Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Starkings, Moritat, Wright, Steen & Bautista
This issue is completely focused on the life of Tusk. He’s the Elephantman that we’ve seen periodically throughout this series usually in a padded room. He was created, attacked with a chemical (or was it biological?) weapon and was left a mumbling crazy. Well, this issue delves into who he is now and follows him around for an issue. Sound boring? Well it isn’t because a) he’s hunted and b) the supporting characters make him out to be both harmless and the most dangerous creature walking the streets. Much like last issue it’s a very good issue studying one of the peripheral characters in this series.
The issue begins with a funeral. Ebony, Flask and Miki are standing over an open grave. They muse over how it could have been any one of them, especially with the virus that Miki fought off. From here we go back in time to what the woman who carried the Elephantmen looked like before and right after the birth of any one of the monsters. The narration keeps telling the reader to not look away and boy was that an understatement. The art during this sequence makes the scene in the movie Alien when the alien comes out of his chest seem like light comedy. Just gruesome stuff here.
After a quick recap of how Tusk escapes the hospital we are off into the meat of the issue. From here we get the two perspectives. On the one hand, the men hunting Tusk. They make him out to be a monster when displaying the tools of the trade they plan to use on him when they find him. Then, we have the near blind old woman who finds and befriends Tusk. She makes him become a regular old Joe. One she can sit down and have a meal with.
The comic uses a lot of simple and effective storytelling tactics to make the point here. Tusk is a misunderstood kind soul and not really a monster. The real monsters are those that hunt him like a rapid dog. Except, he is a rapid dog, isn’t he? The idea here introduces some questions about why Tusk was even allowed to live beyond the war. Theoretically he was a damaged product. Why wouldn’t he have been discarded?
Who’s to say he wouldn’t have killed the old woman if she surprised or scared him when they first met? What about him makes him any more predictable than a mindless brute? This issue helps to create some thought provoking ideas while telling a good and simple story.
The artwork is excellent. The men hunting Tusk look like the slime of the Earth. While, the old lady looks sweet and helpless, especially in the arms of a gigantic creature with more battle damage than the USS Arizona. The art tells a tremendous story.
The series rarely churns out a bad issue and this one falls on the side of being great. Also, this one does something we haven’t really seen before in this series. You will have to read it to find what that is exactly. Any issue that isolates one of the Elephantmen is usually a great story. This issue also has footnotes galore to inform readers of the timeline. One of them references future issues….hmmm. I enjoyed this issue and I recommend it for sci-fi fans of any type.
4 out of 5 geek goggles