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“Red” movie draws from graphic novel inspirations

by Matthew Price Modified: April 22, 2013 at 4:03 pm •  Published: October 15, 2010
The graphic novel "Red"
The graphic novel "Red"

WORD BALLOONS

Bruce Willis stars as Frank Moses in “Red,” opening this weekend in theaters. “Red” is based on the comic book miniseries by writer Warren Ellis and artist Cully Hamner.

Moses is a retired black ops officer who is targeted for assassination, causing him to reassemble his old unit. The film, directed by Robert Schwentke, also stars Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Mary Louise Parker and Helen Mirren.

The comic-book miniseries is available in a collection from DC Comics, which includes the three-issue miniseries and the script for issue No. 1, as well as developmental art by Hamner. Four prequel comic books featuring characters from the film are on sale now. A prequel to the comic-book series, “Red: Eyes Only,” is set to be released Wednesday. “Eyes Only” is written and drawn by Hamner.

Ellis is one of the more acclaimed comic-book writers of the past 20 years; he broke into comics in 1990, and was working for Marvel Comics by 1994. The following is a selection of a few of the writer’s graphic novel works outside of the superhero genre:

Transmetropolitan: One of the best comic-book series of the 1990s, “Transmetropolitan” featured gonzo journalist Spider Jerusalem in a dystonic future. By Ellis and Darick Robertson.

Orbiter: The space shuttle Venture returns to earth, 10 years after it disappeared, covered in strange organic material and with all but one of its crew missing.

Global Frequency: Ellis and a rotating cast of artists create stories of a secret worldwide independent defense intelligence organization with 1,001 agents.

Fell: Ellis and Ben Templesmith collaborated on this dark mystery thriller with 16 page, self-contained stories. Ellis’ experimentation with format combined with Templesmith’s most successful storytelling make “Fell” a compelling package.

DC Comics Presents Jack Cross
DC Comics Presents Jack Cross

Down: Ellis, Tony Harris and Hamner are the creators of this story of an undercover cop who becomes the head of the city’s top drug gang.

Ministry of Space: This book, by Ellis with artist Chris Weston, sets up an alternate reality in which the British recover the German V-2 scientists, and thus become the first country in outer space.

Jack Cross: Ellis wrote four issues about this anti-terrorist agent for DC Comics in 2005. Gary Erskine was the artist. A new collection of the four-issue series was released this month from DC.

- By Matthew Price
From Friday’s The Oklahoman

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by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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