Elephantmen Vol. 1: Wounded Animals
by lots of people, but mainly Richard Starkings, Moritat and J. Roshell
This is a big swanky hardcover from Image Publishing, and it even has a little strip of cloth for a bookmark! It collects issues #1-7 of the series, and here's
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: The Elephantmen! Genetically modified animals that walk like us and talk like us! They were designed for war, for combat, but what happens when they try to break free? What happens when they try to rehabilitate themselves in society?
Will they benefit us or will they threaten our very way of life???
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT IT: The writing is really good in that it conveys ideas with simple but powerful motions. You get the feeling that the presence of the Elephantmen makes a profound impact on society, and whether or not we accept the Elephantmen will shape who we become.
In fact, a radio talk-show host even brings up the comparison that they're gods:
The vignette style of writing in each issue gives a certain gravity to each issue, but that also brings us to. . .
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT IT: There is practically no plot progression! Flashbacks take up a good chunk of most issues, so we can never really go forward with any of the ideas that the guys present so well.
In fact, we only really get introduced to an antagonist at the very end of the trade:
EXTRAS?: Uhhh, there's an intro by Starkings, the writer, but aside from that and the aforementioned swankiness, that's it.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Elephantmen is written really intelligently, and there are all sorts of experiments and playing around with the comic book genre that I enjoy, but the lack of plot progressing hinders it from being really great.
I'd bet that this would read fantastically in single issue though, so I may very well look at it next time I'm in the comic shop.
If you're interested, you can check out the Elephantmen site here. They have a lot of fun with an old-school British Sci-fi style.