26th Mar2015

‘The Michael Moorcock Library – Volume 1: Elric Of Melnibone’ Review

by Richard Axtell

Written by Roy Thomas | Art by P. Craig Russell, Michael T. Gilbert | Published by Titan Comics | Format: Hardback, 176pp


Collecting the first volume of the classic adaptation of Michael Moorcock’s bestselling fantasy saga, Elric of Melniboné marks the perfect introduction to the series’ iconic antihero, his fabled blade, Stormbringer, and his harrowing adventures across the Dragon Isle.

If you’re a fan of swords and sorcery then Elric of Melniboné might be someone you want to get to know. Emperor of Melniboné, this guy commands armies, magic and has deep thoughts about philosophical issues as he fights off barbarians, conspiring cousins and demons from nether realms, as you do. If that piques your interest, prepare yourself for retro artwork and storytelling in this first collection of epic tales following Elric. I will admit, I am not too fond of the art style used in this comic; the colours and depictions of the characters put me off. However, I cannot fault it as it holds true to the original source material and might be more appealing to those original fans of good ol’ Elric and his adventures.

Along with the art, you also have dialogue and narration which heralds back to ‘the day’. So expect dramatic exclamations!, discussion of things over yonder, and sentences which make sense not so much. Of course this all plays into the feel and dramatics of the story, but after 177 pages (which is the length of this first collection if you were wondering) it can get a little headache-y. So if you do attempt this, perhaps all in one sitting is not the best idea.

Also, let’s not focus too hard on the fact that there is only one real female character, and she seems to be there only to act as a plot device or an object for Elric to have sex with when he gets bored. Every other female in the story also seems to only appear in scenes of a sexual nature and are suspiciously absent throughout the rest of the comic. As we know, the best way not to focus too hard on a topic is to write an entire paragraph dedicated to it.

That being said, this collection achieves what it set out to do very well. What it gives you is a blast from the past and for any fan of Michael Moorcock’s work, this is pretty much a must have. Even if you are not a fan, there might be enough magic, violence, sex and epic fantasy in this to turn you into one.

The Michael Moorcock Library – Volume 1: Elric Of Melnibone is out now from Titan Comics.


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