(2006) Warren Ellis and JH Williams III, Titan Books, £8.99, trdpbk, 144pp, ISBN 1-84576-400-5
This is the first trade paperback of the (relatively speaking) new title from Wildstorm featuring the writing of Warren (Transmetropolitan) Ellis and the art of JH (Promethea) Williams III and collects issues 1-6 of Desolation Jones. Michael Jones was a field agent for MI6 until his drinking got the better of him and his intelligence masters found a new use for him, the Desolation Test. In this he was artificially kept awake for an entire year whilst being tortured and exposed to the stimulation of atrocities. He is the only survivor of the test, can only sleep for about an hour per day and has lost his ability to feel anything. Now he lives in Los Angeles, which is run as an 'open prison' for ex-spooks from around the world, including others who have been experimented on. These include his boss, Jeronimus, who only needs to eat four times a year, requiring massive amounts of protein such that he eats cows 'on the hoof', so to speak, and Emily who was designed to be the perfect 'honey trap' but ended up pumping out fear pheromones. Jones works as a private eye of sorts, though he only takes jobs that are directly connected to the ex-spook community. In "Made In England" he is hired by a Colonel Nigh to recover some home-made pornography, directed by and starring Adolf Hitler, over which he is being blackmailed. However, as he looks into the matter there is clearly more going on than it initially seems, not least a connection to something called Temple Farm where a cult (not unlike the 'Branch Davidians' of Waco, Texas) went insane and ended up killing each other. The Colonel's eldest daughter works for the NSA and seems to believe that Jones has been hired to find the 'missing' second eldest daughter. The youngest is also nowhere to be seen. At the same time another female ex-spook, Dirty Sanchez, wants to get her hands on the Hitler porn. These plot elements combine to produce the usual, delightful, Ellis trademark violence, horror and humour, all beautifully drawn by Williams. This is a great new title for those who have enjoyed Ellis's offerings in the past, such as Transmetropolitan, Planetary and Global Frequency; lovers of Williams' art will also not be disappointed. Highly recommended to those who like their comics sick and twisted.
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