Comics and delays sadly go together like an analogy about things going together. That is to say that they’re so synonymous with each other that it’s kind of old news when a book gets delayed. Sometimes it doesn’t matter. The creators have cultivated a fanbase that will support them no matter when the work arrives. Other times, it’s the kiss of death and upon a series returns… no one cares. So which is Where Is Jake Ellis? I don’t really know. I know that I’ve been following both series over the years and so I know that I would come back to it, but I don’t really know if it’s a sales hit as much as it is a critical hit.
With that said, it becomes more about the issue and if it was worth the wait. To which I will say, not really. Hell, I think the ending of the last issue was a better stopping point to the mini-series. As for an ending this was average. There was a showdown, but not a spectacular one. There’s reveals, but nothing that has enough context to really be excited about. The tension and realism that the series has previously been known, now feels like something going through the motions.
Creator Nathan Edmondson’s writing style has perhaps changed too much. Since starting this book he has gone on to write for Marvel and this book is the result of that. If the art wasn’t the same then this issue wouldn’t even feel like the same series. The way the issue starts and ends is point of proof considering the issue starts uncharacteristically to the previous issues in both Who Is Jake Ellis? and Where Is Jake Ellis? It’s just clear from the construction of the issue both in the writing and the art, this series has gone though some changes and not for the better.
Tonci Zonjic is joined by Jordan Gibson to finish the issue. I couldn’t really tell there were two artists on the issue so that was a plus. I could tell that the coloring had changed or at the very least the direction for the coloring changed. The book is bright. It struck me as odd considering there was always this great usage of colors in the previous issues. There would be one hue almost intentionally used throughout the issue giving it a great and unique look. Here, the coloring is good, but it doesn’t have the same personality to it.
The final issue of Where Is Jake Ellis? is pretty basic. Unlike the first series there’s really no cliffhanger to bring you back for more. It doesn’t even give you the impression that the creators want to come back for more. It’s an ending. It’s not disappointing, but it’s not exciting either. It’s so ho-hum that that becomes the main complaint of the issue. Who can something that has been so steady and good for nine issues suddenly completely fizzle out at the end? Was it the delay or was it just the way it was always going to be, we don’t know. If you’ve been following the series then you’ll likely get this issue without reading this reviews, but if you do read this first… don’t bother. Picture an average ending that pretty much puts the series back to where it started and call it a day. Better yet, just re-read the fourth issue and soak in how great that issue was because this doesn’t hold a torch to it.
Where Is Jake Ellis? #5 Writer: Nathan Edmondson Artist/Letterer: Tonci Zonjic with Jordan Gibson Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 12/2/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital