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Ignition City #2

Posted: Friday, April 24, 2009
By: Matthew McLean

Warren Ellis
Gianluca Pagliarani, Chris Drier (i), Digikore Studios (c)
Avatar Press
So what if the space flying, jungle exploring world of Buck Rogers and Doc Savage actually existed once? And what if it all went wrong? Part alternative history, part pulp, with possibly some time travel just for good measure, Ignition City is a very promising series with a strong and entertaining second issue.

What was implied in the first issue is laid out in this second issue. The human race has gone into great beyond, explored out into space and got its teeth kicked in for the trouble. Interesting analogues of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon have had the blame for the resulting alien invasions pinned on them and been dumped onto a tiny equatorial island called Ignition City as punishment. Life on the island isn't easy as its inhabitants are dreamers and explorers that have been forced to stay on Earth in a city that seems little better than a shanty town constructed of old spaceship parts.

This is vividly brought to life by Ellis and Pagliarani. The art works wonderfully to the point where you can almost smell the rust coming off the ships' hull and you want touch the rivets that keep Ignition City bolted together. It's evocative of classic pulp space adventures while feeling like those old tales came crashing to the ground. The vocabulary that the characters use helps in this as, like most people who have a rarified profession or enthusiasm, they have their own jargon which is brought to the reader in such a way as to be understood through inference. Which beats the heck out of having the meaning spoon fed to you. Ellis' usual knack for character development is also strongly on display particularly in a strangely touching scene where one character, Lightening Bowman, laments recent actions of his while at the same time fearing for his own life. It manages to engender sympathy at that same time that it provokes disappointment.

In addition to a greatly atmospheric tale, there's a mystery afoot. One of the great space explorers, Rock Raven, has been murdered and his daughter has come to find out why. In an interesting twist, who done it is almost revealed immediately, but the whys and wherefores and still very unclear. What hints we're given are very intriguing, though.

All in all, Ignition City #2 is worth the cover price even if you only read it once. But, rest assured, it's good enough that you'll be paging through it a couple of times.

If you liked this review, be sure to check out more of the authorís work at http://madbastard.hypersites.com



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