I just read the first issue of Warren Ellis’ new comic, Black Summer. Actually, technically, it is issue zero since the first full issue isn’t until August.
I’m not usually one for “underwear pervert” comics anymore (as Ellis has labeled most superhero comics). I tend to like things like The Invisibles or Transmetropolitan when reading comics. I was lucky enough (one guesses) to be exposed by my mother to the original Heavy Metal magazine as a child, which was then a translation of the French Metal Hurlant. This exposed me to the fact that there was a lot more to the medium of comics than just Spinderman or the X-Men, as much as I used to love those comics. Later on, I returned the favor to my mother and exposed her to Lone Wolf and Cub, along with a number of other atypical comics.
Generally, I enjoy Ellis’ comic work. I’ve been waiting for Planetary to finish and following some of his upcoming efforts. Black Summer looks to have a lot of potential for some political commentary beyond the utterly simplistic. The premise is pretty basic: There was once a group of heroes, self-made, called the Seven Guns. They were a bunch of young people that wanted to take back their cities from corrupt cops, crime, and drug gangs. They succeeded and became acclaimed by the public as heroes. Years later, the group no longer exists. Some have died or been horribly injured but one of their more powerful members has been a friend to the White House and consulted by them on various matters. One day, this member, John Horus, decides that the president and vice-president are criminals engaged in the subversion of liberty in the U.S. and he kills them as such. He then goes on national tv to explain the hypocrisy of lauding a group of heroes for fighting crime and then expecting them to do nothing with criminals in the U.S. government…
I’m looking forward to where this goes.