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Elephantmen: Man or Elephantman #1 – Review

This one shot issue is being used for new readers to jump onto the series and frankly it does that well. If you’ve never read Elephantmen before then this issue will walk you through the world and events that make the comic. The flip side of that coin is that if you are reading Elephantmen then you’ll be treated to a very bizarre story that acts like a “What If?” tale more than anything else.

The story picks up almost instantly where the last issue of the ongoing left off. Hip has just spent the night with Miki only when he wakes up he’s human and no longer a Hippo Elephantman. The thing is that it’s the norm for him as he thinks that he’s a human. Miki tries to seduce him some more before he takes off to work, but Hip heads to the showers any ways. Too bad Miki joins him as she won’t take no for an answer.

Man or Elephantman 1 CoverHip eventually makes his way to work, but not before helping Tusk; an Elephantman that is homeless and devoid of any intelligence due to the war. The story continues to walk Hip to work and covers the war and how the Elephantmen came to be spread throughout the world. During the events Hip sees flashes of his Hippo self and also flashbacks of the war. Upon arriving at work they send him to question Horn, his bitter rival and fiancée of Hip’s ex: Sahara. Hip heads to Horn’s high rise building and only finds Sahara. She ends up kissing him as Horn walks into the room which sets him off on him. Horn knocks him all around the room until finally… well you’re going to have to pick it up.

I have to say that I loved the writing for this issue. The fact that the story works on two levels is brilliant and rare in a lot of stories. A new reader would never know that what they were reading was not the norm of the series, and longtime readers are treated to shock and surprise like no other. Also a lot of moments that the series has always teased and never delivered upon are finally put on display in this issue, although you may not like the way you get your cake. Richard Starklings does a great job with the story and basically displays all of his writing talents for the world to see in this issue.

I had issues with the last issue of Elephantmen because it was a lot of back and forth and mixing of styles. In this issue Axel Medellin took Elephantmen and treated it as his own. Yes it still looks influenced by Moritat, but now it seems that Medellin has found his mid-ground and his own style can continue to develop from here. I loved the coloring and hope that if his style does develop and change in the future that the coloring remains the same since it’s imperative to the look of the book. This issue in a way reminds me of when Greg Capullo took over on Spawn. At first his style was trying to copy Todd’s, but then at one point he switched it up to the point that when people think of Spawn they think of his art style. I think this could be that issue for Medellin.

This book does what it sets out to do and that’s to be a great jumping on point for new readers. Hopefully shop owners will promote the book as such as well. If you’ve seen Elephantmen and wondered what it was about or were even remotely curious then this is the issue to find out on. The story is brilliant and the art is great. If you need another reason then all I can say is naked women are present in a tasteful way throughout the story, so check it out!

Overall Score – 9.0/10



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