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Image Firsts: Elephantmen #1 Review

The beginning of Elephantmen is a perfect opportunity for more people to begin reading this comic book, which is encouraged by this issue's heartbreaking story and loveable characters, despite the lackluster art only brightened by a barrage of colors. This reprint of Elephantmen retells the tale of Ebenezer (Ebony), an Elephantman feared by most of society except for a little girl that engages him in conversation.  The little girl, Savannah – like the desert, she points out – continually asks Ebony questions that bring back painful memories and give us more insight into Ebony’s past.          Richard Starkings’ story is a heartbreaking and grim one with an ending that could bring a tear to the eye of a sensitive reader.  Ebony’s reliving of his past shows just how hard his life had been when he was nothing more than a science experiment surrounded by unfeeling scientists that thought of him as nothing more than a ravenous animal.  It is easy to feel sorry for Ebony since Starkings created a character with such a dismal and cruel life that only the most unfeeling of people could laugh at.  Image Firsts: Elephantmen #1 Richard Starkings Ebony’s new companion, the cute and cuddly Savannah, is the perfect representation of a young child. She talks and acts like a child realistically would, completely accepting Ebony like any other normal person – though badgers him with a lot more questions that your average Joe wouldn’t hear.  “Have you ever stampeded?” she innocently asks.  Starkings perfectly blends Savannah’s innocence one moment into a grisly fight to the death between Ebony and another science project.  The comic has a serial tone throughout and an ending that is both cute and a real tear-jerker that provokes the reader into tracking down the next issue. The art in Elephantmen perfectly sets the mood better than the words ever could.  Ebony’s emotions are perfectly shown through his eyes, not even needing the assistance of words.  Artist Moritat manages to make Ebony’s pictures worth a thousand words.  But Moritat has some apparent problems throughout his artwork. Savannah’s face sometimes looks misshapen and Moritat cannot bring the same emotional look into her eyes that he could in Ebonys’.  The backgrounds also lack detail.  The colors fit the dark mood of the comic and the rainy weather adds to the mood as well.  The colors are best used when the rain and lights combine to make beautiful rainbow-colored splotches on the sidewalk. For a dollar, Elephantmen is a fantastic deal that will give you two great, sympathetic characters and a story bringing out the sorrow in the strongest of us.  The art is mostly strong and betters the already depressing mood, even though the art is the weakest feature.  The tale also seems like more of a one-shot and does not seem like it could form a story from this point – we only know Ebony’s past and not where the story is going, since it doesn’t seem to exist quite yet. For now, the emotional impact of this issue is an interesting start that really makes me look forward to where this series will go story-wise.  The first issue has done its job perfectly – it has invested me in the characters enough to make me want to buy the next issue and see what happens next and I encourage you to pick it up.  Remember, it’s only a dollar!              Overall Score – 8.5 *Great for New Mature Readers*  For more Elephantmen, check out Dustin’s review of Elephantmen #30 and his review of Elephantmen: Man or Elephantman #1.            


Meet the Author

About / Bio
An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.

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