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Ignition City Volume 1 [Paperback]

Warren Ellis
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 Mar 2010
Where did the space heroes go to die? From Warren Ellis, the writer who reinvented science fiction in comics in the alternate-world style of the award-winning Ministry Of Space and Aetheric Mechanics, comes a retropunk "future of the past" where spaceships still belched smoke and arguments were still settled with laser pistols. Grounded space pilot Mary Raven has come to the interzone settlement in the middle of Ignition City, Earth's last spaceport, to recover the effects of her dead father... or so people think. Mary really wants to know how he died, and who did it? But, today might be her last day on Earth, trapped on the last spaceport where no-one cares about murder and the only real currency is fear. She has her dead father's raygun, and that's enough for space hero-turned-arms dealer Lightning Bowman to want her dead. But she also has her dead father's diary. And when she finds out something no-one else in the settlement knows... they'll want her dead for that, too! Featuring the art of Aetheric Mechanics' Gianluca Pagliarani, this full-color volume collects all five issues of the sci-fi epic with a gorgeous cover gallery full of design sketches, ray-gun fights, and giant metal machines!

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Ignition City Volume 1 + Aetheric Mechanics + Captain Swing
Price For All Three: 29.51

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Avatar Press (2 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592910874
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592910878
  • Product Dimensions: 25.9 x 16.8 x 0.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 463,180 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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars After the two-fisted space age... 23 Feb 2010
By Ian Williams TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
...Earth has retreated within itself, tired of alien attacks and corrupting influences. The only place you might get off Earth is Ignition City and that is one of the last places on Earth any sane person would want to visit.

Taking as its premise that the black and white movie serials of the 30's and early 40's featuring heroes like Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, and then thinly disguising them, were real, Ellis take us to 1956 when it looks like the Space Age is over. It opens in Berlin where Mary Raven is talking to Buster Crabbe -a real-life hero and frogman (i.e. diver) who died while (so the story goes) attempting to sabotage a Russian ship during the Cold War. Learning her father, the hero Rock Raven, has been murdered, Mary, herself a space adventurer and tough-girl, heads off to Ignition City to get his effects.

And if I tell you what happens next... Well, I'm just not going to as you should find out for yourself.

Some background details, however. Ignition City is a slum where despised aliens live along with corrupted or beaten down heroes of the Space Age, some of them hoping forlornly to get on board a rocket and head off for a final adventure or just to escape an unbearable Earth. It's a brutal and dangerous place where the predominant colour seems to be a faeces-brown. The language reflects this and this is not a graphic novel for kids or the squeamish, but then it is written by Warren Ellis who isn't known for pulling punches.

At the novel's conclusion, certain events have happened which make it clear that there will (or should) be a sequel while wrapping up the initial plotline of what really happened to Mary's father and why and the consequences thereof. Definitely not for all tastes but well worth a look. More please, Mr Ellis, sir.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Ollie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found this a compelling and interesting book.

Whilst the art work is mediocre the story is compelling if slightly disappointing at the end. The universe is well filled out and feels like a lot of time has been put into the character and universe development. I'm hoping that the series is continued as i would like more back story to the characters and their relevant story arcs but as a stand alone it is very well written. The ending is disappointing in my opinion but im not too annoyed as the characters and universe are so interesting.

All in all an excellent book from an excellent writer!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow fuse, fast explosion 2 Mar 2010
By G. Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Its really 3.5 stars, but I'm rounding up 'cause I'm sick of being so negative.

