Desolation Jones
Made in England

Author: Warren Ellis
Artist: J. H. Williams III
Titan Books
RRP: 8.99, US $14.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 8457 6400 5
ISBN-10: 1 84576 400 5
Available 22 December 2006

A former field agent for MI6, Michael Jones was the first surviving victim of the Desolation Test, a radically dangerous procedure cooked up by the British government. Jones was intravenously kept alive while being force-fed a steady diet of horrific data and images non-stop as stimulants were continuously pumped into his body - keeping him conscious and alert for a sold year. Now retired from the agency, Jones lives in Los Angeles, acting as a private investigator to the secret underground community of ex-spooks who have come in from the cold, and who have no one else to turn to...

Made in England reprints issues #1-6 of Warren Ellis's Desolation Jones comic book series. We are introduced to Michael Jones, a man whose brain and body have been irrevocably altered by a mysterious, yearlong experiment called the 'Desolation Test'. A former spy, Jones has moved to Los Angeles, which has become home for all manner of former spooks.

Hired by a rich and secretive patriarch to retrieve a priceless lost pornographic film starring Adolf Hitler, Jones becomes embroiled in a Chandleresque plot of murder, mischief and mayhem. But Jones has no time for any of it - and a very short fuse.

Ellis creates an intriguing universe in this collection - one that slowly unfolds as the story progresses. We are introduced to a number of mutants, my favourite being the rather sad Emily Crowe - another ex-agency member whose operation went wrong. Instead of being the perfect honey trap by producing a vast quantity of sex-trigger pheromones into the air to attract her prey, she has the opposite effect. This arachnid reaction means that even though she is beautiful she makes everyone's skin crawl - no one can stand to be anywhere near her - which makes a physical relationship impossible for the poor woman.

While Jones and his type appear to be freaks of nature, we soon discover that there are more sick weirdoes on the streets of LA than we'd ever thought possible as Jones is sent all over the city in search of the rare and bizarre pornographic film.

A fantastic collection that is bursting with surprises.

Ray Thomas

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