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Black Summer Hardcover – October 21, 2008

3.9 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Warren Ellis is the award-winning British author of comic books, novels, and television, most often recognized for his sociocultural commentary and ground-breaking work in the genre of science fiction. His most recognizable works include Transmetropolitan, Planetary, and The Authority. He maintains a consistent online presence which includes the weekly delivery of the FREAKANGELS web comic to millions of fans. Ellis has published over 25 different creator-owned projects through Avatar Press (including BLACK SUMMER, IGNITION CITY, and GRAVEL, the last of which is in development as a film through Legendary Pictures), with many more planned.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Avatar Press; Limited ed edition (October 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159291053X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592910533
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,291,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jonathan Strawn on February 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
This story opens with a doozy of a opening: The preemeniant superhero of the United States, essentially the Superman of the story, murders the President & all his top advisors. He then calmly holds a press conference to say that he judged them guilty for their crimes, and that he expects new elections to be held in short order.

Chaos, of course, ensues.

Not the least of which for his estranged former teammates, who now find them the targets of every force the stunned government can bring to bear, on the presumption that they are all in on a conspiracy to overthrow the United States.

Except the truth is more complicated and messy than that, and as the history of the team of superheroes is gradually revealed it becomes clear that none of these people are exactly psychologically stable. And maybe you don't want unstable people wielding enough power to level cities. Or maybe the power made them unstable.

In a twisty, action-packed and over-the-top violent tale, Ellis & the hyper detailed artist Juan Jose Ryp explore a world not unlike the one of Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons' Watchmen, and asks the pertinant questions of what might happen if a super-being decided that he had some kind of moral responsibility to step outside the normal functions of society.

In the midst of this is a fun and intriguing cast of characters, the former superteam that operate as clandestine vigilantes of mass destruction. Their personalities and powers are the driving force of the book, with both being equally inventive and imaginative. While the ending may be a little abrupt, this is a powerful tale that manages to entertain you with action while raising troubling questions about the authority of brute force.
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Format: Paperback
Felt this title deserved another review based on the other reviews and the average rating. Black Summer is a quasi-political superhero sci-fi tale of ethics, paramilitary intrigue, and authoritism. The premise (without giving too much away) is a group of idealistic, brilliant, not-always-agreeable minds conceive of advanced scientific research that in turn ends up funded and watchdogged by greater powers that be. By the same token this group becomes more human than human with technologically advanced suits operating as a team of soldiers outside the confines of powers that be. When one of the more combustible members goes awol in committing a horrendous crime that cannot be condoned by his colleagues, it leads to our entire group of "heroes" becoming public enemy number one of the United States government and military - mayhem ensues. Or more fittingly put, "the @#$! hits the @#$@ fan!

The plotting is a fine line in between narrative spanning the current developments of said "horrendous act" while back-pedaling to fill us in on the main characters and what led-up to the current predicament. Trying to develop where not only our "heroes" come from, but relating to one another and these powers they develop and how the responsibility or use of powers should lie and the toll of it all. The story hits the ground running from the first page, but has to fill us in on what came before. It's an interesting and semi-successful balancing act that will leave some readers with a bitter aftertaste, and some satisfied but wanting more. It has a finite ending, and I was in the "satisfied but wanting more" camp. There's no other way to it, because that is the intention of the story.

Gorgeous, eye-poppingly attentive, and painstakingly detailed artwork is on hand throughout.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoy graphic novels but I was never much into superheroe comics--with the exception of Kirkman's Invincible--until this whole super anti-hero genre started taking off...titles like The Watchmen, Irredeemable, The Boys, etc. Black Summer falls within this group and is great! The United States of America is exposed for the corrupt, morally bankrupt behemoth it is by John Horus, America's most dangerous superhero, who takes out the president and VP and holds the country accountable by demanding new elections. What's left of the govt. and the military responds by going after the remaining members of Horus' team of gun-enhanced supes, setting the stage for largescale slaughter and mayhem. Great stuff! The artwork is stunningly detailed and reminds me a lot of an Image title I used to read and miss dearly, Trencher.
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Format: Paperback
Title: Black Summer
Publisher: Avatar
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artists: Juan Jose Ryp (pencils, inks), Mark Sweeney, Greg Waller (colors)
Collects: Black Summer #1-8
Price: $24.99

Warren Ellis is a comic book genius. Though he and I would probably be at odds on nearly any political topic we would choose to discuss, I really enjoy his comic book stories - even this one with its stronger political overtones. Warren Ellis has covered an awful lot of ground over his career, and (like me) he seems to enjoy moving from one sort of project to another. He chooses to do many different topics in his stories, and they are all entertaining. I have read a bit of just about everything he has done, and none of it did I find dull. His is a fruitful mind, and I also enjoy seeing what new project he is working on.

I have to admit, prior to seeing this book on the shelf at my local library, I had no idea this title even existed. I do not frequent comic book shops very often, and when I do, it is often to play games rather than looking for a new book to read. When I do get an opportunity to browse the shelves, I spend most of that time looking at the new stuff from Marvel or Image. This project slipped entirely under the radar for me, and I can hardly believe that my local library purchased this book and had it available as I perused the shelves. I believe that this is the first book from Avatar publications that I have read. I know that they are a smaller, newer Indy publisher, but I didn't know they had put out anything THIS GOOD!

This book is about six enhanced and weaponized American citizens who have spent a good portion of their lives working to make the world a better place - all without the approval of or assistance from the federal government.
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