As much as I love me my Marvel titles, it’s nice to get out of that comfort zone every now and then. I’m always looking to add some new favorites to my indie list, which currently consists of Chew, Queen & Country, and Stumptown.
I’m not sure Who Is Jake Ellis? is strong enough to make that list, although I liked it well enough. This espionage mystery features rogue CIA analyst Jon Moore, who is on the run with a deadly secret: his brain has been implanted with the skills and abilities of an operative named Jake Ellis. Moore is the only one who can see Ellis, who shadows him like an invisible guardian angel as he attempts to uncover the mystery behind his own incredible powers.
It’s a solid concept, well executed and with pretty good artwork. But to me its spy world trappings felt pretty generic, and I wasn’t particularly blown away by the characters. I might keep an eye on future volumes but I’m not entirely converted.
Far more promising was Revival, a rural noir fantasy about a small Midwestern town with an unsettling zombie problem. When the dead start coming to life in Wausau, Wisconsin, it’s not always easy to tell them from the “originals,” so that the citizens find themselves haunted by living, breathing versions of their deceased love ones. With the town under quarantine and the Center for Disease Control trying to determine the cause of the zombie epidemic, Officer Dana Cypress is assigned to the local police task force assigned to investigating “revival” cases.
Written by Tim Seeley and illustrated by Mike Norton, Revival has a great, sustainable set-up, a likable protagonist, strong characters, and an intriguing overarching plot. My only complaint is that the first volume blew by too quickly; I felt like I was just starting to get invested right as it came to a close. Which, of course, is hardly a complaint at all — anxious for more!
Both titles are available through Image Comics and definitely worth a look.