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Our story begins with Hip and Miki running into each other
out in the rain. Miki is dressed very sexy with a clear rain coat on to reveal
her glamorous figure. We then cut to Mr. Apostrophe standing before a board
room telling the members before him of the dangers of the Elephantmen and that the awakened sleeper
cell is just one of their concerns. Our third story running through the issue
stars Panya and Joe (the Camel). Panya is reflecting on the day’s events as she
stares down at the city from Ivory Towers. Joe informs her that the club has a
full house and that she’s expected to dance.
Panya thinks of the night before in which she played the body double for Sahara and became worried that Horn would discover her. After her “encounter” with Horn, Panya no longer sees him as anything other than a man and suddenly her world is turned upside down. Joe in the meantime thinks of his business and how hard it has been for him to maintain it over the years. He wonders if it really needs to be this difficult.
Back with Mr. Apostrophe and the board room he demonstrates with a simple piece of technology that he can awaken the personality override of the Elephantmen. He has Ebony Hide come in the room and terrorizes the boardroom. Apostrophe demonstrates this so that they can see that if the implants are not removed the possibility of a second Elephantmen war is possible. The board dismisses his assistance saying that their actually paid to keep the implants in place so that if need be they can use them later. Apostrophe can’t believe what he’s hearing because if there is another war it will affect a lot more people now and that leaving them the way they are is like walking down the street with a warhead.
Back with Hip and Miki, they make it to his apartment where it’s clear that it’s her first visit there. She’s working the charm and the sex appeal on Hip so much that he’s starting to give in. She discovers his swimming pool (paid for by the government) and strips off her clothes to go skinny dipping. After seeing her amazing body in the water, Hip finally jumps in and the two connect for the first time since the series began.
This issue isn’t really a wrap up issue, it’s more of connect the dots type of story which was very interesting to read. However, it was a failed experiment as it relies on readers to not only have read every issue, but also remember a large amount of details as well. Unfortunately for me I haven’t read every issue as I fell off from the series for a while. Granted what I read I remembered, but there was nothing I could do about the stuff I hadn’t. There are a lot of great editor’s notes at the bottom of panels to tell you which issues the story is referring to, but I almost think that extra dialog or narration could have just eliminated some of them and the story would have been just as effective.
The writing is still very good as the reader isn’t left out on what’s happening in this particular issue. There’s a decent enough recap of Hip and Miki’s relationship and Mr. Apostrophe and the board room are used to establish what the Elephantmen are. So in a strange way it recaps the series for you, it just takes the long way of getting to it. Richard Starkings is a very creative writer that manages to create a very realistic world that readers can get lost in.
The art was very inconsistent in the issue, the style changed depending on which characters were present and although it wasn’t too distracting; it was noticeable. Axel Medellin is a strong artist, but he’s no Moritat. He does attempt to copy his style at times, but again there’s a sharp difference in the pencils form character to character. What makes the book look like Elephantmen and gives the pencils some sort of unity is the coloring. Elephantmen has one of the best colorist in the business with Gregory Wright. He’s able to color the book to look nearly exactly like Moritat’s style which has become a staple of the series. His soft glow added to the women makes them look delicate and beautiful. The art team together is a good pairing and worth of handling the art duties on Elephantmen.
This is probably a bad issue to start reading Elephantmen on, you’ll probably be confused by everything that’s going on in the issue and shocked by the world put before you. However, if you are at least a bit familiar with the world and interested by the series then this is a payoff issue for you. A lot of little things are put into play and that were mentioned before in the series and because of that it makes readers interested to see where the series is going from here. The next issue will be a dozy as well so enjoy the last bit of normality in the world of the Elephantmen.
Overall Score – 7.8/10