Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Starkings, Medellin, Churchland & D’Errico
Elephantmen returns with a story about the ladies after a couple of issues focusing on the beasts and their potential return to violence. This shift brings the three lead females closer together, both symbolically and physically, than ever before as the walls of the lives they lead begin to close in on them. It’s a good issue for a couple of reasons, such as the story, but also because of the choice in artists for specific characters. Overall, this issue brings things to a boil on the human side of the coin. No one is safe.
Vanity, Miki and Sahara are three characters with very different lives that all have one huge thing in common: they are involved in some capacity with Elephantmen. Up until now their stories have generally revolved around the problems their Elephantmen were having or they were providing some context to a situation from the human element, such as the spore epidemic some issues back. In this issue we really begin to understand how they are being manipulated because of their general proximity to the living weapons, known as the Elephantmen.
All three characters have had some interface with androids, called SIMMs, recently and all three are significantly less safe because of it. Generally speaking it would seem none of them realize how much danger they are in, but by the end of this issue it seems clear that at least one of the characters knows the stakes and is willing to help others that might not.
While reading this issue I began to wonder if the android interaction could, or might, get to the point where if one of the females even comes in close enough contact with an Elephantmen that they would become reactivated. Could any one of these women stay away from them? Are they at all in control of their own actions or have the SIMMs left something behind in them that they don’t even know about? I’m so intrigued by where this is heading.
Starkings farms out the artwork to play to the strengths of the artists. Churchland draws all of the scenes with Miki which is like asking Mike Mignola to draw only Hellboy scenes. It’s a perfect fit and you might think Churchland’s style is just too different from that of Medillin drawing Sahara and Vanity and you’d be correct but it simply works anyway. Medillin shows further his capacity for these characters as settles more into the full time role on the book. As a whole, this book sparkles when it needs to and pulls the reader into the murky underworld when its time to get down and dirty. Visually, this book is as great as ever.
One thing that this issue seems to unfold is a setup to bigger things to come based on the next two issues teased in the back of this one. It made me go back and re-read this issue immediately to see if I missed some subtle hint as to what is coming. When a series has you clamoring that much for the next issue you know you have found a winner of a series. I definitely recommend this issue and this outstanding science fiction series.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles