Cemetery Beach is a new high-octane action series by Warren Ellis and Jason Howard that’s just begging to be turned into an IMAX movie.
A hundred years ago, a secret off-world colony was established. Now, a scout is sent from Earth to do force recon and must escape.
The series begins – like many great, action stories – with an interrogation. Witty, casual dialogue masks the exposition dump, and immediately gives the reader an idea of what they’re in for. The writing is funny; the characters are likable; the story is interesting. Ellis and Howard hook the reader with the opening scene, and from there it’s a non-stop roller coaster to the end.
The interrogation is actually kind of a parallel for the series as well, potentially. It starts off light and unassuming before descending into intense action. Everything isn’t what it seems up front. No one but the creators know where the series is going from here, but it’s Warren Ellis, so chances are this book isn’t just going to be a big action story with little substance. Again, everything isn’t what it seems up front.
That being said, the action in Cemetery Beach is incredible and it’s all on Jason Howard’s art. Truly, Ellis steps back and lets Howard do his thing. There is little to no dialogue when the action kicks in, and there aren’t even any sound effects. At one point, there are six consecutive silent pages, and they’re six of the issue’s best pages. All of the intensity is delivered through the art, and it’s one of the most fast-paced, exhilarating comics you’ll read anytime soon.
Howard’s color work, meanwhile, creates an otherworldly atmosphere, and a gritty one at that. He sets the tone for this issue, and in essence the series. It’s not clean; it’s raw and unbridled. People’s eyeballs pop out of their sockets and their teeth go flying. There’s no doubt that this comic is as enjoyable as it is mostly due to Jason Howard (no disrespect to Mr. Ellis, who is a master in his own right).
This team knows how to tell a compelling story and keep their readers coming back for more. By the end of Cemetery Beach #1, you’ll have about a thousand questions and be begging for issue two.
Cemetery Beach is what action comics should aspire to be like. It’s fun and exciting, and it leaves you wanting more. Don’t sleep on it.
Cemetery Beach #1 is in stores this Wendesday, September 12th.