Wednesday Comments – My Beef With Warren Ellis

Lately we’ve got some pretty exciting news about Warren Ellis. He’s committed to doing an arc on the rebooted Project Superpowers for Dynamite, which is great news. Then to top it all off, it was announced that he’d be working on revamping Supreme for Image.

Amazing news, right?

I’ll admit to being initially excited. I mean, I’ve read Ellis’ work and I’ve enjoyed it. He did some amazing stuff with Planetary and absolutely blew my mind with Global Frequency. Global Frequency is still one of those books that, despite having a complete run, I’m still tempted to pick up random issues that I find in longboxes at a con.

Yet, despite my praise for Planetary and Global Frequency, I still won’t really allow myself to get my hopes up for Project Superpowers and Supreme, because Warren Ellis has let me down before.

You see I was a fan of Fell.

I remember being intrigued by the idea of Fell. It was an experimental book, from Image, in that it cost less than the average comic and had fewer pages. But it had a nine-panel grid that made up for the lack of pages with more story content.

And it was a crime comic! I was way into crime comics when it launched. 100 Bullets had me hooked and I wanted more. So the crime element was a huge selling point for me.

And Fell completely delivered on the promise of crime fiction. Actually it delivered on everything. The issues were stand alone, yet furthered the mystery of a) why Richard Fell was transferred to Snowtown and b) why was Snowtown so darn weird. Plus it was very affordable.

So, because it was so consistent in terms of content, it was easy to overlook the inconsistent shipping schedule. Ellis and Ben Templesmith were busy creators and Fell wasn’t top priority. And anyway, when a new issue of Fell did arrive, it always felt like a treat.

And then in 2008, after nine issues into the series the book went on hiatus, leaving all of the fans dangling.

Again, I get that it’s not a priority for Ellis and Templesmith. And I understand that part of the problem is that Ellis’ had computer issues, where he lost a script and some notes, but he could have gone in a different direction in the six years since that happened.

But that’s just one example. The other is Desolation Jones.

Desolation Jones was a Wildstorm book that I picked up mainly because it was illustrated by J.H. Williams III. It was actually the first title that I picked up after I decided that J.H. Williams III was an artist that I wanted to support.

Desolation Jones was about a “burned” MI6 agent who was stuck in Los Angeles. There are colorful characters and Jones himself has some special abilities. But it was a great book.

The first arc was illustrated by J.H. Williams III and the following two issues were by Danijel Zezelj, another artist that I dig. But then in 2007, after eight issues it went on hiatus.

There were rumors that the hiatus was due to Ellis being Marvel exclusive, but he dispelled that notion, accepted responsibility for the hiatus and promised that he was working on the book. And yet it never returned.

And that’s why I’ve got a grudge against Warren Ellis. He wrote two books that I really enjoyed and was equally responsible for them no longer being published. So while I’m interested in what he’s going to do with these rebooted title, I’ve been burned by Ellis in the past so I’m apprehensive about picking them.

Anyway, it’s Wednesday which means fresh new comics from your local comic shop, go and pick them up.

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