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Red #2

Posted: Monday, September 1, 2003
By: Paul Brian McCoy



Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Cully Hamner

Publisher: DC/Wildstorm/Homage Comics

Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner keep the adrenaline pumping for the first half of this issue and gently ease back into character work for the second half, making this without question the most successfully produced mini from the mind of Ellis this year. Hamnerís action sequences are visceral and shocking Ė just look at that arrow going through the manís head, and then Paul Moses (our hero) puts his foot on the body to pull it out the other side. Thatís brutal and harsh and pretty unexpected. I mean, you knew the guy was going to die, but not how. And it was pretty inventive, too.

But as exciting as the violence is, the story really turns on the character of Paul. Ellis has given us a man who is haunted by the things heís done, as well as the things heís being forced to do now. The scenes in Sallyís apartment are emotional and sad, all the while maintaining an undercurrent of possible threat. Paulís sudden break-in; Sally eyeing Paulís bag of weaponry; the look on both Sallyís and Paulís faces as he contemplates killing her. These are things that make this book rise above the other ultra-violent minis that Ellis has been cranking out in the past year. Hell, they elevate it above most of the regular series that are being produced by anybody else. This is the only one of Ellisí minis that I want to see collected and maybe continued in one form or another.

If you want action and adventure involving characters that you might actually care about, this is the title for you. Go dig up last issue, if you didnít buy it, and grab this one too. Itís worth your time. I really hope DC decides to collect it into a trade. It would look good on my shelf, and carry its own weight with some of the other top-notch books there as well.



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