Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Starkings & Churchland
This month’s spotlight is on Sahara, the beautiful fiancé of one of the Elephantmen, Horn. To further complicate things, her father, Serengheti, sold her mother to carry one of the Elephantmen and also now hunts the creatures. We’ve already seen a lot of Sahara’s story so I was curious what this issue would add to that back story. In some ways, I was afraid I would find her less intriguing. Perhaps the comic would reveal that she was really using Horn to get back at her father. However, this story only makes her more of a tragic figure than her mother or even the Elephantmen. This story was excellent in a depressing kind of way.
The comic begins with Sahara’s peaceful childhood and quickly moves to her pre-teen to early teen years when her mother was abducted, her village destroyed and she fled with other refugees. What the story doesn’t do is dive into her relationship in the early years with her father nor the details or reasons behind what happened to her mother. This keeps the focus solely on Sahara which is important because her story only gets worse.
While living among a new group of people she is first raped by strangers and they betrayed by those who seem to be willing to help her. She has no one to turn to. She looks for comfort in things that were left behind from her mother while she bides her time until she can escape.
Intertwined we are told the gaps in the story of the escape of Tusk when Sahara was cornered by her father Serengheti. It was a good way to tie that little story up and add some layers to the father-daughter relationship.
The comic really creates a sad story for this character. It makes it hard to understand how she can possibly be so upbeat and loving as she is with Horn. In some ways, it put her and Horn on an even playing field emotionally and allows them to support each other. You’d also have to wonder if her relationship with Horn provides her the safety that she was never able to receive from anyone else before. I mean, Horn isn’t someone to mess around with.
The artwork presents a story with a light tone and a very soft touch which is fitting for the lead character. You’d think this wouldn’t work with such a horrifying storyline, but that’s how it tricks you. You read and see this beautiful woman then you watch her village burn to the ground and her family and friends get murdered and you get jolted pretty quickly. To see this sweet little innocent girl get held down and cut by some strange women has a much higher shock value when presented in this artist’s style. This artwork is finding a comfortable home in his world.
This is a great comic to get the story on one of the more important characters in this series. She’s probably the most interesting of the human cast in this series and this comic shows you why. To watch her tame Tusk, fend off her father and embrace the gigantic Horn shows just how special she really is. This is a highly recommend comic.
4 out of 5 geek goggles