To anyone who grew up on a steady diet of Dungeons and Dragons and fantasy novels as I did, Elric of Melniboné was our Cristiano Ronaldo and our David Bowie. Like Conan the Barbarian, Frodo Baggins and Tanis Half-Elvin, Elric is a flawed character, a tortured soul, who somehow remains a hero and an inspiration despite or maybe because of his missteps and failings.
Elric’s adventures are perfect for the comic book format and have been adapted many times before. The Titan Comics iteration though has received the stamp of approval from Elric creator and author himself, Michael Moorcock, for a reason. The first issue of Elric: The White Wolf is another faithful adaption by Titan Comics.
A heartbroken Elric has abandoned his throne, his kingdom and is walking the Earth like Kwai Chang Caine in the Kung Fu television series. The albino warrior, sorcerer carries with him the legendary Stormbringer sword that needs to be fed human souls. Throughout his adventures, Stormbringer and its hunger taunts and tortures Elric at every turn taking on a toll on Elric himself and his allies, friends and family.
While trying to outrun his failures and put as much distance as he can between Stormbringer and his loved ones, Elric frees sailor slave Smiorgan but also sadistically slays some others to satisfy Stormbringer. The two travelers head to the city of Dhakos where they encounter danger, cutthroat enemies and the mysterious Vassliss, the heiress to the Guild of Merchant Princes of Jharkor,
Elric: The White Wolf stands out from the past adaptions due to its marvelous artwork by Julien Telo and Robin Recht which reminded me of the late, great fantasy artist Frank Frazetta and his unforgettable work on Conan. It is majestic and often fantastic and grotesque all at the same time. The colouring by Jean Bastide reinforces the medieval, fantasy feel with the muted tones lanced by bright colours when needed.
Michael Moorcock’s writing flows so well it makes reading his work a joy, never a hardship. The same can be said of Julien Blondel and Jean-Luc Cano and Edward Gauvin’s scripting on Elric: The White Wolf. The narration and dialogue is indeed weighty but it easily weaves from one panel to the next. Elric: The White Wolf is a substantial read but a relaxed read.
If you are a fan of Moorcock or a new comer, Elric: The White Wolf is a great introduction to Moorcock’s epic works but don’t stop with this comic. To get the full effect, appreciation read the Elric books as well.
- THE GOOD
- Faithful to the original novels
- The artwork gives that fantasy feel.
- Easy reading but impactful reading.
- THE BAD
- When’s the next issue?
Elric: The White Wolf is true to Moorcock’s work in every way imaginable. Fans of Lord of the Rings, Dragonlance, Conan and other sword and sorcery epics will want to pick this series up.