Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Starkings, Medellin, Roshell & Cook
Elephantmen number thirty-one continues with part two of the “Man and Elephantmen” storyline with another excellent read. The issue picks up virtually immediately after the events of the previous issue which saw Miki seduce Hip. However, this issue branches off quickly as it visits more of the females in the series and throws another couple of wrinkles into the overall storyline. This series just keeps churning out quality issue after quality issue while managing to take the reader on a roller coaster ride in the process.
After a much appreciated and lengthy recap on the inside cover we are taken to a scene where Miki gives birth to a beautiful, bouncing baby boy – that’s a hippo. Miki wakes up, alone, in Hip’s house. It seems like the males in any species tend to leave before the female wakes up leaving the female very angry.
Next the issue moves through a series of scenes that involve Sahara and Horn. Some are flashbacks and others are set in more of the present time period. There are two pieces of note in here. First of all, this issue deals with drug use by the Elephantmen. While this has been touched on in previous issues this issue really hammers the usage home and makes the Elephantmen appear much more vulnerable as a result. Secondly, this issue illustrates how the decision came down to not destroy but to rehabilitate the Elephantmen. All of this is impressive and has a very Morrison-esque story telling style to it. I liked the little nugget about what the Chinese did with their version of the Elephantmen. I’d love to know where Starkings is going with that one.
The art is excellent as is always the case. I found the scenes where the Elephantmen gets his drug fix from his junkie to be particularly powerful. As usual, the scenes with Sahara and Miki (and any other woman in the series) are dangerously sexual. This issue earns its Mature Reader tag and wears it proudly as a badge of honor.
Elephantmen is a series that rewards the long time reader with tiny little reveals here and there but it also makes each issue extremely accessible to the new reader because of the recap page and the jumping around the timeline. You simply won’t find a book that is as deep into science fiction but telling a noir crime story at the same time on the stands today. The book is filled with raw emotions and you may find yourself cheering for the Elephantmen just as easily as you might yourself damning them. While the women play the role of damsel in distress with an agenda that can’t possibly be good for their men. This book is fantastic and I urge anyone to check it out.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles