Red by Warren Ellis

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Red by Warren Ellis is a prime example of what makes a graphic novel the medium in comic book art to tell a story that is both powerful as it is pensive. This violent tale of a man haunted by his past and looking for peace is one of the best by comic book genius Warren Ellis.

Paul Moses is a retired CIA operative. He is also the best killer on the planet. Memories of his murders haunt him as he slowly tries to work through the rest of his life. Moses has settled into an uneasy retirement, his few joys are cards from his niece and the phone calls with his handler, Sally.

But the CIA is under new management, with a new Director, Paul Moses is deemed to dangerous to live. Now his retirement is shattered by a three man kill team sent after him. But what the new Director of the CIA doesn’t understand is that Paul Moses is still the most dangerous man in the world and now he has been awaken. Now Paul Moses is coming for them, because what Moses really wants is to be left alone and that cannot happen until he kills everyone who knows he exists.

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Red is the graphic novel that the Bruce Willis geriatic team action/comedy is based on, but very loosely based on. There is no team here, Moses is on his own and there is no comedy relief either. It is dark and bloody. It is the tale of a man betrayed by the very country he served in the only manner he could. He killed. He killed men and women. He did whatever the CIA ordered him to do and what he wanted was to be left alone.

Red is an exciting read and a thoughtful observation of how the government operates behind the scenes. Terrific storytelling by Ellis with brilliant artwork by Cully Hamner.

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