"Hazardous Materials, Wounded Animals"
Writer: Richard Starkings
Publisher: Image Comics
Starting as purely a novelty buy, Elephantmen has fast become a title that in spite of my inclination not to, I keep on getting every month. By this, I do not mean that there is anything wrong with it or that it is a boring drab series, but rather quite the opposite. There is something about Hip, Ebony and their fellow Anima...uh, Elephantmen that keeps me coming back for more. It may simply be me getting a perverse (and at least to me, much deserved) pleasure from seeing and reading a mature and more importantly serious "Animals as Humans" story, instead of the sickening sweetness that is depicted in just about every..., well..., in almost any of the Disney cartoons and comics. Full points to the art for playing a big role in establishing the mature ambiance.
Instead of the 2-in-1 format of the previous three issues, this issue carries just one story involving both Hip and Ebony as well as few people from their past and a couple from their present. Having taken a beating, Hip (#2, #3) and Ebony (#3) are under medical care when in comes their boss, Gruenwald. Accompanying is Hiromi Kiyoko (Miki), the street-smart yet somewhat ditzy and innocent cab driver from last issue. For a refresher about her, she was the one who found Hip and called in the EMS (last ish.)
With Gruenwald debriefing Hip, Ebony and Miki hang out in the hospital, thus making way for the introduction and story of yet another of the E-Men. Named Tusk, he is a boar-human and as clear from the front cover itself, isnít in all that great a state. In fact, with Ebony narrating his story, it becomes clear that even though his body is still healthy, mentally Tuskís is just about gone, all a result of the experiments by the guys over at Mappo.
As far as issues go, this one wasnít as fun a read as the others, mostly because instead of the two there was just one story here. Still, I did enjoy Miki a lot and look forward to seeing more of her.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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