Elric: The Dreaming City Review: Dark And Ominous
With Elric: The Dreaming City, the first and most famous cycle of Elric stories comes to an end. Again.
In comics, Michael Moorcock's most famous albino Elric lives a charmed life. He's regularly drawn by Hall of Fame level talents (P. Craig Russell, Walt Simonson, and Phillippe Druillet), a list of artists most stewards would kill to get a single cover from, let alone interiors.
Over the last eight years, Titan slowly reissued the comics bibliography alongside a new adaptation by a rotating cast of European talent. In 2022's Elric: The Dreaming City, the team seems to have settled on the main lineup of Julien Blondel, Jean-Luc Cano, and Julien Telo for the cycle's concluding installment.
Artist Julien Telo and colorist Stephane Paitreau's work is both detailed and dark, which might be an overreliance on spot blacks. The overall effect is something dramatic and ominous if occasionally hard to read. The city of Elric: The Dreaming City is ably drawn as something gothic, massive, and ominous.
Letterer and translator Jessica Burton has her hands full with many different voices in the story, including the famous talking sword Stormbringer. She and the writers crucially maintain the sound and rhythm of Moorcock throughout Elric: The Dreaming City. The dying breath of a character in a smaller font than normal was effective.
While Julien Telo, Stephane Paitreau, and Jessica Burton lack the star power of a Druillet or a Craig Russell, their adaptation of Elric's adventures more accurately conveys the pulpiness and sadism of the setting than previous adaptations.
The albino emperor, Elric of Melniboné, is exiled from his home and cursed to walk the land under the influence of the god of chaos, Arioch. With his sword Stormbringer, Elric must find his way through the unknown, unaware he is being sought by his long-lost love. But is she looking to re-kindle their love, or something far more sinister?