Erik's Reviews > Elephantmen: War Toys, Volume 1: No Surrender

Elephantmen by Richard Starkings
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's review
Jul 31, 2008

really liked it

For several years now I’ve been scratching my head wondering just what comic book my brother’s best buddy Justin Norman draws. And, oddly, it wasn’t until I saw him recently at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con when I ran into him at his booth that I finally found out what he’s been whittling away at.

Already several years into this gig, Justin – now going by the mysterious moniker “Moritat”, which explains why I’ve been in the dark all this time – pencils, inks, and even colors the Elephantmen series penned by Richard Starkings; the latter who is better known for his revolutionary work with the LA-based digital lettering studio Comicraft. (Open a Wildstorm or Image comics on any given day of the week, and you’ll often find them credited for the lettering.)

In the first volume of War Toys, Justin sticks with black-and-white to bring to visual life Starkings’ origin of the cold-hearted killing machines known as the Elephantmen. Imagine a twenty-third century Europe crippled by the worst plague since bubonic times, all while the remaining thousand or so survivors battle the titular half-human/animal killing machines who are the drones of the powerful MAPPO Coporation. (Shades of Blade Runner, you think?) The beauty of Moritat’s art lies in his Joe Kubert-style war-scenes in which the French resistance finally begins to fight-back under the helm of the myseterious Yvette – a Marianne-inspired leader. (Picture Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People crossed with Sarah Connor from the Terminator flicks, and you’ll know exactly what I mean here.) As for the writing itself, Starkings’ script and plot is driven, harsh, and powerful. In sum: A damn fine war-comic if I’ve ever read one.

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