Dilly Green Bean Games Almanac

Warren Ellis and Black Summer

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the July 24th, 2012

I normally don’t do an online criticism of an author, let alone one I am a fan of, but this time I will. As a superhero junky and game designer, I like to see what people are doing with the genre. After burning through several graphic novels I moved onto Warren Ellis’s Black Summer. As a fan of Ellis this seemed like a good premise according to the write-up on Amazon. What I got was something far less thought provoking and more of a very poorly presented, drawn out, political rant about George W. Bush and the Iraq War. With past Ellis titles, he has come around with a good ending that provokes thought. With Black Summer, I came away feeling empty and let down.

Black Summer is about a team of heroes called ‘The Seven Guns’ who have been augmented by the government to help fight injustice. Their leader, John Horus, murders George W. Bush and all his staff (all unnamed) with the justification that GWB’s war in Iraq was illegal and GWB’s election was illegal too, hence why he needed to be murdered. Add to that John Horus wants to give back America to the people. This is all explained in the first 2 pages of the graphic novel. I stopped at that point and asked myself if I wanted to read what was turning into a Liberal rant by a non-American writer. Because it was Warren Ellis, Mr. Authority himself, I pushed on. After all, Ellis had always had a good moral ending to all his tales, no matter how dark or edgy. Sadly Ellis failed. The story continues on as John’s team tries to come up with a strategy to take down their teammate, all while they kill American soldiers mindlessly and trash on America in general. Even with some great plot twists (faked suicides ect) Ellis failed to understand WHY the US military goes to war, instead running off of aggressive Liberal views that lacked teeth. He almost touches bits and pieces in a right way, and at one point it almost seems like Ellis might bring it back around. But again….he fails to do so. As I finished the last page I kept wondering WHY Warren Ellis would write such a bad piece of work. The answer is simple: knee jerk reaction. It seems the only logical answer.

One Response to 'Warren Ellis and Black Summer'

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  1. Administrator said,

    on July 26th, 2012 at 12:12 am

    I have ordered 2 other Warren Ellis indy trades. I’m hoping to post a more thumbs up blog later about them.

    But if you haven’t read them yet, hit Stormwatch and The Authority! Those are vintage Warren Ellis reads!

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