Review: Elric: The Balance Lost #3
Boom! Studios’ new Elric series is a rare thing in comics: a licensed property that both accurately captures the feel of the original source material and is itself original. It’s also highly entertaining, whether you’re a fan of Michael Moorcock’s or not.
If you are unfamiliar with this series, it is the story of the multiverse crumbling as the forces of Chaos overcome the forces of Law. The main characters are three incarnations of the Eternal Champion from Moorcock’s Eternal Champion universe: Dorian Hawkmoon, Corum Jhaelen Irsei and, of course, Elric himself. There is also a fourth incarnation, unique to this comic, named Eric Beck.
Last issue was mostly a setup of the crises the various worlds we visit are in, as Chaos takes over and worlds are cut off from the Moon Beam Roads (the ethereal connections between various planes of reality) preventing escape. The biggest revelation in the issue, however, was 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).
The current issue feels a little more back and forth than the previous two have, as we rapidly switch between the four characters and the various conflicts they find themselves in. Elric’s, at first, seems fairly mild: he just needs a ride. Corum travels vast distances and ends up fighting an entire army. Dorian Hawkmoon also travels, from his European home to the continent of Amarehk, and ends up discovering his quarry more easily than imagined. Eric Beck indulges in his first crime in order to steal the sword he has been told is his. Overall, it was another set up issue leading us into what I assume must be an action sequence in the upcoming issue #4. It didn’t feel like a let-down, however, as writer Roberson continues to pepper us both with Moorcockian tidbits and information about the story.
I am also continually impressed by Francesco Biagini's art. For an artist who has only done three books ever (as far as I can tell), and all in the last two years, his style is extremely polished and as good or better than some artists who have been working in the medium for decades. I'd like to know where Boom! found him and if there are more artists there like him because I could look at his work all day.
All in all, this was a good issue and I look forward to the next.