Thursday, 4 September 2014

Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island Review (Warren Ellis, Raulo Caceres)


In the 19th century, before the more famous Jack the Ripper, was the myth of Spring Heeled Jack, a disturbing night creature who was said to leap buildings in a single bound and got up to all sorts of mischief. Warren Ellis resurrects the urban myth and rewrites it in a steampunk fashion with the help of Raulo Caceres to become Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island.

It's 1830, years before Nikolai Tesla would begin experimenting with electricity, and yet somehow this strange figure, Captain Swing, has been able to harness it, using it to fly boats across the sky, construct bullets that don't kill, as well as boots that can make him leap further than any normal man. 

Swing’s mission is to make electricity and knowledge free for all - free from those who would seek to control it and keep it for themselves. A Peeler (early version of the police) becomes entangled in Swing's story as he hunts down the killer of his friend, leading him to the Bow Street Runners and their colleagues, the corrupt Magistrates who, in league with the Freemasons, have begun manipulating the powers of a rock from Mars for their own nefarious purposes.

Warren Ellis pens a romantic and edgy action Victorian thriller that's full of invention, sharp characterisation and great dialogue. Raulo Caceres does a magnificent job of bringing to life this period drama through a classic woodcut style, making each page gorgeous to behold. Captain Swing is a wonderfully entertaining comic.

Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island

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