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Red #1

Posted: Tuesday, August 5, 2003
By: Paul Brian McCoy



"Red"

Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Cully Hamner

Publisher: Homage/DC


Paul Moses is retired. From killing. For the government. But there's a new administration in town who have decided that Paul is too dangerous to have around. And Paul Moses did not live to retire without knowing how to take care of himself.

Comments:
First off, I am very happy to finally get an Ellis mini where the character is actually developed some before the shooting starts. Reload was fun, but it was hard to really care about anyone in the thing. Plenty of time is spent here making Paul about as sympathetic a former government hitman could be. He's haunted by some of the things he's done, but that comes with the territory. Now he's just living a quiet life, enjoying his pension, enjoying his family, and staying very low profile. Ellis' dialogue and characterizations are right on target, from the newly appointed head of the CIA to his case manager, Sally. In fact, these are the most likeable people Ellis has written about in ages. Maybe ever. And once the action starts, the blood really starts pumping.

Artistically, Hamner is good. The work here is very cinematic. From what I understand, Ellis writes the scripts and then gives Hamner free rein in the artistic interpreting of the scripts. All I can say is: they work very well together. Hamner could be visual director on a film, in my opinion, with the quality of storytelling he is showing here. Paul Moses is observed for nearly six pages before he says a word, but because of Hamner's expressive style we get a good sense of Paul's character and his problems. Add to this the beautiful architecture and moody play of light and shadow across the scenes, and what we have is very well designed, tightly paced action film on the page.

Final Word:
This is my favorite start to any of Ellis' minis so far. There's better characterization and solid action from start to finish. I can't wait for part two. You should all go buy this. What are you waiting for? Go. Waitaminute. Read the rest of the reviews today. And maybe go buy something. This ain't a charity you know.



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