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Ministry of Space Paperback – July 18, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Image Comics (July 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582404232
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582404233
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 5.3 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #997,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Comics International Issue 173: " The art's lovely and the script's gripping until the end...Ellis' conclusions may leave a bitter taste in your mouth, but Weston's lovingly crafted conclusions make you realise this was worth the wait." www thefourthrail.com February 2005: "...a series that has finally lived up to its potential 8/10." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Warren Ellis's prolific writing can be seen on such varied and acclaimed titles as X-Men, The Authority, Transmetropolitan, Lazarus Churchyard and the award-winning Planetary. Chris Weston has worked regularly for 2000 AD on such stories as Judge Dredd and Indigo Prime. His other work includes The Invisibles, The Authority, The Filth, Transmetropolitan and an acclaimed run on Swamp Thing. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

WARREN ELLIS is an author, graphic novelist, columnist and speaker. His new novel, GUN MACHINE, was released by Mulholland Books in January 2013, and is being developed for television by Chernin Entertainment and FOX.

CROOKED LITTLE VEIN, his last novel, was described by Joss Whedon as "Funny, inventive and blithely appalling... Dante on paint fumes."

His graphic novel RED was made into a successful film starring Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren, and its sequel film is released in August 2013. His other graphic novels, including TRANSMETROPOLITAN, PLANETARY, GLOBAL FREQUENCY and FREAKANGELS, have won multiple awards, including a Lifetime Achievement prize from the Eagle Awards and the NUIG Lit & Deb's President's Medal in recognition of support for free speech. MINISTRY OF SPACE became the first graphic novel to win the Sidewise Award for alternate history fiction. His GRAVEL sequence of graphic novels has been optioned by Legendary Pictures, with Tim Miller attached to direct.

Previously a commentator for Reuters and WIRED UK magazine, he is currently writing a weekly column for VICE.

His first non-fiction book, from Farrar, Straus & Giroux, is due in 2014. He lives mostly in Britain.

Customer Reviews

The art and story are fantastic.
Peter Yezek
The story centers around one person - Air Commodore John Dashwood - and his single-minded drive to catapult Great Britain into the space age before anyone else.
N. Beitler
There's no major conflict, the characters aren't changed by the end of the story and nothing of great import occurs.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Babytoxie on June 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
What's your number one complaint about Warren Ellis? Mine is that he doesn't know how to pace his stories to adequately cover all the ideas be brings to the table. As a result, ripe plot points are glossed over, and the conclusion comes from nowhere, seemingly tacked on, and barely receiving enough space to explain it. MINISTRY OF SPACE is yet another victim of this approach, but unlike Orbiter or Ocean, it works a bit better. That's because this story is not a beat-the-clock adventure, but an alternate history overview, told in flashbacks that begin in World War II. So I guess as long as everything that Ellis writes from here on is in this genre, I have nothing to worry about.

In MINISTRY OF SPACE, the British reached Peenemunde ahead of the US Army and smuggled the German rocket scientists and technology to England, thereby expanding the British Empire into space. Now you may be asking: how could a Britain nearly bankrupted by WWII have funded this massive project? That's exactly what the British government is asking itself 60 years later, and the answer is just one of several historical twists that put a shadow on the glorious empire. The framing sequence of Ellis' story is set in 2001, focusing on Sir John Dashwood, one of the ministry's architects. Flashbacks highlight everything from putting the first man into Earth orbit to landing on Mars, with a few disasters thrown in for good measure. These are well-written segments, in the quick, high-adventure style of The Right Stuff. The final revelation and accompanying twists show that while this Britain certainly is a more industrious and effective explorer of space, there are downsides. Many other historical issues are briefly touched upon, especially in the final chapter, and I would have preferred some expansion here.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Petersen on February 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
Giving Warren Ellis only three issues to tell an alternate-history version of the space race (involving the British, natch) means a very compressed story.

He did the same thing with Reload and with Red. Decent books that could have been monthlies or at least a few issues longer. But maybe that was his point in writing all of these over the past couple of years - a conscious rebelling against the drawn out minimum 6 part stories DC and Marvel seem to like for almost every current title they publish.

Regardless of the motivation or the execution, it is still an interesting story of one man involved in it all from the beginning. If you like other mainstream publisher things Ellis has done (for example, his run on Authority and/or Global Frequency) then you will like this. It's got all the trademark Ellis elements: hidden agendas, deep dark secrets, way cooler than you characters, and a bunch of snappy dialogue.

I read comics primarily for the writing, but this series deserves mention for the art as well. It is absolutely fantastic. I've loved everything Chris Weston has ever done (for example, The Invisibles or Filth) and this is simply wonderful to look at.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Brian C. Grindrod on June 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
Ever wonder what kind of world we would be living in if the American War for Independence failed? Perhaps ponder what would modern music sound like had Elvis Presley never walked into Sun Record Studios? We are only limited by our imagination when we conceive about such possibilities. With Ministry Of Space, Ellis invites the reader to an alternate reality where England employs Nazi rocket scientists to secure its prosperity and empire. The scenario is credible as to why The United States and The Soviet Union's achievements in space flight is in full lag when compared to Britain's. The reason is mainly due to the protagonist of the story, Sir John Dashwood, who lacks moral values and is as ruthless as the empire he serves. There is a revelation that should not be too surprising since it is hinted within the first issue that Dashwood is in the same category as Bayer, Mercedes, Hugo Boss, Ford and Switzerland.

Ellis shifts the story's timeline effectively throughout the script. The reader is given the backdrop in doses instead of the usual diarrhoea method that most writers employ when relating past events that led to the current outcome of the story. The flashback sequences does not affect the pacing whatsoever but rather enhances its drama. While the science-fiction aspect reminds me of what can be found in a Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon comic strip, I appreciate that Ellis bothered to make (fictional) reference to the men and their science behind the technology to make the fantastic plausible in our eyes. I also admire at how he manages to lend a sense of authenticity and regard to what presently appears to be out of man's grasp; Colonising other planets in our solar system.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Higgins on September 20, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Warren Ellis is the type of writer who has no trouble coming up with interesting and entertaining ideas, but unfortunately, these often see print as overly compressed, poorly fleshed-out narratives that derive from his tendency towards overproduction. [Glance at any comic book store shelves at any month of the year and you're sure to see at least several titles authored by Ellis from several different publishers in several different genres.]

Ministry of Space is a good example of Ellis's strengths and weaknesses. The concept, a sort of post-modern adaptation of the classic British comic "Dan Dare", is certainly engaging and will evoke nostalgia in anyone who, as a child or teenager, admired the graceful swept-wing rocket ships that filled the pages of Atomic Age storybooks.

Unfortunately, the `shock' revelations that occupy the last few pages of MoS will fail to surprise most readers, whom I suspect will recognize where things are ultimately heading well in advance. Indeed, these final disclosures come across as so clumsy and ham-handed that they signal to me that Ellis opted for as facile a conclusion as he could conjure with a minimum of effort. Their net effect is to undermine what had, up till that moment, been an engrossing and well-realized tale of the near future.

The real pleasure in MoS comes from artist Chris Weston, an outstanding draftsman whose artwork supplies the high degree of realism the storyline mandates. He is the rare artist who is as adept at rendering human figures and facial features, as he is at rendering large metal spaceships and the bucolic British countryside. Weston's art is the reason that fans of space adventure and comic art should pick up MoS.
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