Geek Native’s looked at the new releases of Elric of Melnibone and liked them. The Michael Moorcock Library Vol.1 – Elric of Melnibone is different insofar as it brings together the original 1980 comic adaptation into a hardback.
The story is the same. At least, that’s the theory. In reality, this Elric of Melnibone feels very different. The art is very different and the power of comic book is that in addition to the story you’ve the fantastic illustrations that conjure settings and brings characters to life.
This Elric feels less physically fragile than the one I’m familiar with but also less intense. The villains are less scary, more comic book and the world feels much lighter.
This edition of Elric of Melnibone might be a compilation of early work but for me it’s the new comer and I prefer my first encounter with the world through the lens of Julie Blondel, Didier Poli and Robin Recht.
That’s not to say that the original comic strips are sub-par. They do a wonderful job at bringing to life this crazy situation where a nearly-dying emperor of some boogie-man Kingdom is forced to get his arse up from the throne and do battle with the weird shit his enemies and demons throw at him.
Elric is an epic adventure. There are powerful magical items, strange creatures and encounters in weird and wonderful locations. There’s every risk that the plot will go off the rails as the drama keeps escalating up in power but, somehow, Michael Moorcock keeps steady progress and each escalation appropriately linked together.
Overall, Elric if Melibone is an interesting character and Moorcock is a powerful storyteller. This original series helped create the iconic anti-hero we know today and lives up to its reputation. It’s good but doesn’t have the benefit of hindsight, doesn’t know the comic book adaptation will be a success, and I think that’s one of the reasons it doesn’t stand quite so well against the recent redux.
There’s no question that old school Elric fans, geeks who read the original comic books, should do anything other than grab a copy.
My copy of The Michael Moorcock Library Vol.1 – Elric of Melnibone was provided for review.