bit too Manga for Ellis' gritty storylines and wasn't very compelling.

Juan Jose Ryp's artwork is amazingly detailed. His double pages of fighting and gore is eye-catching and have you staring at it for ages before turning the page. It reminds me of Geof Darrow's work but Ryp's style is more dynamic.

Not a bad book as superhero stories go and filled with more ideas and is far more interesting than your average DC/Marvel comic is but a disappointingly weak effort from the usual brilliance I've come to expect from Warren Ellis.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If someone declares themselves God through force of arms... 21 Feb 2010
By Jonathan Strawn - Published on Amazon.com
This story opens with a doozy of a opening: The preemeniant superhero of the United States, essentially the Superman of the story, murders the President & all his top advisors. He then calmly holds a press conference to say that he judged them guilty for their crimes, and that he expects new elections to be held in short order.

Chaos, of course, ensues.

Not the least of which for his estranged former teammates, who now find them the targets of every force the stunned government can bring to bear, on the presumption that they are all in on a conspiracy to overthrow the United States.

Except the truth is more complicated and messy than that, and as the history of the team of superheroes is gradually revealed it becomes clear that none of these people are exactly psychologically stable. And maybe you don't want unstable people wielding enough power to level cities. Or maybe the power made them unstable.

In a twisty, action-packed and over-the-top violent tale, Ellis & the hyper detailed artist Juan Jose Ryp explore a world not unlike the one of Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons' Watchmen, and asks the pertinant questions of what might happen if a super-being decided that he had some kind of moral responsibility to step outside the normal functions of society.

In the midst of this is a fun and intriguing cast of characters, the former superteam that operate as clandestine vigilantes of mass destruction. Their personalities and powers are the driving force of the book, with both being equally inventive and imaginative. While the ending may be a little abrupt, this is a powerful tale that manages to entertain you with action while raising troubling questions about the authority of brute force.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel Good Title of the (Black) Summer 25 Jun 2009
By GREG NELSON - Published on Amazon.com
Felt this title deserved another review based on the other reviews and the average rating. Black Summer is a quasi-political superhero sci-fi tale of ethics, paramilitary intrigue, and authoritism. The premise (without giving too much away) is a group of idealistic, brilliant, not-always-agreeable minds conceive of advanced scientific research that in turn ends up funded and watchdogged by greater powers that be. By the same token this group becomes more human than human with technologically advanced suits operating as a team of soldiers outside the confines of powers that be. When one of the more combustible members goes awol in committing a horrendous crime that cannot be condoned by his colleagues, it leads to our entire group of "heroes" becoming public enemy number one of the United States government and military - mayhem ensues. Or more fittingly put, "the @#$! hits the @#$@ fan!

The plotting is a fine line in between narrative spanning the current developments of said "horrendous act" while back-pedaling to fill us in on the main characters and what led-up to the current predicament. Trying to develop where not only our "heroes" come from, but relating to one another and these powers they develop and how the responsibility or use of powers should lie and the toll of it all. The story hits the ground running from the first page, but has to fill us in on what came before. It's an interesting and semi-successful balancing act that will leave some readers with a bitter aftertaste, and some satisfied but wanting more. It has a finite ending, and I was in the "satisfied but wanting more" camp. There's no other way to it, because that is the intention of the story.

Gorgeous, eye-poppingly attentive, and painstakingly detailed artwork is on hand throughout. Seriously the kind of work that is almost unseen of these days can leave the reader lost for minutes just absorbing it outside of the narrative. Juan Jose Ryp is one of the most gifted and impressive artists working today bar none. Why he is not a household name among comic enthusiasts beside his esteemed collaborator on this book is beyond me. He's a bright star; I hope he doesn't burn out too fast like many before him because I am now a huge fan as a result of this book!

If anything buy this book for two reasons. Reason number one: because it's different and takes chances. The plot and narrative itself is exciting and challenges itself and the reader by being in a difficult position taking larger pieces and putting them together to form a smaller puzzle. Really it's an exercise to form a story that is equal parts observation of the world we live in and the world that could be mixing sci-fi and superheroics with equal parts power and ethics, combined into a nasty bomb starting narratively with an explosion. Reason number two: the incredible, astounding, bleedingly brilliant artwork.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent Warren Ellis 11 May 2010
By Evzenie Reitmayerova - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
you like your superheroes to be different... do you like Watchmen? this is another excellent book with totally different superheroes.
the art is excellent, the book is gory, Warren Ellis at his best.
too bad it wasnt longer.
product quality is high, good print, good paper.
highly recommended.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It may not be what you think. 24 Jan 2009
By Brieston Kelly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Black Summer is a political action drama, draped in superhero fiction; it's premise being the question of when you are the one holding the power, where is the line between good and bad, and what is the difference between what is "just" and what is "right"?
The book can be a tad heavy handed in some of it's political themes, and some of the character dialogue can at times feel a bit clunky; it's by no means a brilliant book, but if you're a mature fan of graphic novels, and dark superhero stories, then it's definitely worth a read.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining ride but not enough follow through 16 Jan 2009
By Kid Kyoto - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The premise is brilliant. In 2006 a superhero kills the President of the United States citing the Iraq War and stolen elections. His teammates find themselves hunted by the army as the U.S. descends into chaos.

Ellis does a good job of quickly introducing his original superheroes and setting up their premise. Juan Jose Ryp's art is kinetic and fun, he does great gunfights and explosions and Ellis makes sure he has plenty of chances to do both. The heroes have an interesting modern design based more on motorcross suits and military uniforms than superhero spandex.

So Black Summer is quite a bit of fun. But the promise is never fulfilled. there's no real time spent on how people on the street are reacting, we don't even hear who is running the country with the President and VP dead (legally it would be Speaker of the House but it's never mentioned). We get a line or two about riots or fighting within the military but nothing definite.

Despite the inflammatory premise Bush is never named or shown and not much detail about what drove the hero to kill him.

So we end up with an exciting, well-drawn story of high tech heroes vs the US Army and each other but not much substance.
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