Elephantmen volume 0 Armed Forces
The most anticipated prequel since Star Wars Episode 1. The main difference is this one wont disappoint.
A long time in the future in a galaxy the same a our own... There were Elephantmen!
Year 2218: Dr. Kazusi Nikken begins experiments to merge human and animal DNA at Mappo headquarters in North Africa.
2224: The first of these transgenics a Hippo/Human hybrid, is successfully created by Mappo.
2225: The central African alliance engage the services of Mappo to create an army of transgenics.
2239: Europe has been devastated by a lethal virus, Africa and China are at war. Enter Mappo's weapons of mass destruction.
Elephantmen Armed Forces begins with the three issue mini series War Toys. The original TPB was compiled with word from Richard Starkings Art from the legendary Moritat and had covers from Ladronn and Boo Cook finished off with design from the ultimate multi purpose design expert J.G. Roshell.
The original War Toys was printed in Black and white and even though its now collected complete in color it's still well worth picking up if you can find a copy. It's one of the most vibrant black and white comics I've read and is one of the most high impact war books you can find.
It doesn't just tell the story of the Elephantmen invasion but so many wars since WWII. It's a war with no real reason, the people fighting don't win anything but slightly longer survival. It's a war fueled by money and a mad genetic scientists curiosity.
The series follows a French country girl named Yvette who was raised on a farm house and moved to the city with her brother when she was older. Then the war over Europe began with the HCN virus. A virus which killed most of the population leaving the survivors of the horrible biologically engineered virus to be picked off by an army of fairly inhuman genetic mutants which are surprisingly attractive to chicks in the the future.
Yvette starts off trying to survive, when her brother is killed shes forced to become a war hero, a war hero to some but a blood thirsty tyrant to the Elephantmen. Her journey through the six issues, 1-3 of War Toys, Yvette one shot and Elephantmen #34 + #35 turns out to be a pretty a epic story. Shes invincible, shes sexy and shes god damn angry.
The Elephantmen have killed her family, made her drink blood she's killed to survive and comes back from the dead but towards the end of the story you get the feeling shes killing just for revenge and partly due to her almost becoming addicted to killing. The character Development is inspirational, she she loses her humanity we get to see the mutants develop their own.
If you are familiar to the Elephantmen series this gives you a great insight into what made them the rehabilitated monsters they are today. they didn't choose to join the army they were born solders and through the Armed Forces series you see them how they were meant to be. A Band of Brothers, A band of Monsters. A Kick ass post apocalyptic sci-fi mega series.
The series ends with an epic battle where China have resorted to creating there own army of genetic warriors. Enter the Stone Tiger Army. Yvette gets some major firepower and the Elephantmen are sent back home just as they have finished devastating Europe.
This being volume 0 I hope Starkings and his team return to the War Toys series. It was the first Elephantmen TPB I read and I've been hooked since. The only things I'd have added would have been War Pandas. The series has its usual action packed pages with hot chicks' be there only one in this series but thats well compensated for with the influx of mutants and the excessive use of as many weapons you can arm a Hippo with.
If you already have War Toys and the single issues the TPB is still worth picking up, it's got the original series in full color for the first time along with sketch books from Moritat and Boo Cook along with a whole load of other previously unseen work.
Elepahntmen Volume 0 : Armed Forces will be on sale in the new year and should should be in your local comic shop for March. To find out what happens to Yvette after pick up the current series of Elepahntmen Killing Season where she may very well make an appearance.
It also leaves the question, will Yvette feature in the Elepahntmen Movie. I'm not sure if they could side step her involvement to be honest, she was the first person who made the genetic monsters feel human, be it though fear and compassion.