Sneak Peek and Review: Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman Issue 4

Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman Issue 4.

Written by Tom Ward
Art by Luke Parker
Letters by Nic J. Shaw
Editor Clare Lenton

The Story: This is the fourth issue and ends the first arc and features all the characters who have shaped the series so far. Duplicitous characters behind the scenes continue to play chess with the key cast members – and especially with Merrick. A prolonged action scene shows how far Merrick has come and how powerful he truly is and the story is left on a really intriguing moment that speaks volumes to the next issue. (See how I avoided spoilers there – phew!).

The Preview: This book has been outstanding since Page One of Issue One. You feel both the bulk and the power of this man, Merrick. He has the pain of a ‘This Man This Monster’ vibe combined with English gothic malevolence.

Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman has a magical horror aspect to its narrative. It steam rollers in with violence that is counterpointed by flashes of dark intrigue. Issue 4 is much more front and centre in the action stakes and we see Merrick performing as a fully formed hero, albeit briefly. He floats on the whims of the Victorian mystical secret society but all the portents are there that this will change.

It’s almost out of time with current comics publishing and I feel a captivating Bronze Age otherworldliness to this comic’s panel layout and weird approaches to characters and anti-heroes. There is a vulnerability to Merrick especially, that really comes to the forefront in this issue. It is full of false smiles and plans within plans and some of the moments will haunt you. Deftly done.

I read a lot of small press books that get submitted to Downthetubes but of them all this is the one that deserves to proudly sit next to a Dark Horse or an Images comic.

Done with style, a continuity of gorgeous art and an eye to dark and deep atmosphere this is a masterclass in non superhero comics. It should make a splendid collection. Grab Issue Four while you still can. It is available through a printed version and is due to hit Comixology soon too.

This issue also has a couple of great pin-ups by Peter Bergting and Jez Cummings.

• You can find all the issues and a free download to Issue One at www.merrickcomic.com

• You can also find more about the series on Twitter @merrickcomic and on facebook at www.facebook.com/theelephantmancomic

• You can find Luke the artist at www.artofparker.com and on Twitter @Artofparker

• Nic the letterer is on Twitter @Shawlettering

Here are some preview pages…

Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman Issue 4 - Page 1

Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman Issue 4 - Page 2

Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman Issue 4 - Page 3

Avatar

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: British Comics, Comic Previews, downthetubes Comics News, Featured

Tags: , , , ,

1 reply

Trackbacks

  1. Crowdfunding Spotlight: “A Restless Night”, a Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman spin-off | downthetubes.net
%d bloggers like this: