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Comic Review: Elric: The Balance Lost #1
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Elric: The Balance Lost #1Elric: The Balance Lost #1
Elric created by Michael Moorcock
Written by Chris Roberson
Art by Francesco Biagini
BOOM! Studios
Release date: July 6, 2011

“Blood and souls for my Lord Arioch!”

Even after thirty years, that always makes my heart race. Michael Moorcock’s Elric saga was the first true fantasy series that I devoured, much like Neil Gaiman mentions in the afterward of Elric: The Balance Lost #1, the beginning of a new comic book series from BOOM! Studios. I read everything that I could lay my hands on that was in the Eternal Champion series: Elric, Hawkmoon, Corum, Erekose, Cornelius, you name it and I read it. Again and again. I have the original comics from the 1980’s based on Moorcock’s original Elricbooks. I sought out all the early 70’s Daw printings of the series. Heck, I even bought a copy of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Deities and Demigods just because it contained the Melniboné mythos in there.

Have I convinced you that I’m flat-out obsessed with this character(s)? Good, because now you need to go buy this comic book. Right now. Go. Need a little more convincing? Fine, read on…

First of all, as you can read above, this comic wasn’t written by Michael Moorcock. But don’t let that dissuade you. The twisting plot and self-centered speech of the albino sorcerer king tells me that writer Chris Roberson has a firm grasp of what it means to be Elric, the Kinslayer.

I started by reading the short Prelude to the series and then dove right into the first issue. Immediately I could tell that this will be no simple sword and sorcery comic. Multiple incarnations of the Eternal Champion are present in the first issue; this gives the reader a sense of vastness and gives a glance at the multiverse that is Elric and all the other versions of him throughout the ages and planes. I’ve read the first issue twice and it hooks you with a feeling of foreboding then follows that up with an almost overwhelming need to know more of the story.

Not much is given away in the first issue except to set up the players and the scenery. But know this, BOOM! Studios has done some great work in the past and there is no doubt in my mind this will continue that tradition. Elric is the title of the series, but we will probably see many of the others in the coming months, which is fine with me. Each one brings to the table a slightly different outlook and creates the illusion that they are all parts of a single entity.

Moorcock’s Elric was always the most popular of his creations and who can blame anyone for loving the concept of a sentient, soul-sucking vorpal blade that gives life-force to its wielder? Not to mention the skinny guy is a better than average mage… it’s a fantasy nerd’s wet dream. Who among us hasn’t been the skinny kid on the playground getting bullied, just wishing we had a weapon or a super power with which to destroy our enemy? Oh, just me then? My bad. Forget I said anything.

Seriously though, this has all the earmarks of a great series with some wonderful art by Francesco Biagini, who also did two of the four covers on this issue. Read this comic, you’ll find yourself drawn to the character thanks to this great team. Plus, as a bonus, you get a two-page note from Neil Gaiman, who is apparently a huge fan as well.

Read this and you will not be disappointed. Fail to do so and you do yourself a tremendous injustice.

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