Review: Elric: The Balance Lost #5
I can’t believe it’s been five months since Boom! Studios’ new Elric series began, and having just re-read issues 1-4, plus #5 out this Wednesday, I still highly recommend this book to anyone who likes comics, fantasy or just good writing.
In case you aren’t familiar with any of the above, however, a brief overview: Michael Moorcock’s Eternal Champion cycle is a decades-old sci-fi/fantasy series encompassing dozens of different characters and thousands of pages. Out of the many incarnations of the Eternal Champion three of the most famous incarnations are the focus of this series: Dorian Hawkmoon, Corum Jhaelen Irsei and, of course, the titular Elric himself. There is also a fourth incarnation, unique to this comic, named Eric Beck.
Last issue was a mere set up for the current issue, as we saw the various conflicts on the different worlds we’ve visited begin to come to a head. In this issue, all Hell breaks loose as a Chaos lord smashes the boundaries between two worlds and the forces of Law smash another (dumping Elric into Hawkmoon’s world and Corum into Eric Beck’s along the way). Elric and Hawkmoon, old allies, once again join forces and attempt to stave off Chaos’s legions only to be soundly, and swiftly defeated. As Hawkmoon is quick to point out, however, merely the battle has been lost, not the war. In the closest incarnation of the “real” world, that of Eric Beck, Beck and his new ally Corum meet a similarly disappointing fate but with perhaps even graver consequences as Beck loses the mystical Cold Sword to his scheming and Law-devoted twin brother Garrison.
This issue was fast-paced and the action furious. It was the first “all-out action” issue of the series so far and it did not disappoint. The story moves along briskly, without ever leaving the reader feeling as though they are missing something. What comes next is anyone’s guess.