You'll have to excuse me, but I have a hard time reviewing this work without reviewing it in context of Ellis as a writer.
Warren Ellis writes Warren Ellis stories. You're either a fan or you're not. All Ellis stories have X amount of things that are in every one of them and these all fall into three different categories: 1) the stuff you love about him that make you a fan (wide imagination, fun characters), 2) the stuff that he pulls every time that would be annoying if any other writer did it but, whatcha gonna do, its Ellis (dialog crammed full with expletives in manners that no one has ever spoken in) and 3) the really, really bad, borderline ego-feeding crap that he pulls more often than he should (deus ex machinas from nowhere, anti-climax, self indulgent characters that are unrelateable and offensive for shock's sake).
Really, the quality of story you get out of Ellis hinges entirely on what sort of mixture you get from these three elements.
A few years back, I was a fan of pretty much everything the man put out. He was my only "buy on sight" writer. In his heyday of Planetary, Authority and Transmet (though, on occasion, Transmet did delve into self-indulgent territory) Ellis appeared to do no wrong.
Then, he had a bit of a whore phase-- pumping out forgettable crap for the Marvel and DC.
But, in the last few years, looking over his recent resume, it appears as if he's made somewhat of a return to form, focusing much of his energies back on self-owned titles and mini-series set within their own continuities, beholden to nothing before them.
In the last few years, he's churned out Doktor Sleepless, Black Summer, Anna Mercury, Wolfskin, No Hero, Aetheric Mechanics, Frankenstein's Womb and a few others. Now, most of these were for Avatar Press (just like Ignition City) and most of these were really bad.
Ellis is a great science fiction writer. He isn't a good science fiction writer. He is great.
He has admitted on several occasions that he is, in no way, a scientist himself. But he loves science. He loves it in a way that a person who can't draw a stick figure but loves art loves art. He obsesses on it and he enjoys both the minutia and the majesty of science and that's what makes him a great Sci-Fi writer. He has a learned man's grasp of what scientific understanding is today and a dreamer's enthusiasm of what science could be if we all had Jet Packs and fought invaders from alternate dimensions.
But Ellis just can't help but fall prey to his own self-indulgences.
He's long touted himself as the grumpy old bastard of comics. And that's fine. It kinda make him lovable. But its starting to feel like when a child says a dirty word and his parent's find it cute so they rewarded the child with attention, so the kid keeps saying it, and now the kid won't stop yelling the same swear word and is confused why he's not getting the same level of attention for his efforts anymore.
Ellis's dialog, which was always "stylized" even in his earliest works, now comes off as little more than bullet points to move the plot along or, more often, turrets styled spewings of increasingly improbable connections of words, most having to do with leakage from some human orifice or sex acts illegal in any God fearing, industrialized nation.
In addition, Ellis has problems with sporadic fits of graphic violence, cliche characters and bleeding heart liberalism out of characters who, two panels ago, just stabbed a man to death in cold blood. Also, I've never known of another writer of such ability that, so frequently, can turn in stories that just completely jump the shark midway through. He is a phenomenal writer, but he can stretch a premise until it rips in half and, often times, he's the only one who doesn't notice its torn.

