I'm sure some of it is a certain synergy with what came before -- you know, everything has a certain backwards dimension to it, if you're familiar with Wildstorm and DC Comics (especially this issue, littered with clever easter eggs laid by Captain Carrot) but I thought 1 especially was very strong and very dense on its own terms.
It's very much, though, part of the new-ish Ellis paradigm in that it's not meant to be anything other than 1/6th of a story. It is absolutely built between two commercial breaks, and that's in direct contrast to his earlier Wildstorm work on Stormwatch and Planetary, especially, no doubt reflecting the changing nature of the market and the expectations of the modern audience (perhaps wrongly, I might wager, as I think this sort of thing does tend to have diminishing returns in the long run)
Ellis' modern work is very assured and very methodical. Depending on your proclivities, it's more mature or more decompressed (I am, myself, a fan of hyper-compression).
But this is a good sort of decompression, one that's earned its moments and its beats. (for me)