Story by: Tom Ward Art by: Luke Parker Letters by: Nic J. Shaw
As the sun sets at the culmination of the day, as the leaves tumble in Autumn, we are reminded that all things are merely temporary, that the end is inevitable. And so it is with deep lamentations that we mark the closing chapter in the adventures of Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman – as #4 rides off into the sunset, taking with it our eponymous hero, we feel that cold emptiness of loss, of ‘what once was but is no more’ – the mini series is over!! Tom Ward’s Merrick has proven to be an entertaining thrill ride from start to finish. As ever in this series, Tom builds a compelling narrative for our hero, all the while building in plot. We have excitement, there is intrigue, and to top it all off we have that essential element in any story: we have the human touch.
Ably assisting Tom on this adventure has been artist Luke Parker. As the series has progressed, as the story has developed, so too has Luke. While he has gone from strength to strength in this series, he has never lost sight of the story and has imbued Merrick with distinct feel. Following on from a beautiful #3, Luke again excels himself bringing the Sensational Elephantman to life. The opening pages of this issue dominate the story, while the plot and characters are the driving force of the book, watching Merrick go toe to toe with a bear amid a brutal blaze is a visual feast.
Aside from the conflict we have the ongoing revenge plot, where Merrick is seeking vengeance upon the evil Ferrari – while behind the scenes there has been the manipulation of Merrick by Treves and his hooded cohorts. As the issue comes to an end, there is enough to suggest that we possibly haven’t seen the last of this enigmatic hero; indeed, there are hints enough in the final section of the book to suggest that Mr Ward has plans galore for Joseph. This closing issue of Merrick manages to tantalise with the use of hints but where the story really excels is in this closing pages. With some stylish work Ward has delivered a human ending to a fantastical story – one that really throws the reader away from what was expected.