Elephantmen #56


Elephantmen_56_previewElephantmen #56 is a one shot focusing on the Zebra police officer. It doesn’t offer anything on the main storyline, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad issue, right?

The official description from Image:


SHAKY KANE returns to ELEPHANTMEN to tell a chilling story of the L.A.P.D’s Lieutenant Trench.

This is a stand alone issue that I feel you’re going to love or hate. It pushes itself in a very strong direction both emotionally and visually and it isn’t one that will suit everyone. The hallmarks are all there, but under the cover this issue doesn’t just feel like Elephantmen. Indeed, the title has had much better examples.

The main story itself has some merits, even if it doesn’t instantly grip you as a reader. Richard Starkings is credited with the script and Mark Schweikert is credited with the story itself, so where any individual fault lies is hard to say. However, the issue as a whole does a poor job in capturing the character of Trench. He comes across as somewhere between dull and cold. While the opening monologue certainly has some character and depth, but it doesn’t contrast well with the second half. I get the thematic elements at work here, but it isn’t held together as well as it could be.

Visually, Shaky Kane’s art style will set audiences apart. Many people like their Elephantmen dark and atmospheric, especially in issues such as this where it plays heavily with film noir and other genres related to the ‘one good cop in a big bad city’ trope. A flat yet oh-so-vibrant approach to color, however, loses this message within its blur of bright, blocky artwork. The lack of detail removes any impact from dead bodies or anything else that would serve as a shocking moment.

All in all, I feel this issue could be a lot, lot more. It’s clear what the creative team was going for, but this ultimately feels like an experimental filler issue between larger pieces of work.

  • + One shot featuring one of the more interesting characters
  • - Why is it so bright for a dark story?
  • - The writing could be much more atmospheric
  • - No big developments for long-time readers here...

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