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Ministry of Space Limited Edition

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This is the story of how we could have gone to space. Maybe how we should have gone to space. This is the story of the Ministry of Space: The black budget that financed the move into space. The deaths of the test pilots taken from the surviving Spitfire flyers of the Battle of Britain. And in 2000, the end of the Golden Age, as America and Russia begin moving into space. T This is the story of how we could have gone to space. Maybe how we should have gone to space. This is the story of the Ministry of Space: The black budget that financed the move into space. The deaths of the test pilots taken from the surviving Spitfire flyers of the Battle of Britain. And in 2000, the end of the Golden Age, as America and Russia begin moving into space. The secret revealed, and the destruction of a man who sacrificed himself for the Ministry of Space. Plus, a sketchbook section by Chris Weston and an all-new appendix by Warren Ellis revealing the facts behind the fiction!


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This is the story of how we could have gone to space. Maybe how we should have gone to space. This is the story of the Ministry of Space: The black budget that financed the move into space. The deaths of the test pilots taken from the surviving Spitfire flyers of the Battle of Britain. And in 2000, the end of the Golden Age, as America and Russia begin moving into space. T This is the story of how we could have gone to space. Maybe how we should have gone to space. This is the story of the Ministry of Space: The black budget that financed the move into space. The deaths of the test pilots taken from the surviving Spitfire flyers of the Battle of Britain. And in 2000, the end of the Golden Age, as America and Russia begin moving into space. The secret revealed, and the destruction of a man who sacrificed himself for the Ministry of Space. Plus, a sketchbook section by Chris Weston and an all-new appendix by Warren Ellis revealing the facts behind the fiction!

30 review for Ministry of Space Limited Edition

  1. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    This has been a graphic novel I have been wanting to read for some time, partly to do with Warren Ellis's connection to the Preacher series, partly due to his own highly praised work and partly also because the storyline is so good. Now before I say anything about the book itself I will take a moment to comment about the afterwards. Yes I am a nightmare for reading those boring sections at the front and back of a book which most people skip over as its just gushing praise for who helped how and w This has been a graphic novel I have been wanting to read for some time, partly to do with Warren Ellis's connection to the Preacher series, partly due to his own highly praised work and partly also because the storyline is so good. Now before I say anything about the book itself I will take a moment to comment about the afterwards. Yes I am a nightmare for reading those boring sections at the front and back of a book which most people skip over as its just gushing praise for who helped how and who inspired who to get this book written. Not this case. Here we have a nostalgic reason for this book. You see the references and hints to that classic comic strip from years gone by Dan Dare is entirely intentional. Dan Dare at the time (since Warren was referring to a particular publication he had discovered from his youth) was the square jawed clean cut British officer who both mothers and propaganda offers dreamt of. For young boys this was as addictive as any narcotic. Warren wanted to write a story in a similar vein but with a more realistic and darker take on it all and so was born the Ministry of Space. Now I will not comment on the storyline as at 96 pages any comment could spoil it just to say that I think Mr Ellis is at top form here. But not only that the artwork is so clean and clear it does feel like a Dan Dare story but at the same time something utterly different. Many of the larger frames I could happily have as prints. I know that graphic novels and comics sometimes get a bad reputation for being short and shallow and little more than distractions but its books like this which say to me that you have to give them a chance, and in this case you would not be disappointed.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bookwraiths

    A rather brief, straightforward alternate history story of the space race. Here Warren Ellis weaves a tale of Great Britain capturing the Germany rocket scientists after World War 2 and creating a new empire in space. Chris Weston’s art is stellar, but other than that this was a pretty bland read where nothing surprising happens and there is no character development.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ill D

    Do you remember when the Brits won the Space Race? Neither do I but, Warren Ellis would like us to believe it happened. With all the glints and gleams of its hyper-realistic style, the author and illustrator make this alternate time-line so unnervingly real. Yet, for all its super-saturated colo(u)rs enfleshing intense detail, numerous flaws drag weigh heavily on this experiment in illustrated masturbation. While there is a main character, there really isn’t a plot. Even though Sir John fulfills Do you remember when the Brits won the Space Race? Neither do I but, Warren Ellis would like us to believe it happened. With all the glints and gleams of its hyper-realistic style, the author and illustrator make this alternate time-line so unnervingly real. Yet, for all its super-saturated colo(u)rs enfleshing intense detail, numerous flaws drag weigh heavily on this experiment in illustrated masturbation. While there is a main character, there really isn’t a plot. Even though Sir John fulfills the role of a protagonist, most the action that occurs throughout the comic is not only out of his control but, really doesn’t have anything to do with him. Not only does it have nothing to do with him, strangely enough, there really isn’t a main conflict to drive the story neither. More exposition than an actual story, Ellis’ cerebral jizz encrusts every single page. While perhaps anatomically correct on a visual level, the underlying mechanics are either broken or non-existent. Richly ornate nooks and crannies expectorate a jostling timeline that swerves between the past, the present, and the future in a hurriedly haphazard nature. Sometimes the author deigns to designate the scene and year of the crime but, more often than not, juts his cock spewing with artistic license wherever he sees fit with little regard for our sense of chronological orientation or our over-viewing orifices. Like a whore passed amongst an uncountable cornucopia of partners, my eyes felt like worn out apertures dude to the tedium of innumerable thrusts of Ellis’ mind-cock. Even when the eye candy is truly stunning, I felt like a worn out porn-star merely going through the carnal motions again and again. A great example of this visual bukkake is the five page moon landing sequence that exists for no other reason than for Ellis to pleasure his throbbing member across our collective façades. In conclusion, Ministry of Space is a plotless exercise in unfiltered grandiosity and unvarnished bombasity resulting in a 100 page wank-fest of deservingly epic proportions. After reading this, you will feel skeeted on.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brenton

    Warren Ellis has a thing for space and mankind's exploration of it. Ocean, Orbiter, Ignition City...he likes to think as much about what draws us there as he does about what's keeping us from truly becoming a spacefaring people. And, from time to time, he likes to imagine what it would have been like if things had gone differently back in the beginning, when we were taking our first tentative steps. Ministry of Space is an alternate history in which all the essentials of the USA's Operation Paper Warren Ellis has a thing for space and mankind's exploration of it. Ocean, Orbiter, Ignition City...he likes to think as much about what draws us there as he does about what's keeping us from truly becoming a spacefaring people. And, from time to time, he likes to imagine what it would have been like if things had gone differently back in the beginning, when we were taking our first tentative steps. Ministry of Space is an alternate history in which all the essentials of the USA's Operation Paperclip were instead carried out by the UK. What if the evolution of spaceflight took place on British soil rather than American? This is an exploration of how that might have played out, and how it might have become possible to begin with. It is a love letter by Ellis to the early 50s British space sci-fi that captured his imagination as a child - as much nostalgia as it is speculation that perhaps Great Britain would not have stopped once they set foot on the moon, as the US did. As a concept, the book works when viewed as a montage of the British Ministry of Space through the 20th century, like an alternate future BBC historical retelling. As a story, however, it's a bit shallow. Ellis is great with interesting sci-fi concepts, but this isn't the only time that his characters have suffered from lack of depth in service of a brisk plot. As with any alternate history, a decent knowledge of the end of World War II and of the post-war United States and Great Britain will flesh out your read, giving you greater appreciation for the differences in this could-have-been world.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ma'Belle

    In the introduction, Mark Millar insists this is Warren Ellis' best creator-owned comic - including Transmetropolitan. He also insists it's Chris Weston, the penciler's best work ever. I don't see what the big deal is. Millar must just be abusive with superlatives. This is certainly right up Ellis' alley, and is an interesting brief alternative history, imagining what would have happened if England had been the winner in the race to space, but that's all it is. "Ministry of Space" contains almos In the introduction, Mark Millar insists this is Warren Ellis' best creator-owned comic - including Transmetropolitan. He also insists it's Chris Weston, the penciler's best work ever. I don't see what the big deal is. Millar must just be abusive with superlatives. This is certainly right up Ellis' alley, and is an interesting brief alternative history, imagining what would have happened if England had been the winner in the race to space, but that's all it is. "Ministry of Space" contains almost no character development or action whatsoever, which made it a pretty weak read for me. Are we to just blindly assume that nationalism and the race to space is really worth the lives and dollars lost?

