Review – Cemetery Beach #5 (Image Comics)

Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Jason Howard
Lettering: Fonografiks
Release Date: 9th January 2019

The Chief is hot on their tail, the citizens of Drum are out in force to trying capture them in the hope of winning favour with The President, and the situation is looking bleaker than ever for Blackburn and Moody. Explosions, derring-do, more explosions, gun-fire, and some really ill-advised survival choices… Situation normal for our intrepid heroes in issue five of Cemetery Beach!

I think I’ve got to saturation point in terms of the superlatives I can use for this series, and I think I’ve exhausted the resources of every thesaurus I can find looking for new ways to describe the non-stop whirlwind of action that Ellis and Howard are bringing us every month. Cemetery Beach, so far, has been an insane roller-coaster ride that just isn’t letting up. Blackburn and Moody are perfect examples of how an ‘80s sci-fi action movie team should be written.  They have the charisma, the chemistry, the irreverent humour and they blow stuff up with effortlessly produced one-liners.

I’m definitely into the territory of repeating myself here, but Ellis and Howard delivered an incredible sci-fi/action series. The whole idea that 1920s earth men learned to conquer the stars and gave birth to this off-world colony is beautifully realised in every aspect. The modern technological advances blended with 1920s military aesthetic, the architecture that looks like a really seedy version of ‘20’s London, the uniforms that have an almost Crimean War look to them mixed with the post-apocalyptic costumes of the other denizens of the world.

This is a very, very fast paced story but if you can slow yourself down long enough to examine Howard’s artwork you will be surprised by how much detail he manages to cram into his heavy pencil-and-ink style rendering of the worlds of Maincastle, Second Stage and Drum. The action sequences are flawless and, let’s face it, in a series that hasn’t let up on the action since the fourth page of the first issue, there is no room for anything less than flawless!

With so much going on it would be easy for the action to start to feel repetitive or stale but every time I think they can’t ramp it up any more, Ellis and Howard pull something new out of the bag to blow up or destroy spectacularly and I find myself getting swept up in the next level of insanity.

So, if sci-fi and action at levels that could only be achieved in the most cocaine-fuelled imaginings of an ‘80s film exec is your thing then you really need to pick up this series ASAP!

Rating: 4/5.

The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek ‏


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