Review: Elric: The Balance Lost #8
War has come to the Multiverse, created by the literal sundering of the Balance, and the forces of both Law and Chaos assault the holy city, Tanelorn.
The latest and second graphic installment of Michael Moorcock’s Eternal Champion cycle features several incarnations of the Champion, Dorian Hawkmoon, Corum Jhaelen Irsei, a new incarnation (created for this comic) named Eric Beck and, of course, the titular Elric himself, who have joined forces to restore the Balance.
After making their way to Tanelorn, and discovering it under siege by the forces of both Law and Chaos, the four Champions briefly engage both armies before achieving egress to the city where they are greeted by Elric’s “late” companion, Sepiriz. It seems all four Champions have come into contact with him in the past, whether realizing it or not, and he may have been subtle guiding them to this point in order to give them greater insight to the Multiverse’s true situation, as well as a path forward.
This was a slower issue than previous ones, and I was glad for it, as it gave writer Chris Roberson a chance to not only expound on some of the story details our heroes (and thus we, the readers) have not had access to as well as setting us up for the next leg of the story. I’ve wondered, since the first issue of the book, how the story will continue as the war to restore the Balance cannot possibly last forever; after this issue, I have no doubt that Roberson will find a way that is both logical and enjoyable to continue for as long as he cares to.
Artist Francesco Biagini continues to delight, and I took a great deal of interest in his unusual page layouts this time around. The way a page flows can make or break a story, and Biagini not only ably tells Roberson’s story, he does so in ways that are both unique and fascinating on their own. The individual panels almost seem to crawl across the page, and the effect is that turning a page seems less like a new page, and more like the previous one simply shifting its shape to reveal something else. It’s enthralling in a way that I’ve not seen in some time.
Elric is definitely Boom! Studios’ best book, so if you aren’t reading it, you’re simply doing yourself a disservice.