The Shape of Elvira #1

53%
53%
A good story hampered by visuals

Avallone has shown us he is more than capable of writing a fun, engaging adventure using people who are, essentially, real-life characters. I think he continues to do just that with this issue. However, in my opinion, the visuals draw so much away from the story, taking no steps to enhance it in any way that the whole book suffers. I want to see if future installments of The Shape of Elvira contain the same problems as I believe are present in this issue. That said, I can only review and give my opinion on the product as presented. I hope to have a chance to return on a future issue to see how the tale is going.

THE SHAPE OF ELVIRA continues writer Dave Avallone’s witty and self-effacing style of writing filled with great one-liners and bizarre plots. Unfortunately, uneven artwork leaves this issue for the diehard fans of the Mistress of the Dark.

  • Writing
    8
  • Art
    4
  • Coloring
    4
  • User Ratings (1 Votes)
    9.4

Elvira, the self-proclaimed Mistress of the Dark, is a woman with a lot of side-hustle in her bustle and her current gig is no exception. It’s an opportunity to star in a film, work with a legend in the film industry, and possibly make a lot of money. Yeah, I think she would be interested, who does she have to kill? Let’s find out in THE SHAPE OF ELVIRA #1 from Dynamite Entertainment

The Shape of Elvira #1THE SHAPE OF ELVIRA #1

Writer: Dave Avallone
Artist: Fran Strukan
Colors: Maxim Simic’
Letters: Taylor Esposito
Cover: Francesco Francavilla
Publisher:  Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: January 30, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in THE SHAPE OF ELVIRA: Elvira has been a busy young ghoul, fighting Dracula, jumping through time, riding the Escalator of the Damned, dealing with Faust, encroaching on Satan himself, it’s all enough to make a girl’s blood run cold, if it wasn’t already. Now she has a chance to make some coin and advance her career using her talents and assets, but is all as it seems?

I’M READY FOR MY CLOSE-UP MR. DEAD’MILLE

A call from Elvira’s manager is just what the Ghoul ‘Bout Town could be hoping for she discovers she has been requested to work in a film. Not just any film a Billy Bullworth film! Bullworth is well known for his horror masterpieces such as Mercury’s Maze, Voltrons Vs. Cloverfields and The Kid From The Styx. The only problem is, her manager doesn’t have a lot of information on it, in fact, she only has the name, “The Heart Is A Black Lagoon.”  The ladies think maybe it is a horror/romance, but Elvira is up for anything as she heads out to meet the filmmaker at his estate.

The estate, looking over the ocean, is a sprawling expanse. As Elvira arrives, she realizes quickly that this is not going to be an ordinary gig. First, the guy who answers the door is a hulking behemoth who seems to be familiar to her but not with her. The home, decorated in early creepy, is right up Elvira’s alley and gives her plenty of chances for one-liners and jokes. She even takes a little time to break the old fourth wall and converse with the reader. Placed in a massive library, she doesn’t meet Bullworth but one of the most frightening creatures in creation, an attorney! Even as she pacifies the legal threat with signatures and initials on a massive disclosure agreement, she manages to find her herself in more trouble. You see, Elvira hears a howling from behind the library shelves and in classic horror fashion, soon trips the secret passage. Here she is confronted with a horror right out of her nightmares, or maybe one of Mr. Bullworth’s movies. What’s a girl to do? Will she ever see the director, or anyone, while she is still on the right side of the dirt?

A CREATURE FEATURE OF FORBIDDEN PASSION

Writer Dave Avallone (Legenderry: Vampirella, Twilight Zone: The Shadow) has been on a solid run of good, quirkey titles starring beautiful women. From his Betty Page series t the congoing Elvire: Misteress of the Dark, he has found a way to bring voices to the characters that make them ring true. In Betty Page’s case, it is only what you imagine she may sound like, but in Elvira’s case, he captures her well-known sarcastic wit, double entendres and sense of humor so perfectly that you hear her voice in your head. He has a way to setting her up in unbelievably believable situations. It is as if you are watching an episode of Elvira’s Movie Macabre, and the ease with which he pulls the feat off is deceptive. This latest story has much of that feel to it, but there seems to be something holding it back, but I am not sure it is the writing.

Fran Strukan (Hack/Slash Vs Vampirella, FutureQuake) is a good artist. Strukan has skills, a good sense of anatomy and has delivered solid work in the past. I think what bothers me is a lack of detail throughout the book. There are many blank backgrounds in panels, giving a feel of incompleteness. Close-ups of faces look great, especially Elvira’s. The eye needs something to excite it on the page and with Elvira, you have a great source of excitement, if you take advantage of it. It feels rushed… there is just so much wasted space.  Additionally, the pages have a muted color tone. Maxim Simic (Escape from New York, Dark Horse Presents) has a good eye, but the pallet feels as if it is underutilized. There are no pops of color to accentuate the art and draw the eye, but you cannot add what is not there. When a wall is blank, sometimes the best you can do is to paint it and move on.

BOTTOM LINE: A GOOD, POTENTIALLY FUN STORY HAMPERED BY THE VISUALS AS PRESENTED

Avallone has shown us he is more than capable of writing a fun, engaging adventures using people who are, essentially, real life characters. I think he continues to do just that with this issue. However, in my opinion, the visuals draw so much away from the story, taking no steps to enhance it in any way that the whole book suffers. I want to see if future installments of The Shape of Elvira contain the same problems as I believe are present in this issue. That said, I can only review and give my opinion on the product as presented. I hope to have a chance to return on a future issue to see how the tale is going.

THE SHAPE OF ELVIRA continues writer Dave Avallone’s witty and self-effacing style of writing filled with great one-liners and bizarre plots. Unfortunately, uneven artwork leaves this issue for the diehard fans of the Mistress of the Dark.

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About Author

Back in February of 2008, Stacy Baugher wrote his first article for Major Spoilers and started a solid run of work that would last for over two years. He wrote the first series of Comic Casting Couch articles as well as multiple Golden Age Hero Histories, reviews and commentaries. After taking a hiatus from all things fandom he has returned to the Major Spoilers fold. He can currently be found on his blog, www.stacybaugher.com , were he post progress on his fiction work as well as his photography and life in general, and on Twitter under the handle @stacybaugher . If you're of a mind, he also takes on all comers with the under the Xbox Live Gamertag, Lost Hours. He currently lives in Clinton, Mississippi with his understanding wife, and two kids.

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