An albino, unparalleled with a sword, walking the Earth and selling his skills to the highest bidder. Your Major Spoilers review of Elric: The White Wolf #2 awaits!
Writer: Julien Blondel & Jean-Luc Cano
Artist: Julien Telo
Colorist: Jean Bastide
Letterer: Kristen Miller
Editor: Jake Devine
Publisher: Titan Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 10, 2018
Previously in Elric: The White Wolf: After having freed the sailor Smiorgan from violent captors, Elric accepts his help on a quest when he is summoned to an affluent city of merchant princes. There he meets the endearing yet furtive heiress who entreats the White Wolf to reunite her with her lost love. Drawn to the task by a dark and treacherous feeling, Elric accepts. But as they begin their journey across the sea, a terrible maelstrom engulfs the ship, leaving them in grave peril…
As this issue opens, Elric awakens on the shores of The Dragon Isle, where thousands of ships have previously crashed. He and the rest of the passengers are quickly overwhelmed by a horde of undead against which even his magic blade Stormbringer cannot defend him. Overwhelmed by the dead, he is dragged into a strange realm where he meets Saxif, one of his predecessors as emperor of Melnibone. Their conversation quickly turns adversarial, and Elric is overwhelmed by his power and just when things seem darkest, his mysterious female companion awakens and reveals the truth about her own past. (It’s pretty surprising, and worth reading the issue for.) When Elric awakens, he is aboard another ship en route home to Melnibone, returning to the land he once ruled. But nature abhors a vacuum, and the issue ends with the revelation that there’s a new emperor in town.
And she’s got ideas about how punish Elric for his transgressions.
DETAILED, INCREDIBLE ART
This is a really good-looking book, with subtle, intricate pencils making the horror of the island clear in every panel. (My brain wants to liken it to the ‘B-52’ segment of ‘Heavy Metal’, but this is actually much more carefully rendered and that much more terrifying.) As someone who only knows Elric tangentially, this issue does a great job of showing who he is and what he is all about, delivering the necessary exposition as part and parcel of the story being told. There’s a great use of language and dialogue as well, with the confrontation between Saxif and Elric making me appreciate what the character is about, even drawing me into wanting to read some of Moorcock’s prose work featuring the character. Add in a really expressive fine arts-inspired coloring job, and you’ve got a comic that makes for a great first impression.
BOTTOM LINE: MAKES ME LIKE ELRIC
In short, Titan delivers the goods in this comic, even for readers who don’t know anything about Elric or his universe. I’m not sure if this is merely adapted from a Moorcock story or translated from another language, but Elric: The White Wolf #2 is a very solid piece of comic book entertainment with excellent art and an engaging story, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. I’m not always a sword-and-sorcery kind of guy, but this issue drew me in and held my interest admirably.