  6. 5 out of 5

    David

    Alternative history in which Britain comes out of WWII with a near monopoly on rocketry and rocket scientists - goes on to claim the Moon and Mars for the British Empire. Not sure which was more implausible - the plot or the rocket designs.

  7. 4 out of 5

    47Time

    In an alternate history Britain, a young commodore starts what will become the fastest-growing space programme in the world, going past what we have today. Even with its ups and downs, the programme's progress is unstoppable, but the initial source of its funding may still bring it down. (view spoiler)[As far as I can tell even that revelation will leave it unscathed, but the story doesn't expand that far, so it's just my personal opinion. (hide spoiler)] Air commodore John Dashwood gets Churchil In an alternate history Britain, a young commodore starts what will become the fastest-growing space programme in the world, going past what we have today. Even with its ups and downs, the programme's progress is unstoppable, but the initial source of its funding may still bring it down. (view spoiler)[As far as I can tell even that revelation will leave it unscathed, but the story doesn't expand that far, so it's just my personal opinion. (hide spoiler)] Air commodore John Dashwood gets Churchill's permission to use scientists recovered from the nazis to start a missile program under the Ministry of Space. The programme soon has a working V3 rocket, has attained orbit with the first man-made satellite and has developed a jet plane to reach orbit. (view spoiler)[That last one results in Dashwood crash-landing upon re-entry and losing both his legs. He is knighted for his daring flight. The Ministry goes ever further each year, with the first landing on the Moon in 1957, but also the Woomera disaster where the launch failed and the ship blew up. In 1969 the Mars exploratory force numbering 700 souls is a success. (hide spoiler)] In 2001 Britain has a working space station, the Churchill. Dashwood is called there to answer for the illegal source of funding for the Ministry of Space's early development. (view spoiler)[The Americans have a space program of their own and they threaten to reveal the source of the funding if they are prevented from flying around the Moon. The money came from gold confiscated from Holocaust victims. Dashwood doesn't regret a thing, instead he is proud of the achievements he made possible for the British. (hide spoiler)]

  8. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    Obviously comics can tell intelligent stories, we are past that. But, still it is rare to find thoughtful, somber tales like this. A what if?/alternative history story familiar to scif/buffs, perfected by the likes of Ian R. Macleod or Howard Waldrop, but now presented in a comics format. It’s a bittersweet evocation of man’s exploratory urge with Britain pursuing a space program with greater success than their cold war brethren did in actuality, but rather than simple glory or fantasy there are Obviously comics can tell intelligent stories, we are past that. But, still it is rare to find thoughtful, somber tales like this. A what if?/alternative history story familiar to scif/buffs, perfected by the likes of Ian R. Macleod or Howard Waldrop, but now presented in a comics format. It’s a bittersweet evocation of man’s exploratory urge with Britain pursuing a space program with greater success than their cold war brethren did in actuality, but rather than simple glory or fantasy there are unexpected costs and societal restrictions (freezing Britain in a 50’s society). This reminds me of another prose equivalent, Andy Duncan’s “The Chief Designer” a novella giving a secret history of the Soviet space program. An afterword by Warren Ellis sums up our collective dashed hopes on the real history of the space program.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    I re-read this years after my first read-through and I find my appreciation of it has greatly changed (for the better!). A smart alternate-history/sci-fi tale by a trio of the comic book industry's greats: Warren Ellis (smart story), Chris Weston (crisp, realistic art), and Laura Martin (amazing colours).

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kym Taborn

    Pro: it's only three issues. Con: it's only three issues. Alt-history where Britain gets the Nazi scientists after WW2 and leads the planet into the space age. I was attracted to it because it was only three issues, but the story needs more than that. It ended too abruptly for my tastes. But it is still an interesting read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    TJ Shelby

    Alternative history graphic novel surrounding the World War II and Britain's quest for space. Another Warren Ellis short-story gem.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Grady

    This graphic novel depicts a ruthless visionary taking the British Empire into space after World War II. I think the apparent triumph is supposed to feel hollow as we see the moral cost at which it was achieved, but frankly, the messages are too muddy to convey that properly, and the world-building is too thin to sustain the alternative version of this late 20th century. There are a bunch of interesting stories that could be told in this universe, and I’d love to read them, but this one didn’t f This graphic novel depicts a ruthless visionary taking the British Empire into space after World War II. I think the apparent triumph is supposed to feel hollow as we see the moral cost at which it was achieved, but frankly, the messages are too muddy to convey that properly, and the world-building is too thin to sustain the alternative version of this late 20th century. There are a bunch of interesting stories that could be told in this universe, and I’d love to read them, but this one didn’t fulfill its potential.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Matt Mitrovich

    Originally posted here: http://alternatehistoryweeklyupdate.b... When you ask someone for an example of alternate history in comics they will likely suggest Watchmen, but Ministry of Space (written by Warren Ellis and art by Chris Weston) is a close second. This 2005 Sidewise Award winning graphic novel is well known throughout the alternate history community, but does it still hold up today? In Ministry of Space, our story begins in 2001 with the news that the Americans are about to launch into s Originally posted here: http://alternatehistoryweeklyupdate.b... When you ask someone for an example of alternate history in comics they will likely suggest Watchmen, but Ministry of Space (written by Warren Ellis and art by Chris Weston) is a close second. This 2005 Sidewise Award winning graphic novel is well known throughout the alternate history community, but does it still hold up today? In Ministry of Space, our story begins in 2001 with the news that the Americans are about to launch into space. Retired Royal Air Force officer, Sir John Dashwood, has to take a trip into orbit to Churchill Station to discuss an announcement the Americans are threatening to make if the British won't allow them into orbit with the Royal Space Force. As our story progresses, we get flashbacks on how Dashwood conceived of the plan to capture all of the German rocket scientists at Peenemünde and use them to give Britain a monopoly on space travel. Prime Minister Winston Churchill is at first reluctant to back Dashwood's plan, but eventually agrees to it and creates the "Ministry of Space" which is funded by a "black budget". The British soon break the sound barrier (1946) and put the first satellite into space (1948). Dashwood himself becomes the first man in space (1950) after flying a rocketplane into orbit, although his plane crashes and he loses his legs in the process (but gets a knighthood, so it wasn't a complete waste). As time goes on we see the British Empire expand across the solar system, but all of the progress is called into question when the truth about the black budget is revealed and, without spoiling anything, Dashwood defiantly declares that it doesn't matter since Britain was given the stars. Ministry of Space is worth a read if you haven't checked it out already. The design of Britain's space technology has a Jet Age sort feel to it and the story sort of captures the optimistic belief of that era that technology will make things better from everyone. The story, however, also highlights the dark side of the Age, since those stories often assume that the cultural/societal status quo will stay the same. In both the art and dialogue, we catch subtle ways the story-tellers are trying to tell us that this is not an idyllic timeline (i.e. the "Non-White Woman" quarters on Churchill station). In some ways Ministry of Space is trying to tell us that progress has a cost and we often forget those who had to suffer to create our present. That all being said, Ministry of Space does have its issues. They seem to imply early on that the United States was keeping the secret of nuclear weapons from the British, despite the fact that Britain participated in the Manhattan Project in our timeline. Additionally, Bruce Munro in his take on the graphic novel also suggested that the British would have needed the helps of alien space bats to get as far as they did in this alternate timeline. Despite the implausibilities, the Ministry of Space is a good looking comic with a strong message about how the world came to be what it is that resonates with this timeline as well. I was happy to finally read it and I think you will be too.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Rodriguez

