Saturday, February 27, 2010

Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island #1

Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Raulo Caceres

At this point, it's enough to say that it's a new Avatar mini-series written by Warren Ellis. His work for this company has been consistently good for the last few years, as he uses their generous editorial policies to explore just about any bizarre idea he's interested in.

Captain Swing is a strange story set in an alternate London of 1830. It is a time where policing is just catching on in the city, and rival groups are operating. There are the Bow Street Runners, a group of former thief takers (paid vigilantes) who are now in the employ of the Bow Street Magistrates. Their rivals are the London Metropolitan Police, an under-armed group of hapless individuals.

The city has been plagued by sightings of Springheel Jack (who has also recently shown up in Proof), and weird flying boats. Ellis is playing around with the early days of electricity, although this book is set before the days of Tesla and Marconi. Captain Swing is a mysterious figure sailing over the streets of London in a rowboat that floats on a bed of St. Vitus's Fire. Springheel Jack fires bullets made of glass and clockwork. It's an interesting aesthetic that he's going for here, and although this issue is mainly concerned with setting up the premise (including multiple text pages), there is more than enough going on to draw me back for the next issue.

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