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Ministry of Space Paperback – July 31, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
But comes the last panel of the book, and I don't know why it is there. The revelation of where the money for the Ministry came from in the first place was all the drama needed. The last panel shows the "coloured female quarters" of Space Station Churchill. Wait, racial segregation in space? Why is it there? To show that not all is perfect within this alternate England? Sorry, not believable. The first man on the Moon in this alternate history was black, the man who created the Ministry of Space was by his own description a monster, but a racist monster? "Balls to that" as he would say. Buy the book, read it, and figure the last panel as a last-second addition done early one morning after a marathon night of drafts, revisions, rewritings, re-drawings, all done with the swigging of gallons of coffee and caffeine tablets. That's the one way in which the last panel makes sense.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Talk about disappointment!
There is nothing here (other than amazing art, thanks!!). The history is perfunctory, the twist in the end is silly, the characters (What... Read more
Fantastic alt-history story. Warren Ellis always delivers! The art is great as well.Published 14 months ago by Nicholas R. Poleto
A truly great Warren Ellis graphic novel.
If you are interested in OR know about the early history of the space program and the peoples involved AND / OR like alternate... Read more
I love Warren Ellis, what can I say? His one-offs generally have a lack of content/are anti-climactic, but I really enjoyed the pacing of this piece. Read morePublished on February 24, 2014 by PIXIE
This Graphic novel is too short to carry all its themes adequately. Its characters are uninteresting. The story has little interest or conflict. Read morePublished on November 17, 2013 by A. Hammour
Warren Ellis, the writer, and Chris Weston, the artist, are at the top of their game with this wonderful graphic novel. Read morePublished on March 21, 2012 by Marc Goldfinger
Title: Ministry of Space
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artists: Chris Weston (pencils, inks), Laura Martin (colors)
Collects: Ministry of Space... Read more
The space race, the first man in space and the first man to set foot on the moon. Events from decades ago that, despite being great accomplishments, have seemingly fallen by the... Read morePublished on January 8, 2011 by Matthew Kresal