Elvira in Monsterland #4 Review

Writer: David Avallone
Artist: Kewber Baal
Colors: Walter Pereyra
Letters:  Taylor Esposito
Publisher:  Dynamite Entertainment
Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 30th, 2023

Vlad the Impaler’s next destination is Monster Island itself, loaded with Kaiju, as he continues his quest to assemble an army of monsters from all the classic horror films in Elvira in Monsterland #4.  Elvira lands on Monster Island too, and deals with the kaiju (as well as Vlad and beings from an alternate Earth known as the Murderlaaks) in a manner you’ll never expect.

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The Story

As with the previous issues of the miniseries, Elvira in Monsterland #4 is a love letter to classic monster cinema, in this case Kaiju films like “Godzilla”, “Mothra” and “Rodan”. Elvira’s Borscht-belt style of comedy is more suited to Transylvania than Monster Island, though.  When Elvira’s interacting with the Kaiju it falls flat, but thankfully that’s just a small chunk of the book. The book is at its best when Vlad the Impaler shows up, looking every bit like Jason Momoa and wearing bulky armor with a dragon emblem on it that makes him look like some bizarre Earth-37 ½ version of Batman.  The verbal (and physical) fighting between Elvira and Vlad is hilarious and Elvira always manages to take Vlad down a peg or two using a trademark fight move (hint:  she must love “The Nutcracker”).

The Murderlaaks, who have allied with Vlad, come from an alternate Earth and look like they wandered in from an old Monty Python skit.  They wear cowls, cloaks and long gray gloves that cover everything except their faces.  They’re supposedly super intelligent but since this is an Elvira book, not so much, their leader even exclaiming “Bromance!” at one point to show his loyalty to Vlad.  They’re my least favorite aspect of the book and a bit cringy. Elements from “Ultraman” are incorporated at the climax of the book in a great scene.  I like how the book pulls together aspects from various classic shows and films to give you the warm fuzzy nostalgic feeling of watching Saturday morning TV as a kid, always delighted and terrified by everything as you poured yourself another bowl of cereal. The issue ends with a cliffhanger that promises some massive action next issue.

The Art

Kewber Baal’s art on Elvira in Monsterland #4 is fantastic, especially the infinite number of facial expressions he gives the characters. Unlike other Elvira books in the past, the art in this book really looks like Cassandra Peterson and her many smirks, side glances and eye rolls. The monsters are also drawn perfectly, all the creatures the spitting image of their counterparts in films, right down to Bela Lugosi’s and Christopher Lee’s Draculas.

Final Thoughts

Elvira in Monsterland #4 is another fun issue of the miniseries, with some hilarious scenes between Elvira and Vlad the Impaler, great art and a surprising turn of events for Elvira in the climax of the book.  Even though some of the material falls flat when Vlad’s not around, the book ends up being another great read.


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