"Abandoned by God"
Writer: Richard Starkings
"The Last Thing I Remember"
Writer: Richard Starkings
Artists: David Hine, Rob Steen (colors)
Publisher: Image Comics
At the time of (writing) this review, SBC has posted reviews of the five previous issues of Elephantmen, two of which are of the very first issue (by two different reviewers). The remaining three reviews (of issues #4, #0 and #5) have been written by yours truly. Either by choice or maybe just by calling first dibs, this is the fourth consecutive issue of Elephantmen that I am reviewing. Now before anyone points a finger at me for primping and preening (even though there maybe some truth in that), let me just clarify the reasoning behind quoting these numbers. One, thanks to those three reviews, I donít have to start afresh (as I did with the very first one) and can build/carry on from where I left with my previous review. And two (and this is an important one, especially for this issue), by now any readers who have read one or all of those reviews would be familiar with my likes or dislikes about Elephantmen, both in story and art.
Now with that opening rant out of the way, Iíll get on with the main review: I am sad to say that the meat of the story was so bland and tough this time around that having eaten it (i.e. read the story) left me not only scratching my head trying to discern what actually was it that I had just had, I also had a rhino sized pain in the proverbial jaw. Consisting of two stories (like the format of the first three issues), this installment of Elephantmen really puts the ď-erĒ in breather.
On the main plot, anyone looking for some big reveal (or even development) about the upcoming interspecies nuptials of Sahara-Obadiah Horn will be sorely disappointed. All that the "interview" and Obadiahís actions & reactions to it do is add another brick in the "cold" wall of a character personality of Mr. Horn. Even the small reveals about Saharaís past and a special appearance by Savannah isnít quite enough. For those who might not recall or know about Savannah, she is the young girl from the first issue, the one who befriended Ebony and even drew a picture for him.
The second story, with guest artists David Hine and Rob Steen, also involves the beautiful Sahara, only instead being directly about her, it is told from the P.O.V. of her mother, with the adult Sahara appearing only in two places: the cover (both covers) and the last page. As with the first/main story, this one too doesnít contribute much to the main plotline. However, unlike that, this "first person narration" tale fulfills its purpose by bolstering and adding to its featured character(s).
The artwork, in both stories is pretty good. Even if the colors in the first story (by the regular art team) are a bit on the darker side, the lines, figures and overall ambience does keep with the established styling of this series. As for the second story, the stark difference in the art style not only sets it apart from the main story, but it also gives a feeling of the story having taken place sometime in the past, which given the characters involved it has.
Conclusion: Probably the weakest issue of this series so far. Still, given its track record, I am hopeful that this was just a once in a while faltering and future issues will return with the same pacing and excellence of the previous ones.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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