Friday, August 17, 2012

Elephantmen #42

Written by Richard Starkings
Art by Axel Medellin and Dave Sim

A new arc starts with this issue, but once again, Elephantmen is all over the place story-wise; arcs don't much matter in this comic, it's more about theme, and the slow advancement of myriad plot lines.

In this issue, Panya, the dancer who looks just like Sahara, is implanted with an embryo that matches Sahara's - if both women are successful, they will give birth to the first new Elephantmen since Mappo was shut down.  What Sahara doesn't know though is that Panya has recently been with another man - the hired killer known only as The Silencer, opening the possibility that the child may end up being his.

Meanwhile, Hip Flask is investigating the drained river bed where the Silencer has been dumping bodies for years, hoping to find clues as to his identity or location.

Of most interest in this issue is the state of Ebony Hide, who is in hospital recovering from the injuries he received three issues back.  While unconscious, he dreams, and those pages are the ones that Dave Sim drew for the Hero Intiative's 2012 comic a few months back.  It's cool to see them repurposed and worked into the story here, and it's also cool to see Sim's artwork coloured; something that doesn't happen that often.

This comic opens with the text of two laws that were written in the last ten years in America to limit the extent of experimentation with stem cells and human/animal hybridization.  It's kind of strange that Starking waited until now to include this information in the comic, but I guess with the pregnancies taking place, he felt it was appropriate.

This issue also comes with some other goodies.  Starkings revisits his 'English & Media Studies' text-piece with a bit about Arnaldo Putzu, a British comics cover and movie poster artist from the 70s.  The 'Charley Loves Robots' back-up strip is entertaining as always, and there is a preview for Non-Humans, an upcoming series by Glenn Brunswick and Whilce Portacio.  I liked Brunswick's Killing Girl, and while I don't usually enjoy Portacio's work, it looks okay here.  I may be checking this out.

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