Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Starkings, Churchill & Cook
The latest issue of Elephantmen turns in a plot development I’ve personally longed to read about since the first issue and its execution makes it perhaps the best issue in the series. The comic dives headfirst into the idea that one of the rehabilitated Elephantmen hasn’t quite gotten over the training and duties from the war. The comic shows exactly how, why and by whom an Elephantman is never truly free. It’s a brutal comic and a powerful story of manipulation and absent humanity. It’s just simply a terrific comic book.
In previous issues we’ve seen the Elephantmen in war during the flashbacks. We’ve seen them fight in the present over artifacts, fight against men hunting them and even fight against spores. However, we have not seen when the Mappo war training is used during the present day until this issue. Ebony, we learn through the narration of the issue, retained his GPS chip in his neck. With some of the Mappo technology inside his body they are able to “activate” his previous conditioning and unleash the full war mindset. Not only is this done here, but it appears his handlers have staged a training battle with some Crocodiles as well.
The rest of the issue is a display of the savagery the likes we haven’t seen in this series since the War Toys mini series. The end of the issue brings the humanity theme full circle as we get a bit of an epilogue on one of the humans that Ebony interfaced with very early on in this series.
The aspect of this issue that I enjoyed the most is that I’ve waited to see this moment where the Elephantmen essentially revert back to being a cross between a barbarian and futuristic Godzilla. And it exceeded any possible expectations I could have had for the presentation of it. The issue contains very little dialogue but instead relies on a powerful and eerie narrative as the reader is made to understand quickly how dangerous the Elephantmen are to society and how little control they have over their actions.
The artwork takes on the darkness we’ve come accustomed to from the war scenes and horrific images. This isn’t the same type of story where one of the ladies is isolated and explored and, as a result, we get the shift back to the rough and bloody images. I loved the art in this issue. It doesn’t hurt that we get some crocodile action in here as it’s been a while seen we’ve seen these cuddly beasts.
This comic book joined the past and present together in this issue. There is a lot to like in this comic if you like mind control, science fiction, Big Brother or many other fantasy-like stories. For some, this issue may be nothing more than a battle among Elephantmen, but the underlying plot that this comic opens up rose this to the highest possible level. I can’t recommend a comic book any more than this one.
5 out of 5 geek goggles