HOME ABOUT SUPPORT US SITES WE LIKE FORUM Search Fanboyplanet.com | Powered by Freefind FANBOY PLANET
Comics Today's Date:

The Fanboy Planet Preview Spotlight 07/19/06
brought to you by FanboyPlanet.Comics of Santa Clara

Each week we look through the upcoming releases to offer our two cents as to what's hot and what's not. You can agree with us or not, but spend your money wisely.

Elephantmen #1
writer: Richard Starkings
artists: Moritat and Jose Ladronn

Walking the rain-drenched streets of Santa Monica can be lonely business. Even when the neon lights reach out to you, if you're not in the groove, it means nothing. It also has to be worse when you're an elephant.

Welcome to the world of Elephantmen, one first established in the pages of an erratically released book called Hip Flask. Even more oddly, creator Richard Starkings started this all as advertising for his Comicraft lettering fonts.

But that minimizes the strangely enjoyable result. Elephantmen mashes vaguely dystopian sci-fi with something deliriously pulpy - creating real men's men out of African wildlife.

Working with the nicely precise artist Moritat, Starkings makes this future world surreally familiar. An elephant stands outside a Hooters advertising $25.99 Tuesdays. Okay, so inflation has continued apace, and the menu has changed. But even in 2259, sex sells. (Weird that this should appear in the same week as the Hooters originator gets found dead, and hard-boiled author Mickey Spillane dies. Coincidence or conspiracy?)

That ivory-tusked elephant, one Ebony by name, wanders lost, tormented by memories of a dark and bloody past in Africa. The product of an unholy cloning experiment, Ebony is clearly one of many animen, bred for violence but bound for something more in America.

Possible redemption rears its head as he befriends a human child, Savannah. Yet through her innocent questioning Starkings reveals all the bigotries of this future world, and all the fears Ebony holds within.

On the flip side (literally), Starkings and Moritat (possibly Jose Ladronn -- I can't be sure if that's a co-creator or active credit) present it solely from the human point of view, as a guy grumbles through the streets reacting to these bestial changes.

All of it adds up to a book that feels different and cool this week. Moritat's work vividly portrays the future and animal worlds with equal alacrity. It also has all the subtle grace of old pulp covers. Can a book be a cutting edge throwback? Moritat's art may fit that bill.

It's a world that stayed with me a while, and one I'd like to visit again. So give Elephantmen a chance.

Also on the stands:

Casanova #2: The second issue defies description just as well as the first, only it has even more sex. Somewhere in there is also a strange metafictional conceit involving a comic book adaptation of the villain's life, written and drawn by the villain. If your head doesn't hurt yet, then like me, you're going to dig Casanova #2.

Girls #15: The Luna Brothers continue churning out a strange survival horror epic. It's not exactly easy to leap into blindly, but its premise upends that whole last man on Earth trope. When illustrating themselves, the brothers' art fits perfectly, and you can easily get sucked into their world. Why hasn't this one been bought for a film yet?

John Constantine: Hellblazer #222: Denise Mina ends the arc in a way that sets up a whole new terrible status quo. It looks back to the history of Hellblazer while firmly establishing new territory. You want subtle, clever horror, the kind that creeps up on you when you've had a little time to think about it? That's what Mina does here.

Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #1: Still unclear exactly who's who here. Father Time claims he's using disused identities, but elsewhere in the DCU it looks like the other Ray is still alive and kicking. Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Daniel Acuna have put together an interesting book, but even spinning out of Brave New World and Battle For Bludhaven, it's still maddening trying to put together how it all happened.

Witchblade Bearers of the Blade #1: Just in time for Witchblade #100, Top Cow releases this compendium of the history of the title weapon, also absorbing the coming anime version. For someone like me who never read the comic nor even watched the TV series, it's a good way to get some bearing if I wanted to jump aboard.

Sight Unseen:

Aquaman, Sword of Atlantis #43: Despite Andy Mead swearing that I'm not as intrigued as I think I am, I'll stand by my interest in what's going on, though it seems like it's been forever since the last issue.

Civil War #3: Whether you buy into the premise or not, the book has been extremely well written, and that's worth the price of admission.

Gumby #1: He can walk into any book, with his pony pal Pokey, too. Rather than walk into just any book, though, Gumby returns in his own title. So, really, if you have a heart (and an extra bit of cash), then Gumby's a part of you.

Justice League of America #0: A multitude of artists comes together to help the brilliant Brad Meltzer mess with our heads. Drool, fanboys, drool.

Living in Infamy #4: Carr D'angelo of Earth-2 Comics turned me onto this book last year after Comic-Con 2005, so I feel that things come full circle this week.

Thunder Monkey #2: I have no idea. Every now and then a title just makes me wonder…

Hey, write to us and let us know what you think, or talk about it on the forums!

Derek McCaw

Our Friends:

Official PayPal Seal

Copyrights and trademarks for existing entertainment (film, TV, comics, wrestling) properties are held by their respective owners and are used with permission or for promotional purposes of said properties. All other content ™ and © 2001, 2014 by Fanboy Planet™.
"The Fanboy Planet red planet logo is a trademark of Fanboy Planetâ„¢
If you want to quote us, let us know. We're media whores.
Movies | Comics | Wrestling | OnTV | Guest | Forums | About Us | Sites