Who Is Jake Ellis?

I kept hearing things about a new mini-series; snippets of praise for Who Is Jake Ellis? from Image Comics.  The trade paperback was released last week and I breezed through it.

Who Is Jake Ellis Cover

Jon Moore is the most sought after spy-for-hire in Europe’s criminal world. This is because of Jake Ellis, a psychic man who is invisible to everyone except Moore. When a deal goes bad, the only one who can protect Moore from Europe’s most dangerous criminals is Jake Ellis. No one but Moore can see Jake Ellis. But Jake Ellis can see everything.

  • Writer: Nathan Edmondson
  • Artist: Tonci Zonjic
  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Image Comics, November 2011
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607064596
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 6.5 x 0.6 inches
  • $16.99 USD
  • Order online: Amazon
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What we have here is an enthralling espionage thriller.  Lots of elements from other stories that feel familiar, but wrapped in a new package.  A guy who isn’t a spy, Jon Moore, gets abducted into an experiment but manages to escape with the help of an all-knowing voice in his head. He becomes a thief to keep alive and stay under the radar and the all-knowing voice becomes a presence, Jake Ellis.  Big chase scene, capture and escape, locate answers and wrap-up ending.

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Jon thinks Jake is some part of his subconscious, but without too much trouble you’ll deduce it’s a real person.  Edmondson presents two static main characters: omniscient Jake and follower Jon.  The story is too fast for any character development, but we get a solid feel for both and easily empathize with our protagonists.

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It’s a definite thriller, with a lot of nail-biting tension and close calls.  We’re given just enough information to keep interested and figure out a few things; readers love to work out the details and get that overwhelming feeling of satisfaction and smugness.  Unfortunately, we’re left with some unanswered details, such as how Jake knows everything and what was actually done in these experiments.  The “do as I say” premise gets a bit tiresome by the end.  Being all about the action Who Is Jake Ellis? reads through pretty quickly.

Art is solid in its clean lines and simplicity of detail.  Zonjic is the only one listed for art duties so he must have inked and coloured the work as well.  A great look, in the same vein as Marcos Martin, David Aja and Javier Pulido.

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Who Is Jake Ellis? is a solid read.  At 136 pages for a $16.99 softcover, we’re given the original five issues and six pages of notes, sketches and thumbnails.  Not a lot of extras but a good value overall.  Oddly I couldn’t locate the trade paperback on the Image website, just the five issues of the mini-series.  There’s a “1″ on the spine so I’m guessing we’re going to see more material about Jon and Jake; the ending certainly left the door wide open.

Originally published at Comic Book Daily.