Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Starkings, Medellin & Cha
Elephantmen delivers perhaps its most comprehensive and powerful issue to date. When you consider the series rarely has even a slip up or an off issue, that's a bold statement. This issue could easily mark the end of the journey because it sums everything up so well and brings so many plots to a head while potentially marking the end of one of the longest running themes since the beginning of the run. However, true to form, Starkings throws a couple of curves in the issue that will surely grow over time into the next long running plot with its own message to the reader. This issue is so complete I believe a completely new reader can pick it up and feel like they are right at home while the seasoned veteran will surely appreciate all the layers getting pulled away, exposing the rawest of nerves. Pick this issue up and give it a shot.
Yvette of War Toys fame comes back with a screaming vengeance and she isn't taking any prisoners in this issue. I can't recall any single issue where so many of the main characters are in the same spot at the same time, but that is what occurs in Horn's tower in this issue as Yvette comes for Horn and those he loves. The story isn't all about revenge though.
Not only do we get some background on Yvette, including some answers to lingering questions, but we also see a side of her we hadn't previously seen. To be blunt she seems blinded by revenge, to the point of being psychotic. It goes beyond driven to defeat an enemy. She even manages to goad others into their own breaking points. I'm not sure the resolution is one I would have guessed but Starkings delivers a clear message about how this character is to be viewed by the reader.
The theme throughout this series has been one of acceptance for the Elephantmen that is companioned by the split theme where some humans want them accepted and some just simply hate them as though they were still the enemy. Is this issue the final statement about that theme? Is there a blurring of the line finally?
This issue also brings us full circle with Horn. He's a champion in anything he's done. Whether it's business or war. Horn is determined and he isn't shaken. Others pick up on this and seem to mirror his personality. However, he asserts himself in this issue in ways we haven't seen yet in this series.
I haven't even mentioned how Starkings shows some scenes of Elephantmen on Mars or the little nuggets he tosses in (specifically at the end) throughout the entire issue. If you want a jump on point then this is it. Remember the Chinese army? Enough hints. Pick up the issue.
Medellin stuns on art in this issue. To this point, his forte has been the female form. However, in this issue he tackles the war and its beastly images in full force and he delivers with none of the subtleties or sexiness he normal provides. He also brings out a wide array of emotions in this issue that portray the gut-wrenching ending in ways the dialogue alone couldn't do. It's a beautiful issue.
With the backup story by Roshell, Bautista and Rouleau we get forty-four pages of comic for four bucks. You can't beat the price and you certainly can't beat the contents. Starkings is cementing his legendary status in this series with this epic issue. Science fiction, politics, drama and suspense fans shouldn't miss this comic.
5 out of 5 geek goggles