Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Richard Starkings
Art: Axel Medellin
Cover: Boo Cook
Issue #72 had given us a break from the gritty world of the elephantmen to allow us to follow Ebony, whom we saw losing the use of his legs a few issues ago, in the lair of a… strange doctor. There, the wounded elephantman had a chance to reflect about the past and the future.
This issue #73 brings us back to the day-to-day world; in Los Angeles it is raining, as usual, and we find out that the last 60 minutes “will be forgotten” (or rather, have been forgotten) by a series of characters, including our Hip Flask. What this means is yet unclear. Apparently, we read, there was a rain of sea creatures (really), and… and I won’t tell you anything else in order to avoid spoilers.
Elephantmen seems here to want to get back, after a few issues featuring “side” stories, to the main storyline, although the events in the “forgotten hour” (that we get to see in this issue) are a little… peculiar, even in a world inhabited by animal-human hybrids that were created to fight a war and are now more or less integrated in regular society.
Richard Starkings created something new – which after 72 issues can’t be easy – but perfectly fitting in the Elephantmen mystique, masterfully supported as usual by Axel Medellin’s art that makes everything, including trench coat-wearing, walking and talking hippos, look absolutely natural.
Elephantmen is an interesting series, full of adventure and action but also often very intimate, dealing with the struggles of someone who is “different” (here we’re talking about the elephantmen) but is trying to find a place in a world that looks with suspicion at differences. From this point of view, the elephantmen represent any minority – and also, judging from their origin story, all war veterans.
As it’s obviously challenging to find and read all 72 previous issues of Elephantmen, this #73 could be a decent way to start getting into the series. Yes, it assumes previous knowledge of Hip Flask (and Farrell, and Miki), but those are aspects that will sure become clear in the next few issues to the Elephantmen newbie.