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Monday, March 2, 2009

Brief Mentions from Episode 56

Elephantmen #16

Written by: Richard Starkings

Art by: Chris Burnam

I've said it many times before and I am sure that I will say it many, many times to come. This is perhaps the best non-superhero book on the market currently and is probably in the top 5 books coming out regardless of genre. The world of Elephantmen is so incredibly engaging that it would seem silly to explore it through only one set of eyes and Starkings clearly knows that as he shows us the perspective of an incredible ensemble of characters that fill out the whole of the cultural gamut. We can get great insight into the heroic minds of characters like Ebony Hide and Hip Flask at the same time as we explore the darker hearts of characters like Obidiah Horn (who while villainous certainly has grown on me a great deal and has become one of my favorite characters of the series) as well as delve into the truly black souls of characters like Joshua Serengeti as well as the focus of the main story of this issue ... The Silencer.

Once proud Combat Trainer/Arena Master/Torturer of The Elephantmen, The Silencer was left for dead by Ebony Hide (who, in a fit of anger the likes of which we have not seen from the character since, crushed The Silencer's legs after goring him in the torso) in the bowels of the Mappo Complex at the end of the War in 2242. He has come a long way since then but little about him has changed, he is still a heartless villain with a mean streak a mile wide and twice as deep. This is an incredible stand alone story suitable for anyone to get an idea of the kind of craft that goes into each and every issue of this totally underrated series. Starkings has a deft hand for finding the heart of the story and exploring it to it's fullest extent and artist Chris Burnam turns in a finely crafted masterpiece that is at times the pulpiest of pulp and at others beautifully rendered vistas of filth and pollution ... he has an eye for the dystopia that is futuristic alleys and the joke known as the L.A. River.

This is one of the best issues of this series thus far and it follows one the characters who makes my stomach turn, so that should tell you something about how much I love this book.

The collections are such incredible bargains that you'd think that you were getting away with something criminal everytime you purchase one and the $2.99 cover price belies the bevy of material contained within, aside from Criminal/Incognito it is probably the best deal on the shelves.

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