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Desolation Jones Paperback – October 4, 2006
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Ellis' best comics are character-based thrillers involving high concepts and heavy attitude. Desolation Jones has both in spades. The titular hero is a former MI6 agent who was subjected by his government to the brutal "Desolation Test," which left him shattered and scarred. He is now confined, with other, similarly victimized ex-agents, to Los Angeles--a hellish prison, since the experiment left Jones pathologically susceptible to sunlight. Reduced to PI work, he is hired by an elderly pornography connoisseur to retrieve "the Holy Grail of cinematic filth," a sex film directed by and starring Hitler. The caper is consciously Chandleresque. The wealthy client with troubled, wayward daughters is straight out of The Big Sleep. Jones' outlook is thoroughly cynical, the dialogue hard-boiled, and the ending noirishly bleak. J. H. Williams III, whose intricate art limns the dark, violent world of Jones as convincingly as he portrayed the fantasy realm of Alan Moore's Promethea, aids Ellis' effort immeasurably. Ellis' Transmetropolitan was a cult favorite; this new series, while less accessible, may become another. Gordon Flagg
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Written by Warren Ellis
Illustrated by J. H. Williams III
(DC Comics/Wildstorm, 2006)