Thursday, June 05, 2008

"Post No. 506"


REVIEWING: Michael Moorcock's Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer trade paperback collection, DC Comics, 2006, approx. 200 pages, Illustrated by Walter Simonson, color by Steve Oliff and Lettering by John Workman.

This trade paperback contains the compilation of issues 1 thru 4 of the 2004 lmited series by DC. Each issue revolves around a Dream-Quest, four of which that "Elric of Melibone" must survive before he's worthy to one day become the new ruler of his land.

For those unfamiliar with the character, "Elric", he's the creation of writer Michael Moorcock and is the star of a number of sword & sorcery paperbacks.

The difference between say Elric and Robert E. Howard's "Conan the Barbarian", is that Elric was born very weak and an albino. Just the act of birth killed his mother, the Queen of Melibone. So Elric studied various majicks and sorcery to gain his power, rather than the pure force of brawn.

Elric's curse, however, was an ebody blade called "Stormbringer", which was a gift from the god of choas, "Arioch", and the blade not only killed his enemies but gained strength and power by stealing its victims souls. In the Elric books, it was eventually his downfall.

This collected series of comics deals with Elric's life before all of the paperback adventures began, and is the origin of how he first came by this cursed blade as well as his first encounter with the god of chaos.

In each of the "Dream-Quests", he lives a different life in the form of one of his ancestors, and it is through these various dreams that, on the subconscious level last from one to several years, he gains new knowledge to eventually make him capable of being a leader of his people.

Unfortunately for Elric, his evil uncle also has this as a goal, and attacks Elric in various guises while in a dream state of his own.

It's probably been a good 30 years or better since I read the original Elric series, as well as other series written by Michael Moorcock, but I found this trade paperback adaptation of his work very good and faithful in both appearance and character of "Elric".

Walt Simonson's artwork reminded me a lot of the late Cara Sherman-Tereno (see Tribute in my "links" column), with the fine line work needed to make a believable Elric, and Oliff's coloring combined with Workman's fine lettering made this whole collection a smooth and easy read.

Although it's been many years since I seriously enjoyed anything with a S&S flavor, I still would give this a B+ to A- Rating and a good recommendation as an action-packed adventure story.

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