Now, for Ignition City.
I'm pleased to say that this is Ellis largely back to writing like Good Ellis. Gone is the ridiculously bad, trying-to-be-Morrison, SF-meets-metaphysics garbage that was Aetheric Mechanics.
We're back into Steam Punk and a post-pulp, post-WWII era with astronauts, ray guns and a murder mystery.
It almost works as a good Planetary substitute for those of us who've been fiending for another fix. The story revolves around thinly veiled analogs of Dan Dare, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Commando Cody and the Lensmen (well, one of 'em) and that's a good thing. Ellis has a talent for taking what was good about the past --boiling something down to the bright shiny version of how you remember it-- and then reworking it for his purposes. A skill only Moore or Mignola can rival him at.
Our good lady protagonist drinks hard, pines for the stars and hates everyone around here-- like all good Ellis protagonists... most bad ones, too. She gets to where she's going with no real issues and then proceeds to start unearthing major clues into her father's death shockingly easy. Like, easy to the point that maybe somebody should have just called her and told her everything and saved her the jet fuel she expended getting there. But it doesn't matter, because in a story like this, the murder mystery is secondary to the insane characters surrounding it.
The world created in this story --or the island, in this case-- is well defined and limited, so Ellis gets a lot of mileage out of only five issues in setting up major players, the worlds they come from and the Hell they've now given into.
I won't spoil to much plot-wise, but I would feel remiss if I didn't mention that the blatant Western formula setup becomes close to overbearing by the end and Ellis may have benefited from taking two steps back from that obvious line.
Sadly, the story is not all wine and roses, though, as it is a victim of anti-climax. The five part-er should have easily been six, and the organically building finale turns into a sadly overused Ellis trap of the main character launching into a "well, let me explain everything out to everyone so we can avoid having to use additional panels to build towards where this story is gonna wind up anyways." It was a very unfortunate and abrupt ending to an otherwise enjoyable yarn that left me wishing to know more about these characters.
As for the art, on initially opening the book, my first words were, "wow, this interior art is terrible." However, very quickly into the read, it grew on me. Is the art breathtaking? No. In fact, my guess is that most the faces seem drawn on as afterthoughts. But Erik Larsen always had a great line about comic book art: "Comic art is just supposed to keep your eyes moving between word balloons." ... mind you, I'm paraphrasing.
Really, once the story begins to move, Gianluca Pagliarani's art is great at pace, movement, storytelling and his action sequences and wide shots are very well done. He also does a great job of drawing a world filled with old scraps of spaceships.
Lastly, I would feel remiss if I failed to mention the quality of the book. I understand that Avatar is kinda newer and smaller kid on the comic publishing block and I understand that, to stay in contention, they may have to move numbers a bit here and there, but the paper quality is somewhat lacking and their prices are more expensive than any other TPB publisher that I can think of.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Left me wanting more, but also expecting it. 29 Dec 2010
By Firndeloth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
To begin with, the artwork is fantastic. It has a steampunk, wild-west feel. It's rough, it's alive, and it's beautiful. If you enjoy reading comic books more for the visual world than the written world, this may be well worth your time. Ignition city never really lifts off. It is a story about space flight and discovery that is firmly Earthbound in the last remaining spaceport and titular consummate slum. That's fine. That's brilliant, in fact. The trouble is in the delivery of that concept. The writing was well handled and mostly quite competent. Characters were brightly outlined and stylized without seeming abrasively caricatured. Dialogs flowed smoothly and mostly realistically. The trouble is the story doesn't feel compelling after about the middle and action both dramatic and visceral doesn't kick off until the very end of the comic. Both sorts of action are not really resolved. The story simply flattens out, and leaves not only the future of the characters in limbo but also of ignition city. Disappointingly, it is not the exciting sort of cliff-hanger that leaves one anticipating the next episode of a great comic or tv serial, but the abrupt stop of a red following an unusually short yellow. I was prepared for it, but didn't want it to happen, was expecting it much later and found it rather inconvenient. The concept has a lot of potential. The characters have a fair bit of potential. The big secret, plot-twist reveal thing doesn't feel all that exciting or twisty ... because the context the characters have that causes them to care about the shocking secret is given to the readers not second hand as usual, but third and forth through flashbacks and stories. It's and old and used emotion by time it reaches us and again it falls flat. I really wanted to like Ignition City. I wanted to LOVE it. Everything was lined up for me to love if from the first page and on to the last. It just never lifted off.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Ellis' best...! 28 July 2014
By DJ Joe Sixpack - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Ignition City, Volume One"
Written by Warren Ellis
Illustrated by Gianluca Pagliarani
(Avatar Press, 2010)
. . . .

This slow-burn steampunk, alternate-timeline, space aviator sci-fi graphic novel noir is one of the best Warren Ellis books I've read, and I greatly enjoyed the total-badass, no-nonsense female protagonist, space pilot Mary Raven, as well as the cool alien-worlds scenario that Ellis sketches in but never fully explains. The only bummer was that the series (or at least this book) ends on a cliffhanger, without any real resolution, and apparently none is coming, since it's been years since the series was cancelled, and years since this collection came out. Oh, well. It was nice while it lasted. For a nice, healthy dose of gritty, visionary sci-fi comicbookery, this one's definitely worth picking up. (DJ Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain book reviews)
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Ellis, but Only the Beginning 5 Aug 2013
By W. Stotler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ignition City delivers on Everything Ellis. It's a safe (and entertaining) buy if you're collecting his work. That said, Ignition City feels truncated: the story has been set up for continuation but (disappointingly) does not continue. Volume 1 presents a complete story arc, but you may be left asking, "Hey, where's Volume 2?"
4.0 out of 5 stars Great entertainment 18 April 2013
By wiredweird - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This doesn't push back the limits of visual storytelling. Frankly, only a few per decade do.

Instead, this does something that could easily slide under the radar and, in this case, really shouldn't. It pulls together themes that have been used and used again: a spaceport vaguely like Outland, but with more wild west and a way-cool space chick in control of the story line. Art meets good standards - expressive and very capable, but never challenging the viewer. Characters and plot that make sense: got both.

I might back, I might not. It's a very good comic, but there's greatness out there. And, unfortunately, my comics collection has only so many meters of shelf space in it, and there's fierce competition for each millimeter.

-- wiredweird
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