A Classic (Original) Old (Future) West (Not Even Earth) Story

I read Ignition City this weekend, and oh my gosh, Warren Ellis, I am nearly speechless. Cover image on Warren Ellis' Ignition City, Volume 1, published by Avatar, illustrated by Gianluca Pagliarani

It's an Old West story, where an isolated town is pretty much under its own law and lawlessness. But it's not old--it has ray guns, jet packs, and aliens. And it's not in the West-- it's on an island in the sky that is neither Earth nor space.

A young Mary Raven tells her doting father, a space hero, she wants to grow up to be a spacegirl

Mary Raven has always wanted to be a spacegirl, like her dad, the space hero, Rock Raven. He saved Earth from a Hitler-like Martian.

A man breaks another man's arm, crude insults are made, and a man is half-incinerated by a ray gun.

It's an awesome and well-told story. But beware, there are no gentlemen. The language is very crude and very foul. It is not unnecessarily so, though. I think the language is very intentional, to illustrate the depths these one-time heroes have been driven to.

Mary finds her father's ray gun

Mary, who did grow up to be a spacegirl, comes to Ignition City and finds her father's ray gun--and a mystery.

Walking through a doorway, Mary says, "...your house smells weird." Behind her, the wild-haired man in a ragged lab coat with an electrical rifle says, "It smells of science!"

While there is crude language, there are also great lines.

It's a heroic story, beautifully told. I'm tempted to show you the last page, but I'll resist. The ending leaves me wanting Volume 2, though.

In addition to great story, you'll find one of the best-written and drawn female characters. She is strong, intelligent, merciful, and decisive. She is beautiful, but because she is fit, not because she is impossibly or illogically exaggerated.

I really want to know where this goes. So I could beg Warren Ellis for more over Twitter. But I also want more Anna Mercury from him. But what I really want is whatever he is working on now. Everything I've read by him is made of awesome. So I can live with short peeks into lovely universes instead of a long exploration of one that may eventually bore me. It's hard not to know what happens next, but I trust Warren Ellis' muse.