Sunday, December 2, 2012

Review: Ministry of Space

What if Britain would get its space program out of the ground right after World War II backed by a very wealthy and black budget?

Ministry of Space tells that tale. And the tale is about the blood of the test pilots, the impact it had on current day society, the way it was funded and what destiny is reserved for the man who made it all possible when his big secret comes out.

This book also brings a couple of cool extras, like a sketchbook by Chris Weston and the always colorful commentary by Warren Ellis.

How is it?

At the end of WWII England manages to "convince" some of the most prominent German rocket scientists to join them. In the process acquiring the plans to the V2 rockets. In order to keep this quit some American troops, that had the misfortune to be in the right place at the wrong time, had to be obliterated.

Air Commodore John Dashwood, the mind behind the idea, convinces England Prime Minister Winston Churchill to start the Ministry of Space. The Ministry will be responsible for the space exploration and it will be funded by a black budget.

From that point on the book jumps forward and backwards in time between the story present time (2001) and several points in the past, detailing the key points in the Ministry history. Points like the exploration of the Moon, the colonization of Mars or the death of some of the most important persons of the Ministry.

Ministry of Space is not a story about success. Its a story about achieving your goals and paying the price. As the story progresses, more and more dirt about the Ministry's actions and what Sir John did along the way to get his black budget Warren Ellis created a story that draws you in and keeps punching you in the stomach when you're not expecting. However the biggest punch comes at the very end and is a true "When you see it" moment.

Art wise this is a gorgeous book. Chris Weston and Laura Martin created a world that is simply beautiful to look at. One of the drivers of the story is that doing it like Sir John wants to do it will make space exploration and related technological evolution will come much earlier than what we witness in real life. The way they gave all the ships a retro fell made the story all the more believable.

And so it begins
Sorry Buzz, not this time


This is one of my favorite books by Warren Ellis. Its and intelligent and subtle story that saves a few sucker punches for the very end. To me this is a must have. However, if you don't enjoy Warren Ellis's work, you probably want to skip it.

The book itself is a cool package with nice extras and an awesome story. Yes its not very long. But what it lacks in length it makes up in enjoyment you'll take from it.

Publisher: Image Comics
Year: 2006
Pages: 96
Authors: Warren Ellis, Chris Weston, Laura Martin


  1. Well, if you say this is one of your favorite Ellis stories then it must be REALLY great. Weston's art looks amazing. Looks like I must add this one to my list.

    1. Its and you must :)

      You'll love the gut punch in the end!