Image Comics looks to continue their stream of hits with Who Is Jake Ellis? #3. But does the third installment live up to the greatness of the first two? Read our review to find out.
Previously in Who Is Jake Ellis?: Jon Moore is an infamous spy who is constantly on the wrong end of a grudge. However, despite his enemies’ best efforts, he always seems to get away thanks to his guardian angel, Jake Ellis. However, Moore begins to realize that Jake Ellis may not be telling him the whole truth about his past or his real intentions. But how can you get rid of a guardian angel that might only be an extension of your own psyche?
Heavy On Mystery, Light On Action
While the first two issues of Who Is Jake Ellis? moved at the breakneck pace of any great spy/thriller, the third installment slows things down considerably and allows the plot to take center stage. The issue follows Jon Moore and Jake Ellis as they try to figure out a way to get into the facility that experimented on Moore and created his psychic companion. In order to set up their plan there is a lot of exposition and conversation needed to get from point A to point B. So while this issue is still as engaging as the first two, it is definitely not as action packed or instantly satisfying.
But what this issue lacks in action it makes up for in character development. With the cracks in Moore’s personality starting to shine through, Who Is Jake Ellis #3 is easily the most interesting of the series so far despite the lack of frantic chase scenes and shootouts. When Moore was introduced in the first issue he was cool, calm and collected like any great spy protagonist. Now the stress of his fugitive lifestyle, coupled with the guilt of the innocent woman he got killed, is seemingly getting the best of him. He is depending more and more on Jake Ellis for assistance, even though he doesn’t fully trust him. In his desperation he realizes that he has nowhere else to turn and that fact might be playing him right into Ellis’ hands.
The cold, calculating Ellis is portrayed as creepy as ever. The mystery surrounding him and his true intentions are the backbone of this whole story. He is the emotionless, violent side of Moore’s personality (apparently) and he seems to know a lot more about this mission than he should. Nathan Edmondson has crafted a brilliant mystery and has found a way to give the reader almost no answers without ever making the story frustrating.
Coupled with Edmondson’s brilliant globetrotting script is Tonci Zonjic’s atmospheric art. His spot-on renditions of Europe and his unique use of mesmerizing colors during the first scene at the nightclub make the book feel much more believable. The fact that every location in this book feels so authentic and looks so detailed goes a long way towards fully engaging the reader. Zonjic has a great cinematic eye for expanding the scope of a story just through using its setting.
The mark of a truly successful comic book artist is the ability to take away all the dialogue balloons and have the reader still be able to follow the story purely through the emotions of the art. And Zonjic does just this perfectly in a meticulously crafted interrogation scene towards the end of the issue. His art tells a more succinct and coherent story than any movie can hope to.
This creative team plays off each other’s strengths so well that it would be a shame for Who Is Jake Ellis? to be their last collaboration.
BOTTOM LINE: BUY IT!
This is just a great book for anyone who wants to expand on their notions of what a typical comic book story is. For fans of spy flicks like The Bourne Identity and Casino Royale this is a must have because it adds so much psychological depth to the genre.