Ignition City (Avatar – Ellis / Pagliarani)
The concept here, as usual, is excellent, enticing. Dredged up from 1930s &40 pulp, what if Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers and others real and imagined, sort of got blamed for all the damage Ming and others alien races rained on the Earth. What if Earth’s reaction was one of post war isolationism. What if the only open port into space is a run down, corrupt dirty cesspool, full of drunk ex-heroes, forced to mostly eat food pellets and poop rabbit pellets, Ignition City. What if all your main character wanted to do was get back into space? What if her Father just died suddenly in Ignition City? And Oh yeah, what if she’s another sexy redhead? That about sums it up.
While, once again, not Ellis best or most well realized book, it is still far more interesting that much of what’s out there. Alot of the plot points are sort of obvious, and this is not his most sterling dialouge, but again the world and the characters are mostly captivating. I’m not convinced by Ms. Raven’s tough as nails attitude, just doesn’t ring true, but I am curious about her Father’s Death, which you just know is going to turn out to be a mystery.
My biggest problem again is the art. While Pagliarani shows some promise, he’s not quite ready yet. His art has a lot of weak points, faces, hands, porportions, backgrounds, crowd scenes and such. His story telling isn’t bad, it’s clear what is going on, where folks are in relationship to each other and easy to distinguish between characters (not as easy as it sounds apparently in many cases). Another thing he does very well is architecture (exterior) and ships, inanimate kinds of stuff. He creates very beleivable spaces, just does not populate them with believable figures.
My other big problem with this book is the attempted ‘sex’ appeal of the character, alternate covers with the open coat and halter top, your standard ‘Image’ comics butt and boobs in the foreground of the shots, unnessisarily tight, low-cut shirts etc. All this obviousness I can do without. It’s made more annoying by the fact that the figures aren’t drawn well. Give me the spaceships and the ambiance and lets leave out the boring naughty bits.