Elephantmen #35 Review
- Published on Wednesday, 28 September 2011 01:00
- Written by Andrenn
Elephantmen is one of the best titles on a monthly basis. I have said this before and I will probably be saying that many times after this review. One of the most interesting aspects of the series was the war that the Elephantmen were created for. It is something Starkings has touched on from time to time and once again he returns to it with the sequel to War Toys. The first half of Enemy Species was great set up and a strong re-introduction to this dark time. Can the second half live up to that and continue that greatness or is this a losing battle? Let’s find out!
Writer: Richard Starkings
Artist: Boo Cook
Story Rating: 8 Hippo Mechs out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Hippo Mechs out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Hippo Mechs out of 10
Synopsis: Yvette and the resistance continue their war on the Elephantmen when they come in possession of a mech suit. Though they soon find themselves in the middle of a battle between the Chinese forces and some familiar Elephantmen faces as the war escalates.
The Good: Elephantmen #35 is an excellent conclusion to the Enemy Species arc. Taking all the set up and build up from the previous issue and utilizing it for a great big battle. Last issue was more character work than action and this definitely made up for that. The battle between the Elephantmen and Chinese Forces is intense and a lot of fun to read.
Though Starkings does not forget the real main character of Enemy Species, Yvette. Yvette is still just as important and her hatred for Elephantmen just as strong as ever. Starkings gives us a nice peak inside her head early in the issue and he shows what a heartless and violent soldier she has become over the years. Yvette is a vengeful character but she is still interesting to follow and compelling. Plus she is also great in all the action of this issue.
This issue is mostly a big brawl but it does not get lost in senseless action. The action is very intense and quick. The pacing of it moves along nicely. Never do we drag from one fight to the next it all moves and flows well. This is mostly because of Cook's artwork. Cook was a smart choice to draw this arc since his rougher pencils fit nicely with the dark and rough violent story. Cook also captures speed well so everything moves quickly.
The action just looks great and there are a few shots by Cook, especially with the giant Hippo Mech that are stunning. If you love Boo Cook’s covers than you should definitely enjoy his interiors for this arc. He’s definitely a big highlight of this great 2-parter.
Even with all the great action, the character work is not lost with the Elephantmen. Hip, Ebony and Obadiah are still the same great characters that they have always been. As a fan of the series, it was awesome seeing them in this darker time. We have seen flashbacks and nudges to the war but in the regular series we have not seen much of how the characters were back then. Thankfully they are not totally different soldier types but you do see some of the characteristics that will grow more in the future of the series like Hip being very loyal to his friend Ebony.
The twist of the Chinese forces was a strong cliff-hanger for last issue and here they are utilized perfectly. They’re a great match for the Elephantmen and a force that is deadlier than them when in groups. They made a great challenge for the characters to over come and the way they tie into the Elephantmen themselves was very cool.
For a big war story arc you really could not ask for much better than Enemy Species. It retains the great characters from the regular ongoing that you enjoy following while still keeping them set in the darker war time story. Plus, with great action and some very intense moments, Enemy Species succeeds on many levels and in the end is another memorable read from Starkings and crew.
The Bad: While I enjoyed Boo Cook on art, his earlier pages were not as great. The earlier pages with Yvette were a little too rough and rushed looking compared to the later pages. Though some of the action scenes, mostly when the enemies are getting shot up, looked a little rushed too. It does not badly hurt the artwork, but it was enough for me to notice.
Overall:For fans of the Elephantmen Wary Toys 2, Enemies Species is an absolutely must have. Starkings continues to crank out excellent stories out of the great war that created our heroes and for fans this is a very important time to read about. This arc succesfully added a wonderful new layer to that important time and continued on some of the great stuff that was building from previous story arcs. It is fun seeing how insane and violent this war was and the way the Elephantmen dealt with incredible challenges back then.
I highly recommend Elephantmen and the Enemy Species arc. It is not a new reader exposition dump or anything, but really anything you need to know is told in the previous issue and in the synopsis page of the comic. I will say it once again, you should check out Elephantmen. It is great stuff on a monthly basis and this arc is yet another reminder of that. If you are at the comic shop this week and see this, as well as the previous issue on the shelves, then do not hesitate to jump into this great series.