Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Starkings, Medellin, Roshell & Cook
The latest issue of Elephantmen wraps up the three issue arc entitled, “Man and Elephantman” with another terrific issue. The arc has been very accessible to new readers, but also extremely entertaining for the long-time reader because of the angle Starkings has been taking with this storytelling. This issue tops them though because Starkings pays homage to his inspiration: Sword and Savagery. As usual this book is worth taking a look.
The majority of this issue places Ebony into an environment straight out of a Conan comic book. Not only would Robert E Howard and company be proud but I found the story twice as enjoyable understanding Starkings’ background in the genre. Ebony is struggling with his use of a drug called “Mirror”. While it’s not made entirely obvious, it appears he’s hooked on it and connecting dots through his hallucinations.
The bulk of the story mimics everything that made Conan and the like such a great genre in its day. The comic has battle cats, flying demons, sorcerers, femme fatales and female heroines – all scantily clad – as well as plenty of brutality. Starkings pulls no punches in placing Ebony squarely in a Conan setting but grounding him in his reality through the interactions he makes in the Conan world. It’s a brilliant story.
Medellin continues to grow and impress as the main artist for this series. While the Conan parts are all terrific I couldn’t help but find them overshadowed by Medellin’s art in the backup story. In the story, called “He Who Keeps Silent Appears To Consent” Medellin illustrates some chilling images, particularly the one where the woman gives birth to an Elephantman. Medellin is making this his title with each issue.
Elephantmen has transformed into a full magazine with the back matter making the read a full one, much like Brubaker’s Criminal comic book. The main story steals the show but the back matter reinforces and educates the reader on the source of the story. It all adds up to one of the best reads you’ll find on the stands. Starkings continues to corner the market on science fiction and here he seems to be making his bid for the sorcerer genre as well. This is a “can’t miss” book.
5 out of 5 Geek Goggles