Writer: Warren Ellis
Art: Juan Jose Ryp
FC, 192 pgs
Soft cover: $24.99 US / Hardcover: $32.99 US
Black Summer is about one superhero taking matters into his own hands. After he executes the President of the United States, the V.P., and members of their staff, John Horus tells the American people to begin steps necessary to elect a replacement government.
Our “hero” declared the ruling government was run by criminals, shown by how they stole two elections, started an illegal war in Iraq, and how their actions were made for corporate gain instead of benefiting the general population. John Horus claims his initiative to rid the country of evil was justifiable, and he had the power to do it.
Warren Ellis has taken the next step toward a new direction for the superhero genre. Like some of his past comics (The Authority and Transmetropolitan, for example), Ellis digs into the political ring and questions the corruptness found in government and elected officials. Ellis solves things with violence in Black Summer, making murder a justifiable means to solving wrongs.
Black Summer doesn’t cool down after the main plot is laid out in the first few pages of this collection. Ellis creates a dynamic world populated with only seven heroes, rich in history and character development. The action is intense as John Horus’ and his former team are targeted by the military, and the game that is played out because of this. It’s not pretty, as each player plays for keeps-if it’s for retribution, survival, or for questionable morality.
This series is a smart look at vigilante actions. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Really, does it matter? And it’s all put together elaborately by illustrator Juan Jose Ryp. (Dana Tillusz)