Story: David Avallone
Art: Fran Strukan
Colors: Maxim Simic
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
What They Say:
Filming begins on Elvira’s gill monster romance, and she has some questions about her scaly paramour. Why doesn’t he ever speak? Why is he never out of makeup? The Mistress of the Dark discovers that “Love Means Never Having to Say You’re Soggy”, in the second ridiculous issue of this special four-part miniseries.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Oh, hey, I remember this book from back in January when I was already wary of release schedules. The second installment of the Shape of Elvira has landed and that makes me pleased as I enjoyed the first one with how it shook things up and some of the differences from her “sorta ongoing” book that’s also written by David Avallone. He continues to capture the tone just right for both properties and has me enjoying the hell out of Bettie Page. Fran Strukan is also pretty ideal with this storyline since we’re getting a look at a film being made and there’s a lot to like with the sets and the whole fish-creature itself aspect that’s fun. Strukan also gets to wander into some fun dream territory along the way too.
Elvira has gotten things pretty well in hand after getting a lay of the land where the film is being shot and she’s managed a pretty good rapport with the writer. We get a nice intro to her black lagoon costar who is very much a method actor, according to Phil, as we see him using some supposedly pretty space-age materials in order to be able to immerse himself in the role and talk underwater. I like that they’re playing cute and coy with who could be in the suit (if it is a suit, of course) and the namedropping is pleasantly silly as it plays out. I also really liked the little conversation she has with the writer afterward, making it clear she’s fully game to get down with him but not until after the film is done. Putting hormones in neutral while at work is always a smart move and both of them going in for the fun afterward builds up a little anticipation.
The filming process is fun as we get Elvira in the expected short nurse’s outfit and plenty of first-round monster moments with her and the creature, which all plays out well and the monster/actor is cute in how he handles it. There’s still plenty to suspect there’s something weird going on but it really gets weird with the celebration drink for the first day of filming and Elvira ends up black-out drunk from it. And put back in her room and her clothes changed. That has her feeling weird from that alone, never mind the creature in the room with her initially checking on her, but it takes stranger turns when she’s out getting air with a car ride only to be involved in a mild chase sequence from there. There are a lot of things going on here that don’t quite track yet fit with what you’d expect, leaving you asking lots of questions and hoping for answers – much like Elvira. She’s at least got the wit to make it fun.
While the publishing schedule irks me since there’s such a gap between issues, the reality is that you can drop into an issue of this series and it’ll be fun. David Avallone makes it enjoyable if you have the basic idea down but a lot of that is baked into an Elvira book to begin with. The second issue gets filming underway and it’s a lot of fun to watch unfold and try and put the pieces together with the bigger picture that’s being crafted. Strukan’s artwork is on point with all of this and I love the way it handles moving between the behind the scenes pieces to film and then to the surreal dream sequence that brings us both Aquaman and Little Mermaid for our leading lady to deal with. It’s worth it just for that alone.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: January 30th, 2019