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3.48  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,852 Ratings  ·  130 Reviews
In the explosive espionage-thriller RED, Warren Ellis and artist Cully Hamner create a stark tale of revenge, as retired CIA killer Paul Moses finds himself forced back into the game to gain revenge on the agency that trained him.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published June 16th 2009 by WildStorm (first published January 1st 2003)
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Watchmen by Alan MooreV for Vendetta by Alan MooreSin City, Vol. 1 by Frank MillerKick-Ass by Mark Millar300 by Frank Miller
Best Graphic Novels Made Into Movies
18th out of 35 books — 47 voters
WildC.A.T.S by Dafydd WynStormWatch, Vol. 1 by Warren EllisTeam X / Team 7 by Larry HamaStormWatch, Vol. 2 by Warren EllisStormWatch, Vol. 3 by Warren Ellis
Wildstorm (non-licensed)
76th out of 106 books — 2 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,742)
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Sep 10, 2012 Bry rated it liked it
Not what I was expecting I'll admit, but come on?! Where was Helen in the ball gown with the machine gun??


I guess I was just expecting the movie that I saw to be a bit more in line with this since this is the original story....I know, I know what the hell was I thinking. Since when are movies all that faithful to their books?

The story focuses only on Paul Moses - no geriatric sidekicks for him this time round - as he is sucked from his retirement when the CIA suddenly wants their golden boy of
Lolly's Library (Dork Kettle)
Short, violent and to the point. Not much character development and what story there is serves only to move the action alone, nothing more. For those looking to expand on their movie experience, move along, there's nothing to see here. In fact, it was the movie which expanded on the book, which only focuses on the tale of Paul Moses and his reactivation to the world of assassination. Other than that, the layout is crisp and focused, and the animation is vivid and well-done. I would say not much ...more
Sam Quixote
Sep 18, 2011 Sam Quixote rated it it was amazing
A retired CIA operative called Paul Moses is suddenly being targeted by a new CIA director for the things he did in his past. He suddenly finds himself fending off assassins as he goes from retired (Green) to active (Red).

The fantastic Warren Ellis does a tremendous job of writing an enthralling revenge tale. Moses shows that despite being old that he is far from useless as he kills his way to the top to take down the CIA Director who ordered his retirement be called off.

It's a very short read
Judging by thickness of the book, I thought there might be more story than there ended up being (74 pages, the rest sketches and the script). While the plot was decent, it seemed more like a prelude than a finished story. Though it had a beginning and middle, there was no end, just another beginning. I would have liked more. The artwork serves the story well and I had no trouble following the layout, though it is the color schemes that stood out to me. They were fantastic. From the subdued blues ...more
Dec 26, 2010 Steyn rated it it was ok
Quite enjoyed the movie, and as a result tried the graphic novel (maybe that was my mistake - the movie caused some preconceptions in my head). Was to say the least quite dissapointed. Firstly, it appeared to be a slightly thinner than normal graphic novel, but not too bad. Until i found that the actual graphic novel was less than half the content of the book! Storyboard sketches etc made up most of the book! What ended up in the movie, was pretty much "inspired" by the book, but if a direct com ...more
Feb 09, 2014 Gavin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Nice to see when a short little story gets done by a writer who isn't going to compromise or flinch. Too many would take this story and do what Hollywood did to it (in fact, so different to the book, there's no humour in Paul Moses at all, there's no sidekicks, just one pissed off man.)
The art is brutal, in a good way, just strong colours, red obviously being the base, and a lot of bullet motion, heads snapping back, and angry man face.
Also nice that Ellis didn't take an idea and try to stretch
Mar 12, 2015 Arthur rated it it was ok
Belíssimo graficamente, pena que a história é mais do mesmo -- "eles mexeram com o cara errado e agora todo mundo vai morrer".
Mitchel Broussard
Fleshed out, it could achieve greatness. However, what we get is a 70 page splatter fest of a wholly unlikeable old guy killing mostly-innocent people for the mere fact that they kinda made him angry. Thank god it seems the movie is adding a cast of diverse characters, and Bruce Willis seems to be bringing comedy into it. Because this was way too serious and way too short to be anything enjoyable. If a 90 minute movie can pull off a solid action movie out of this material, I think congratulation ...more
This is one of those cases where your expectations will affect your experience. I first encountered Red, as did many, through the film starring Bruce Willis.

Honestly, I loved that movie. So when the library got a copy of the comic it was based on, I snapped it up. While the movie was more or less based on this comic, it was a very different animal. They added a LOT of material, for one thing. They'd have to, given how short this was. But they also complete
Mar 28, 2014 Tina rated it really liked it
I re-read this one this morning. It's been a few years since my first reading (I'd gotten it out of the library once I heard a favourite actor of mine had been cast in the original movie that spun from this book) and I wanted to revisit it. First, those people who picked this up after the movie and expected to see the same story in graphic novel form . . . please stop holding that against this original work. It isn't the book's fault that you didn't realize what it was when you picked it up. The ...more
Feb 20, 2015 Gert rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
RED is a short story comic about a retired agent. I'd read the book before the movie and it was a great and fun little thing.
Don't, however, go in with the movie in mind. You will be sorely disappointed and unable to appreciate the simple elegance.
Tiffany Kramer
Being that comics are a visual medium as much as written I love it when one comes along and is able to tell a story with minimal text. Red does that nicely with clean layouts and smooth transitions from shot to shot.
Another thing I appreciate was along with the sketchbook found at the back of most trades they also included parts of the original script and the panels as they developed. I personally love seeing these as I enjoy creating my own comics as well and it is nice to have an inside look
Nov 16, 2010 Stephen rated it did not like it
A dick sandwich. Avoid. You get about $3.00 worth of ideas and stories in this piece 'o shit GN, but you have to pay $15 for it. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid. I strongly advise all potential purchasers to spend their hard-earned money on something else. This is not a worthwhile read, and the art is far below expectations.
Paul Mirek
May 20, 2014 Paul Mirek rated it really liked it
Kudos to Ellis and Hamner for coming up with a short, snappy idea with something to say, but refusing to pad it out and inevitably weaken its impact. Don't get me wrong: this isn't the highest of high-concept Ellis, but it's also not the lightweight tongue-in-cheek version of the film adaptation. Retired CIA spook Paul Moses is a monster, plain and simple, and he's done a good deal of justification to get him through the years after leaving the agency. When a new administration comes in hoping f ...more
Elh R'
Jan 02, 2016 Elh R' rated it it was amazing
Let's start telling that I didn't know about the movie, I jut read it because I had it and never read it before, and, due that it is Ellis and only 3 issues, well, there was nothing to lose.

I really liked it, a retired hitman goes in a revenge rampage against the new CIA director that ordered him to be killed. I never understood why the CIA director ordered it, but, I took it as a favorable point in the story.

So, what we have here is a "retired-one-man-army" against an entire team. What can go
Short story introducing the world to Paul Moses, the assassin who finally grew a conscience and wants to retire in peace. Very different characterization than Bruce Willis' movie portrayal. The graphic novel is more like the end vignette to Moses' graphically violent career yet as many reviewers have pointed out, there is very little character development in this story so readers may find it difficult to develop any interest for his well-being. Personally I think Warren Ellis would have been bet ...more
Jun 20, 2009 Dru rated it really liked it
a former-cia operative is forced to come out of retirement when the government decides they dont want him alive. awesome, short and sweet.
c wylie misselhorn
Dec 30, 2013 c wylie misselhorn rated it really liked it
Pretty great. I read this after seeing the movie.
Lee Gibson
Feb 10, 2011 Lee Gibson rated it liked it
Short. Good, but short.
Jan 05, 2012 Gef rated it really liked it
I don't about any of you, but I thought the movie Red was fun. Heck, it was probably the most fun I've had watching a Bruce Willis film in many a year. It kind of got ripped by critics, and especially by fans of the Warren Ellis/Cully Hamner graphic novel, so I figured I ought to check out the book and see just how far off the range the movie went from its source material.

The story starts off with a new C.I.A. director introduced to one of the agency's deepest, darkest secrets: Paul Moses. Paul
Jan 05, 2011 Bill rated it liked it
Short and... well, I wouldn't really say sweet, but interesting at the very least. I've become a fan of Warren Ellis's writing, and he always seems to team up with some talented artists for his comics. His only other comic work I've read thus far is Transmetropolitan, which was spectacular. This isn't nearly as compelling as that, but then it's just one relatively short comic, whereas Transmet is a serial of 10 significantly longer volumes, so there's much more story there. This one concerns ret ...more
Mar 04, 2010 Todd rated it it was amazing
This is another masterpiece graphic novel penned by Warren Ellis.

