Review: Aetheric Mechanics

Aetheric Mechanics is the latest book to come out of Warren Ellis’ Apparat line.  The Apparat books are Ellis’ latest attempt to address his now famous line regarding the dominance of the superhero genre in comics “it’s like every bookstore in the planet having ninety percent of its shelves filled by nurse novels.”  The main conceipt of these books is that they are written as if a different genre grew to dominate the field and had been given the chance to evolve properly over the last 50 or so years.

This time out it’s a Sherlock Holmes mystery with some touches of Sax Rohmer thrown in.  It’s a clever story in which the master detective is forced to confront his own place in the world, and Ellis does a masterful job of updating the genre.  And it’s amazing how detailed a world Ellis can create in a story that’s only 48 pages long, although much of that credit must go to the art team of Gianluca Pagliarani and Chris Dreier.  I particularly like the sense of history apparent in all the military vehicals in the story, you can clearly see that all the modern technological marvels of the story are refitted relics underneath.

This isn’t quite up there with the last Apparat book (the brilliant Crecy), but it still does a great job of progressing the line and is highly recommended.

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