Jason Bourne. James Bond. Both are admirable big-screen spies deserving of your respect, but Jon Moore has one thing on his side that neither of those heroes have: a man named Jake Ellis.
Moore is the hero of the appropriately titled "Who Is Jake Ellis?" from writer Nathan Edmondson and illustrator Tonci Zonjic. The Image Comics espionage thriller tells the tale of an on-the-run mercenary who finds himself aided by Jake Ellis, an enigmatic figure that only he can see. When trouble is around the corner, Jake can see it coming. If a bullet's flying towards Jon's head, Jake tells him to duck. Having an ally like Jake can be good in Jon's line of work, but there is that nagging question… who is this mysterious man, and why can no one else see him?
The "Jake Ellis" trade paperback, collecting the first five issues of the series, lands in stores today (November 16). To mark its arrival, we asked Edmondson to help us launch our inaugural edition of Splash Page Movie Mix, a new column where comic book creators join us to explore how the cinematic world collides with their paneled page.
After the jump, check out six movies that share common themes with Edmondson's work on "Jake Ellis."
"The Bourne Identity"
» Nathan Edmondson: This one's a bit obvious. A spy who thinks on his feet, with seemingly the whole world after him? Check. But the similarities really stop there. Jon has none of the confidence or cunning of Bourne, and the character journeys are markedly different. A strong case could be made, however, that we were inspired by the Bourne films' tendency to show you parts of Europe you don't normally see in postcards.
» NE: We borrow some of the classic style and swagger of this vertigo-inducing tale of espionage. It's fun, it's clever, it's intriguing and it has a sharp aesthetic. All of these things did we try to hit in our story.
» NE: I'm thinking the remake here. I didn't have this in mind to begin with, but as soon as I began to see Tonci's work on the book, I felt a connection to Soderbergh's colorful and visually distinct cinematography.
"Meet Joe Black"
» NE: I've always enjoyed this film, and the interactions between Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt can certainly inspire the characterization of the Moore/Ellis relationship.
» NE: Do I need to explain this one?
» NE: I suffered through part of this on my flight yesterday to LA, and couldn't help but think of Helen Mirren as Jake Ellis, and Jon Moore as the spoiled brat Arthur.
"Who Is Jake Ellis?" is currently available in stores. Tell us what you think of the comic and Edmondson's movie mix in the comments section and on Twitter!