Review: Elric: The Balance Lost #2
If you read my review of the first installment of Boom! Studios’ new Elric series, you’ll know that it made me a fan. Oh, not of Elric of MelnibonÃ©; I’ve been a fan of his, and Michael Moorcock’s in general, for two decades. I went into the first issue expecting to be disappointed, and I was very much not disappointed. With many series, the sheer newness of a book makes the first issue seem good simply because it’s something outside of the books you’ve been reading for months or years. The second issue is the critical step; will I still get that feeling of excitement? Yes, I do.
Last issue we were introduced, or re-introduced, to three incarnations of the Eternal Champion: Dorian Hawkmoon, Corum Jhaelen Irsei and, of course, Elric himself. We also meet a new, and unique to this comic, incarnation by the name of Eric Beck.
The four have not yet come together, though that seems inevitable, but each is dealing with the ramifications of the unsettling of the Balance on their own worlds. In both last issue and the current one, we shift back and forth between the four worlds, gathering bits and pieces of the story, but it’s frankly irrelevant. All we need to know about the setup is in the title of the series; the Balance between Law and Chaos has been lost and the fabric of reality is suffering.
The big revelation in this issue is not that something needs to be done, but that Eric Beck is an incarnation of the Eternal Champion (and it’s not much of a reveal for anyone even remotely familiar with Michael Moorcock’s work), information brought to him by another incarnation, the ether pirate M’v Okom. Beck is, understandably, skeptical at best.
While this issue wasn’t as world-shattering, excuse the expression, as the first issue it was extremely solid and very enjoyable. As a fanatical reader of Moorcock’s work, I can find nothing to complain about (and yes, I was looking for something when the first issue came out) and much to praise. The book is well-written, well-drawn and contains just the right mixture of established Moorcockian Multiverse and new material.