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Review: Cemetery Beach #1

Cemetery Beach #1

One of the most intriguing series I have ever watched was The Prisoner. For those uninitiated, it is about a man who resigns from his job, and is knocked unconscious. When he wakes, he’s in an exact replica of his apartment in London, but he is no longer in London. He’s been transported elsewhere, to a place where every move he makes is monitored, and his place in a town called The Village where its population, on the surface, look like happy normal people, that is until you realize everyone that lives there, is not of their volition.  The show only intensifies after that, blending different genres, making more than palpable but scintillating, a true masterpiece of storytelling.

It would be remade once again in 2009 with some interesting revisions to the source material. The eeriness that haunted the series was ever present. As many shows since then has sought to replicate that edgy atmosphere and degree of mystery throughout its plot. As very few creators can take a similar concept and make it even better? Warren Ellis is one of them as he and Jason Howard have crafted a thriller set on a colony in Cemetery Beach, one where the protagonists can lose their lives at any point.

We meet Michael Blackburn, a professional pathfinder, who has stripped naked and being interrogated as to how he ended up on Cemetery Beach, as he eventually kills the interrogator and finds his way out.  He soon realizes he doesn’t know his way out, which is when we meet, Grace Moody, a disaffected young murderess, who may spell trouble for Michael, more than he knows. As they escape, they board a transport ship under fire from the prison guards, leading it to crash and for Michael and Grace to find alternate means to escape. By issue’s end, their actions have caught the attention of the leader of prison planet, who is keen on not anyone knowing what is really going on in the planet.

Overall, an action-packed debut that feels like a rollercoaster and blows the doors off of everything literally. The story by Ellis, is funny, well developed and pulse pounding. The art by Howard is beautiful. Altogether, a great introduction to a world that looks familiar but is nothing like anyone has ever seen.

Story: Warren Ellis Art: Jason Howard
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

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