Elk Mountain: Part One
Writing - 7/10
Art - 8/10
Overall - 7.5/10
User Review( vote)
Writer: Jordan Clark
Pencils: Vince Underwood
Colors: Brittany Peer
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Maturity Rating: Teen
Release Date: Fall Kickstarter Campaign
Welcome to Elk Mountain, home of Valor. When a threat from above beckons their hero away, the townspeople must band together to protect what is rightfully theirs from all threats, both foreign and domestic.
A Defense Against Tyranny in Elk Mountain: Part One
There is a saying, a very old saying, that people should not be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people. Now, you may think I’m quoting Alan Moore, which I am, but Alan Moore was quoting John Locke. John Locke was one of the founding influencers of American democracy. His views on government were that of a libertarian. Simply put, governments are responsible for protecting their citizen’s inalienable rights. The right to life, liberty, and property. Should the government fail in this regard, then it is each citizen’s right and duty to overthrow it. It’s sewn right into the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and conveyed brilliantly through allegory in Elk Mountain: Part One.
Welcome to Elk Mountain, the home of Valor. You can visit the Valor Museum at the corner of Clark and Underwood. And don’t deny yourself the opportunity to eat at Peer’s Place, home of the world-famous Valor Burger! So, who is Valor, you ask? Well, he’s the alien-born, super-powered immigrant son of Sheryl & Hank. A refreshingly atypical hero who sports a thick beard, with jet-black hair, and who speaks Spanish!
While attending a parade in his honor, Valor receives a threat from a familiar foe. Upon confronting the deep space menace just outside the Earth’s atmosphere, an Event Horizon opens and Valor disappears without a trace. Back on Earth, as friends and family gather to mourn the loss of their savior, a new threat rises from the shadows. Is Valor gone for good? And will the people of Elk Mountain be able to defend their homes without him?
Elk Mountain (Part One) is an allegory. Specifically, an allegory for the domestic political affairs within the United States. It’s a sociopolitical commentary and outlet for writer Jordan Clark‘s disdain with the United States’ immigration policy. The book is a smart, intelligent, thought-provoking comic that’s sure to get people across the political divide talking.
I’d like to begin by addressing an aspect comic book art that I admittedly tend to overlook; the cover. I mean, just look at it. Everything you need to know about Elk Mountain can be found in this incredibly clever billboard-style offering. Drawn by Vince Underwood and colored by Brittany Peer, it so perfectly captures the small-town mentality that Clark and Underwood are trying to build and convey to the audience.
Speaking of Underwood and Peer, did you notice it too? The directions to the Valor Museum at ‘Clark and Underwood’? The local diner ‘Peer’s Place’? And my favorite ‘this sign donated by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou‘? Give up? OK I’ll tell you. These are the names of the creators of Elk Mountain: Part One, neatly embedded into the universe they’ve so collaboratively created. An incredibly reinventive approach to a cover page.
The artistic team displays true chemistry throughout the pages. Everything from the pencils to the lettering works in synchronicity, delivering a very powerful, emotional story at its core. Elk Mountain is ripe with subtleties and nuances, if you aren’t paying attention they could easily be missed. This is the type of book that enthralls you to pick it up again and again.
I like to think of comics as a form of escapism. They’re my way of shutting the door on the world, if only for a moment. Comics allow us to press pause on the horrors and atrocities that we’ve become inundated with. Normally, I don’t like politics in my comics but with Elk Mountain: Part One, it’s different. The story is still fantastical enough to provide an escape element. The social commentary underlying the plot is not flagrant or preachy. What’s brilliant and scary at the same time is that Elk Mountain: Part One is happening right now. It’s real. We need only to turn on our televisions and open our newspapers to be able to see the injustices taking place right in our own backyard. I think the question that writer Jordan Clark is posing to his audience is ‘what are you all going to do about it?’
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