By the time I finished "Where is Jake Ellis?" #1 by Nathan Edmondson and Tonci Zonjic, I had two thoughts firmly embedded in my head. First, I remembered why I loved last year's "Who is Jake Ellis?" mini-series by the duo so much. Second, I was already eager for the next issue.
If you missed out on "Who is Jake Ellis?" (there's a collected edition available, if so), you might not know about former CIA agent Jon Moore and how even as he was on the run he found himself accompanied by the shadowy Jake Ellis, someone that only he could see. By the end of the mini-series, we'd discovered who Jake really was, even as both Jon and Jake's situation shifted from bad to worse. "Where is Jake Ellis?" #1 is a direct continuation of that mini-series; set one month later, Jon's on the run and Jake is under lock and key in the Bethesda Naval Hospital. Of course, things get worse.
"Where is Jake Ellis?" #1 was a pleasant reminder on just how well Edmondson and Zonjic work together. Nothing against their other projects apart from one another, but I feel like the duo have a shared sensibility that makes their joint projects that much stronger. So much attention to detail is put into every page to give each location its own feel; the dull yellow sun of a Bangkok day, the orange glow as the sun begins to set, the antiseptic blue of the hospital interiors.
Just as much attention to detail is put into the writing, too. It's nice to see both parallels and differences in Jon and Jake's escapes, for instance, and I appreciated that while each of them ended up taking a bystander along for the ride that the two bystanders end up reacting differently and not following the same path. Even the narrations end up being different; Jon's desperation feels like a very different character than Jake's hope and wanting in his dialogue.
Most importantly, though, is the action. "Where is Jake Ellis?" #1 has a lot of action, and that's what's going to help keep everyone's attention throughout the issue. Pursuit, escape, victory, failure -- you never know what's waiting for you on the next page of this globe-spanning story. The pacing here is perfect; it never goes too fast or slow, as Edmondson and Zonjic tease out some moments and then inundate you with others. You get to catch your breath at just the right moments, a good way to balance out the times when you're holding it.
"Where is Jake Ellis?" #1 is a triumphant return by Edmondson and Zonjic to the property they created together last year. I'd forgotten just how much I loved this comic, but I won't make that same mistake again. This is definitely a sequel that was worth waiting for.