Review: Elric: The Balance Lost #4
Boom! Studios’ new Elric series continues its initial storyline, detailing the opening salvos in the latest war between Law and Chaos for as both seek to tip the balance in their favor, an outcome that would benefit no one!
For the uninitiated, Michael Moorcock’s Eternal Champion cycle is a decades-old sci-fi/fantasy series encompassing dozens of different characters and thousands of pages. And while there are many, many incarnations of the Eternal Champion three of the most famous incarnations are the main characters in 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.
The current issue ping pongs between the four characters, each in a different reality, as each is embroiled in conflict they’d rather avoid. To make matters worse, at least two of these realities are literally coming apart at the seams as the Balance is disrupted and Chaos overtakes the fabric of these universes. No single conflict is resolved, but it appears that our characters will finally come together.
The issue is fast and, rather than feeling disjointed, as the previous issue did to a slight degree, the pieces we see add to the whole. Individually, each segment adds to its own story while subtly adding to the greater story. Hints are dropped, especially when two sets of characters are trying to open portals to other worlds but the final scene of the book still came as slightly unexpected. I really didn’t think all four stories would come together so quickly.
The art, by Francesco Biagini, continues to impress me. For an artist with a relatively short comics resume, he has a style that is as polished and stunning as long of the oldest professionals. If he’s this good now, I can’t wait to see his art after he has a couple more decades under his belt.
Bottom line, this is a great series, it was a great issue, and you should definitely be reading it.