Ocean Paperback – 28 Aug 2009
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"A cool premise, badass characters, intelligent speculative fiction and, of course, stunningly beautiful artwork." - " --TheFourthRail.com
About the Author
Warren Ellis is well known in the comics field and beyond, with writing credits on Authority, Planetary, Global Frequency, Hellblazer, Transmetropolitan, Stormwatch, Fell, 2000 AD, Batman and Ultimate Fantastic Four. Chris Sprouse has worked on such diverse titles as HammerLocke, Glory, Legion of Super-Heroes, Starman, Legionnaires and WildC.A.T.s/Aliens. He has won wide critical acclaim for his work on Tom Strong (with Alan Moore).
Top customer reviews
The cast is also extremely politically-correct – well ahead of the curve and current social concern, with a Black British male lead, three ethnically diverse female crew on the Europan station, and one white male scientist who needs rescuing, with the corporate baddies all white males (and probably American). What more could Hollywood (or the BBC) ask for.
Anyway, the plot and resolution is science-fiction rather than Hollywood adventure fiction, though there is plenty of action/adventure to fill in the gaps, as it were.
This is a superbly-illustrated and very entertaining story.
Europa, Jupiter's Moon, is hiding something. A bunch of coffins full of seemingly dead humans. Well they look dead, and they have some human genetics. Inspector Kane sets himself the task of finding out exactly what these billion year old human-like things are doing here, and he doesn't have long to find out before someone else beats him to it or he dies trying.
A clever series with likeable, funny characters and a clever, unique plot. Definitely a good first choice for comic book reading for me!
Revealing more would spoil the fun and the brilliant roller-coasting thrilling journey of discovery this book is, so I'll stop now.
What I'll rant on about is how this graphic novel, optioned for a movie that may sadly never happen, guiltily went under the radar of too many critics and fans.
Writer Warren Ellis throws so many concepts at you here and draws on so many ssources, that your head will spin - so complex and articulated this graphic novel is - if you don't take your time reading, taking in the sights and letting the story and characters work on you. The book is about the beauty and perils and courage of space travel and of explorering in general; about pioneers and a batmanesque main character; about critisising and satirising corporate culture; about horrors from beyond time and the evil that's as much at the core of the human race as is its yearn to live and better itself despite being flawed. All this thrown at you at increasingly dazzling speed. The pace, in fact, builds up slowly but once it seriously picks up halfway through, it's hard to put the book down.
Artist Chris Sprouse draws the hell out of it too, reaching unprecedented highs of scary darkness with his essential, crisp, expressive artwork.
Completing the book's excellent presentation are the stunning covers of the original issues by comics legend Michael Golden, here reproduced as chapter headings, and the Sprouse's preparatory artwork used as some sort of chapter heading pages.
In all, an excellent book, beatifully designed too, that would be a pearl in every serious sci-fi fan's shelves.
Warren Ellis and Chris Sprouse construct another excellent sci-fi comic book (they've worked together on "Ministry of Space") with similar style - convincing human characters set in fantastical machines and environments. Ellis might have written this to become a film but it never found funding so we get to see it anyway - it looks like it would've been a great pulpy sci-fi flick like Event Horizon, but less cheesy.
Fast paced and fun, with lots of gorey fight scenes and snappy dialogue, "Ocean" is a great sci-fi read from a master of the comic book genre, Warren Ellis. Recommended.
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