Written by: Richard Starkings
Art by: Axel Medellin
Published by: Image
This issue sees Elephantmen take a detour of sorts into a tribute to the comics of Conan the Barbarian; meanwhile, the mystery of the Elephantmen killings goes on in the present day (the present day in the Elephantmen timeline (which is our future (but I digress))).
I don’t completely understand the reason for this change in tone/style, but as this arc is trying to entice new readers, I suppose it is fun for people that both do and don’t know what the norm is. Either way, it is a fitting tribute to the genre and entertaining to see Ebony Hide in that very different situation. It’s almost escapism within escapism, as Ebony fantasises about a different time and world, I’m reading about his.
The non barbarian moments continue the investigations of Hip and Trench; they don’t find out much apart from that the Elephantmen killings are still happening.
As for the art, Axel Medellin really can do it all; from the ordinary to the extraordinary, swords and sandals to sci-fi. He achieves so much detail in his work, showing a horse kick up sand as it gallops along a desert, some great crowded scenes and excellent action; you can even almost see individual hairs on the tigers.
My main qualm about this issue is that it claims to be a “novel-length thriller” on the cover and while there is a lot of extra content at the back of the issue, there are still only 22 pages of Elephantmen story proper. It is possible that “novel-length thriller” is another tribute to old Conan comics, but it isn’t clear enough.
Despite this, it is still a good comic and at $3.99 it’s hardly charging extra for the added content.
Elephantmen is a quality series and Axel Medellin is a great artist and I suppose that’s all you really need to know.