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It's badly-written but beautifully drawn wank. Brit-wank, specifically. You'll think the more unrealistic things within would be Mars taking the Moon and Mars, but all are based on rough concepts from the period drawn up by the v2 scientists and their allied captors. The manned V3? The Mars fleet? All roughly drawn up. Plausible and maybe even, I daresay, feasible. Britain maintaining a monopoly on space up until 2001? Less so. The German rocket scientists weren't all at Peenemunde, for instance, It's badly-written but beautifully drawn wank. Brit-wank, specifically. You'll think the more unrealistic things within would be Mars taking the Moon and Mars, but all are based on rough concepts from the period drawn up by the v2 scientists and their allied captors. The manned V3? The Mars fleet? All roughly drawn up. Plausible and maybe even, I daresay, feasible. Britain maintaining a monopoly on space up until 2001? Less so. The German rocket scientists weren't all at Peenemunde, for instance, the Soviets got theirs and the French and the Brits and the Yanks their own. The Soviets made it to space before the Americans despite their numerous pitfalls. The Chinese, who to my immediate knowledge got no German scientists, were launching satellites by the 70s and had plans for their own manned missions from then onwards, achieving it in 2003. Why did the Americans not crawl into space? Yes, they could had possibly not been first, after all, they weren't in our timeline, the Soviets had the advantage for a while, but no internal explanation is given: no, say, huge draining attack on the Japanese Home Islands ala Operation Downfall or a string of conflicts to drain America in any form. We know they have the bomb, Dashwood or so says so, they go off to face the Soviets, but just because the British bombed Peenemunde, denying the Americans some scientists, the Americans are suddenly thrown back half-a century. There was, however, more to the space race than just the Nazi scientists; each state had decades of space/rocket/interplanetary societies and home-grown attempts and each were pursuing missile and rocket tech in their own way. The loss of some Nazi scientists - again, some, not all, for Peenemunde was just one hub of their work and not all of it - would hurt, but wouldn't be so crippling. Not without a much more detailed and fleshed out reason as to why the Americans or anyone else can't follow the Brits. How does Britain get all of the scientists? Oh, just a line about some loose-lipped Yank, and then bombing the empty compound (save for a few Americans who got there late). Sorry, but that stretches my disbelief too far. The Brits had their own op to gain missile tech - Operation Backfire - why not expand on that? Why not have Von Braun just decide to surrender to the British instead, or have a plot with Dashwood - our protagonist of sorts - doing risky, shady, violent things himself to get the edge? How does Operation Osoaviakhim go, Operation Surgeon, or a dozen other ops that snatched up/denied German tech and personnel for/from the other powers? This is part of the problem. There's no real plot. There's a list of events. This is a problem that many writers, I feel, can fall into. I daresay my own projects have fallen into this. A plot is more than just actions on top of each other, it's interactions between the characters, themselves, and their world, each facing a internal problem that drags them while accomplishing an external goal or defeating an external problem. What internal problem does Dashwood face? He gets his funding with no shown problems but some snarky wit between him and Churchill. He later loses his legs for a few pages then wham - he has prosthetics. He doesn't face anything from the main problem of the work, as he's achieved everything, at most, some national honour might be at stake, but not the whole Ministry or their accomplishments. The main moral qualm of the story, meanwhile, that Dashwood alludes to in the 2001 segments is that the British used Jewish and looted European gold from the holocaust to fund the Ministry of Space - but there's no build up in-universe for that to be a grave issue. We have caricatures, a board of MoS officials, acting shocked, but why are they shocked? Why should the reader thereof be shocked? No one offered an internal alternate use for the gold or had proxy fates for the gold that occurred in our timeline. If the readers themselves doesn't even know what happened to that gold, or could had, then it seems like a made-up controversy that half-arsedly ties it to our world and our own outrages, but it's snuffed out, not added onto, a few pages later when it shows Dashwood's black chaperone exiting a 'Non-White Women Staff' room, alienating this universe from us even more, watering down the shock of this looted gold. Gold that we never see, to boot. It's suddenly there in 1945, approved, and used; the Americans find out - again, somehow - and threaten to use this to make a scandal to ensure that they are unmolested and get a part of their cold and old slice of space. I daresay it might be ironic that if you know a lot beforehand of the early space race or of the holocaust gold and somewhat of WW2, the less you may enjoy the book because of these problems - these strings of conveniences and made up controversy. The story element could had been easily fixed up, in my opinion. Post-war Britain was on the verge of economic collapse - thus why they needed to use the looted gold in-universe - but this isn't shown. No one is suffering from the post-war ramifications, everything goes swimmingly, kids in 1960 London are using personal gyropacks to fly around. Sure, Britain apparently loses its terrestrial bound empire but it has gained an spatial one; the loss of their former colonies isn't even seen as a problem. The Suez Crisis is mumbled about for two or so pages. People aren't starving, there are no protests, everyone loves what is happening. There's no outrage at the apparent social plateau the Empire has found itself in, there's just this fake outrage at the gold issue. There's the potential for a huge crisis with the Americans due to the friendly-fire incident at the least; there's the internal divisions and issues that are all glossed over, there's the potential for competition from abroad. Even Lebanon was launching rockets during the early space race; yet apparently everyone on Earth is content to sit on their thumbs and watch the Brits do everything. The worst thing that apparently happens is that a Nuclear SSTO launched ground side from Australia explodes during lift-off: and unlike, say, the Soviet loss of their 4 N1s, this doesn't deter or hamper or drag down the Ministry of Space in any real way. They don't lose the race as they're apparently the only ones in it, there's some mumbling about the loss of the nuclear SSTO but no cuts or inquiries or dismantling: a whole fleet of 700 people (mirroring the before-mentioned plausible, but energy extensive and ridiculously expensive plans from Von Braun's Der Mars Projeckt) arrives at Mars with no loses a few years later. Dashwood is knighted, he lives a long life, he sees his personal project come to fruition. Von Braun dying earlier might had seen some lads die with the nuclear thing, but they reach Mars none-the-less not looking any worse for wear. He faces a tribunal at the end of his life; and we don't see any ramifications come from it or the American presence in space. All we get is a series of very nice pictures and this veneer of a story. There's so much potential here, but the work is fourteen to twenty years old and I doubt anything will change. It's good if you're interested in the aesthetics - and not workings - of an alternate space race, but the above gaps should be kept in mind.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    Me finishing this book: wow so great, like imagine if The Archers kept making movies after the war about the Space Race. People must love this. Me reading the reviews: oh. Americans are SALTY about this one, it doesn’t seem possible to suspend their own sense of self, created out of a postwar hero complex, to imagine a what-if scenario where the world wasn’t suitably grateful for their service. I am clearly already an Ellis fan, and this book is so disgustingly up my alley. Post-war alternate hi Me finishing this book: wow so great, like imagine if The Archers kept making movies after the war about the Space Race. People must love this. Me reading the reviews: oh. Americans are SALTY about this one, it doesn’t seem possible to suspend their own sense of self, created out of a postwar hero complex, to imagine a what-if scenario where the world wasn’t suitably grateful for their service. I am clearly already an Ellis fan, and this book is so disgustingly up my alley. Post-war alternate history / sweeping montage story of How Things Came To Be / no unnecessary touchy feely emotional stuff (“character development”) / enough questionable morality to put me in my place. The Archers made a whole slew of really fantastic movies about the British spirit before and during the war, where they explored what it meant to feel English, or to support a cause that was so destructive, or to want to win even when winning meant ruining everything. They asked the tough questions and came up with empathetic, though not always easy, answers. This book feels a lot like that. It’s not really about individual people, it’s about a whole people, personified by some archetypes. That must be what’s difficult for American readers, the idea of a whole above the individual, a national feeling expressed and explored without shooting someone and mentioning their rights. Fantastic short story with a classic Ellis flavour.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Barry Haworth

    I hunted down a copy of this graphic novel after seeing it mentioned in passing in an article in The Space Review about alternative history space stories. In this one the British, rather than the Americans, capture Wernher von Braun and the rest of the German rocket scientists, and proceed to use their expertise to establish British supremacy in Space post war. Beautifully illustrated, the story (though short) is entertaining, and has a surprising twist or two. I hunted down a copy of this graphic novel after seeing it mentioned in passing in an article in The Space Review about alternative history space stories. In this one the British, rather than the Americans, capture Wernher von Braun and the rest of the German rocket scientists, and proceed to use their expertise to establish British supremacy in Space post war. Beautifully illustrated, the story (though short) is entertaining, and has a surprising twist or two.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jesse

    this is an excellent, if short, story of alternative history and space exploration. In this story, the British get their hands on the nazi V-2 rocket engineers and scientists. Because of certain decisions and riks, they achieve goals in space ahead of those made in real history. This book reminds me of an alternative history "The Right Stuff" as well as a movied titled "Royal Space Force: Wings of Honneamise" by Hiroyuki Yamaga. Its essentially the same story framework but set in an alternate wor this is an excellent, if short, story of alternative history and space exploration. In this story, the British get their hands on the nazi V-2 rocket engineers and scientists. Because of certain decisions and riks, they achieve goals in space ahead of those made in real history. This book reminds me of an alternative history "The Right Stuff" as well as a movied titled "Royal Space Force: Wings of Honneamise" by Hiroyuki Yamaga. Its essentially the same story framework but set in an alternate world very similar to Japan. If you love space exploration and alternative history, as well as watching the British in turns take your breath away with achievment and crush your soul with what bastards they can be; you will like this book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    A what-if book, in which Britain steals Werner Von Braun and the Peenemunde rocket team before the U.S. can get to them, and then uses the German scientists to kick-start an ambitious space program. Ellis reminds me how sad it is we stood on lunar soil, and for a brief minute stretched towards the stars, and then decided to go back home.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ashley DiNorcia

    Interesting. Would have liked to see it a bit longer and more developed but interesting "what if" concept.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rob Frampton

    I have, in my head, a list of books I'd like to see made into films ('Rendezvous with Rama' is top of the list, fun-fact fans), but I also have a list of books that'd make the basis for a great series on (say) Netflix, and 'Ministry of Space' is top of that list Let's be honest, it's not a perfect book; for one thing it's too short (a mere 96 pages), most of the characterization is perfunctory, and some of the artwork is a bit stilted and static. But, what it does get gloriously right is the cent I have, in my head, a list of books I'd like to see made into films ('Rendezvous with Rama' is top of the list, fun-fact fans), but I also have a list of books that'd make the basis for a great series on (say) Netflix, and 'Ministry of Space' is top of that list Let's be honest, it's not a perfect book; for one thing it's too short (a mere 96 pages), most of the characterization is perfunctory, and some of the artwork is a bit stilted and static. But, what it does get gloriously right is the central "what if" alternative history conceit of British soldiers grabbing the Peenemunde V2 scientists before the Americans at the end of WWII and developing a space programme years ahead of when it happened in our world. Every page is filled with brilliant designs of spacecraft developing in a completely different way from the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programmes we all know, and the sense of wonder evoked is tangible. But there's a dark heart to this glorious vision that can only sour our admiration for this "what might have been" reality. What will the unveiling of this dark truth mean for Britain's putative new interplanetary Empire? These are all big ideas and big themes that would have been better explored in a bigger book. As it is you're left with conflicting feelings of fascination and awe at the brilliant core ideas of the book and a nagging sense of disappointment at what 'Ministry of Space' could have been. It's a perfect seed for development into something... more, and it would be nice to think that there are people out there with the vision to realize this brave new/old world.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michael Scott

    What would it take to get post-war Britain to be the first nation in space? What would they do with it? Writer Warren Ellis, artist Chris Weston, colorist Laura Martin, and letterer Michael Heisler address this question in Ministry of Space, an alt-history of the 1950s and 1960s, plus short follow-ups in the early 2000s. Overall, good read but not mindblowing. (It's all relative to Transmetropolitan, of course.) + Good alt-history. + The tech aspects could have been deeper. + Inventive graphics What would it take to get post-war Britain to be the first nation in space? What would they do with it? Writer Warren Ellis, artist Chris Weston, colorist Laura Martin, and letterer Michael Heisler address this question in Ministry of Space, an alt-history of the 1950s and 1960s, plus short follow-ups in the early 2000s. Overall, good read but not mindblowing. (It's all relative to Transmetropolitan, of course.) + Good alt-history. + The tech aspects could have been deeper. + Inventive graphics anchored in the 1940s and 1950s aircraft. + Good rendering of the view of Earth from the space-station. I loved the depiction of hard yet see-through glass. - Some of the aerial views could have been sharper and more spatially correct, e.g., the rocket take-off in 1953 seems to have perspective slightly off. - Some lettering issues, e.g., "we got married in her home village: Lymm, in Cheshire".

