Elephantmen V1: Wounded Animals

The idea of creating a human/animal hybrid is older than civilization. Ancient cultures saw their gods as some sort of amalgamation of man and beast and worshiped these monstrous deities for centuries before more refined humanized versions of these benevolent higher powers showed up to preach love, understanding and genocide.

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It almost seems as if it is designed in our DNA that man and best should be able to merge as a single better creation. Current science is trying to force working animal parts into broken human bodies, giving people chances at life they wouldn’t have had normally. The cloning of animals is a big step towards a day when things like heart diseased and lung cancer are cured as simply as appendicitis. Elephantmen takes a closer look at the more military applications of these wondrous scientific advances and the cultural byproduct of using a man/animal hybrid as tools of war. The real questions about these manimals comes when the war is over and everyone asks themselves “what do we do with killing machines when all the killing is done?”

Visually this book ranges from stunning futuristic cityscapes to murky underwater fights to the confusion and horror of being born in a lab that routinely tortures you to create a better killer. One would think the conflicting art styles would leave the reader with a bit of a disconnect. I know that I have been completely taken out of a multi part story if the art team changes mid plot line. Because of the out of time feeling of many of the books this never becomes a problem.

Elephantmen is science fiction at its very best, a morality tale cloaked under the guise of futuristic noir. The characters are richly detailed and I don’t just mean on the art side. We get to delve into the fractured psyches of these people who were taught from birth that they’re only function in life was to kill. How does a person, and lets face it, these elephantmen are all too human, come to grips with something like that? Not since Joshua on the too quickly canceled Dark Angel have I seen animal men with such human flaws and characteristics, not just as an allegory or a morality tale, but as a twisted mirror reflecting our own humanity back at us from a strangely familiar perspective.

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