************Warning this review contains plot spoilers and is being filmed as a major motion picture. If you plan on seeing it or reading the story don't not read any farther than this**********************************

It revolves around the life of a retired CIA operative that has been quietly living out his remaining years in solitude. In exchange for keeping his mouth shut about his operations while he was working abroad. But th
Jul 22, 2012 Sunil rated it liked it
Shelves: own, 2012
Having enjoyed the ridiculous movie, I wanted to see the comic it was based on inspired by. First things first: Helen Mirren and John Malkovich are nowhere to be found, as the book focuses entirely on the Bruce Willis character, and it has a very different tone. Paul Moses is a retired CIA agent haunted by the things that he's done, his only human connection with the woman who handles his pension checks. And then one day the new boss decides he Knows Too Much and must be killed...but you just do ...more
Dmitry Yakovenko
Sep 06, 2014 Dmitry Yakovenko rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
В ЦРУ новый директор, который узнает страшную правду об одном из бывших агентов. В целях безопасности, что бы эта информация никогда не всплыла на суд общественности, он отдает приказ, уничтожить этого бывшего агента, который уже долгое время находится на пенсии. Да вот только, старичок-отставник умирать не собирается и вместо этого убивает людей, которых прислали по его душу, да еще и выясняет кто именно возжелал убить его. И отставник Пол Мосес, даже не смотря на своей возраст, решает отомстит ...more
Feb 04, 2011 Brendan rated it liked it
Warren Ellis is my favorite comic book writer. From The Authority and The Planetary to his more recent APPARAT comics and Crooked Little Vein, he has a smart approach to dialogue and plotting and a solid sense of what comics are about.

Red, which I hadn't heard of before the movie of the same name came out, tells the brief story of a terrible assassin pushed out of retirement by a thoughtless bureaucrat who thought it would be better to kill him than to let him continue to live in seclusion. Big
Jun 12, 2010 David rated it it was ok
When I found out they were making a movie out of this graphic novel, I decided to pick it up. While it started out in typical Warren Ellis style (i.e., awesome), it went by far too quickly, without much of a plot, and with a disappointing ending. It seems like the whole reason Ellis wrote the book was so he could comment on the lack of balls in today's politicians. As such, the book is thin on dialogue and story. And therefore, it's thin on pages. So thin, in fact, that literally HALF of the boo ...more
Steve Magay
Nov 29, 2013 Steve Magay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: personal-faves
Unlike the comic book greats such as Mark Millar, Frank Miller or Alan Moore, Warren Ellis simplifies everything. There's no heavy text, the dialogues and text are exactly perfect. He just writes what needs to be told, taking all the fillers and nonsense out of the picture. And there are no twists, just plain old engaging story-telling. With all of these, RED comes out in the spotlight in its unique form, simple and splendid.

Given the short reads in the whole comic book, Ellis makes up for this
Wilson Lanue
Mar 03, 2015 Wilson Lanue rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, graph-com
After reading Unknown Soldier for the second time I decided to pick this up, having been given to understand that they were similar.

While they tread similar ground (the politics and human cost of covert action), there's a lot less to Red's story. That is to say, there hardly is one. In large part because so many pages serve only to show us action sequences - people being killed.

What story there is I enjoyed. Parts of it were very artfully done. (Other parts were clumsier, with clunky lines of di
Jan 14, 2016 Ronald rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
This is not the movie RED, this is the work that inspired a good movie. I see a lot of reviews penalize this story because it is not the movie and that is very disappointing.

I have to say this short story in comic book format was excellent. It was very Noirish in style. The story was very graphic and bloody. I enjoyed this very much. Good Stuff!
I have yet to see the movies, but I know plenty of stuff was added in to flesh them out. And it's understandable.

I like how this was short, sweet, and to the point. Even if it was a little conspiratorial at times.

I need to find out if there's any more after this, I just haven't looked in to it. I'm hoping so.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #85: Red by Warren Ellis 1 3 Sep 08, 2013 08:35AM  
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Warren Ellis is the award-winning writer of graphic novels like TRANSMETROPOLITAN, FELL, MINISTRY OF SPACE and PLANETARY, and the author of the NYT-bestselling GUN MACHINE and the “underground classic” novel CROOKED LITTLE VEIN. The movie RED is based on his graphic novel of the same name, its sequel having been released in summer 2013. His graphic novel GLOBAL FREQUENCY is in development at Jerry ...more
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“But I am not a monster because I kill. Killing is easy. I am a monster because I accept the hard choices. (Frank Moses)” 4 likes
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