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    More in-flight reading. This one was a little disappointing, but fun. A bit like a summer popcorn movie. The question Ellis set out to answer - what would it have looked like if England had carried out their own version of Operation Paperclip - is illustrated beautifully here. I can’t give this book enough credit for it’s strange yet realistic spacecraft design, and for the research that went into making the story based off von Braun’s own hypotheses. However, the ‘twist’ at the end is telegraphed More in-flight reading. This one was a little disappointing, but fun. A bit like a summer popcorn movie. The question Ellis set out to answer - what would it have looked like if England had carried out their own version of Operation Paperclip - is illustrated beautifully here. I can’t give this book enough credit for it’s strange yet realistic spacecraft design, and for the research that went into making the story based off von Braun’s own hypotheses. However, the ‘twist’ at the end is telegraphed for anyone who is a casual student of WWII history. It’s effort to come across as shocking ends up cutting the rest of the story off at the knees. I found myself asking where the basis was for the final panels, and why it wasn’t explored more thoroughly, especially given the implications. I suspect that this is a side effect of not being as well-versed in the culture of post-WWII Britain as Ellis is, having lived it. Read it for the art, and the questions it asks, but don’t expect a lot of meat to chew on. Knowing there is no sequel, I found myself more disappointed by what wasn’t explored (and the acceptance of America’s ideal of who Paperclip scientists were) than I was satiated by what was actually there.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Weston did a killer job on the art - the vistas, the action, the characters, the tech - everything sang. Story-wise, this is Ellis' alternate history where England wins the space race and inspires its people to remain a world super-power. I'm not sure what I was supposed to get out of the story, however. I understand Ellis' love of space exploration, and the inspiring quality that it can have - but the ending of this book seemed to say that even if we aspire to greater things, we're still just se Weston did a killer job on the art - the vistas, the action, the characters, the tech - everything sang. Story-wise, this is Ellis' alternate history where England wins the space race and inspires its people to remain a world super-power. I'm not sure what I was supposed to get out of the story, however. I understand Ellis' love of space exploration, and the inspiring quality that it can have - but the ending of this book seemed to say that even if we aspire to greater things, we're still just seedy little, bigoted, selfish humans and it's all built on our sins.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mark CC

    I liked this a lot, and really just wished there was more! It wasn't perfect, particularly because the central mystery barely had time to develop into anything at all (I know I complain about deconstructed stories a lot, but maybe there could have been a mostly separate thread for a further three issues). There was more to explore here, like how at the end (view spoiler)[this utopia UK had American-style segregation (hide spoiler)] ? Everything just seemed a little threadbare. I liked this a lot, and really just wished there was more! It wasn't perfect, particularly because the central mystery barely had time to develop into anything at all (I know I complain about deconstructed stories a lot, but maybe there could have been a mostly separate thread for a further three issues). There was more to explore here, like how at the end (view spoiler)[this utopia UK had American-style segregation (hide spoiler)] ? Everything just seemed a little threadbare.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Václav

    Well, I got bit excited to read this one, and thanks to that I ended disappointed. The art is nice and colourful, rather mainstream, clear shiny one. The story itself is also interesting. But the whole thing feels like some comic book about some historical event. It feels real, but it have big weak spots and not too much excitement. If it would be book based/describing on real history, this would be expected (and overlooked) issue. But without in on my mind it is bit annoying.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Baba

    Warren Ellis's alternate history mini-series where it is Great Britain that gets hold of V2 tech at the end of World War II; and extends its Empire and leads in the space race. But what is the dark secret laying behind the success of the Ministry Of Space. 7 out of 12. Warren Ellis's alternate history mini-series where it is Great Britain that gets hold of V2 tech at the end of World War II; and extends its Empire and leads in the space race. But what is the dark secret laying behind the success of the Ministry Of Space. 7 out of 12.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kate Sherrod

    An alternate history in which Britain stole a march on everybody else and won the space race before it even got started, Ministry of Space is fun but a lot of the plot hinges on a secret that's pretty easy to guess. Beautiful artwork, though!

  28. 4 out of 5

    David Thomas

    An alternate history where Britain scooped up the Nazi rocket scientists instead of the USA. An interesting concept but Ellis doesn't really do much interesting with it. The art is good but can't save it from being a rather bland read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Timo

    What piece of pretty pictures is this one! Truly amazing. Sadly, the story do not come even near the pictures. The story was just tedious.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Frank Jacobs

    If you're into alt-history and comics, like a bit of UK-based retrofuturism, haven't yet had enough of WWII and enjoy the occasional conspiracy-riven space opera, this is for you.

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