Story: David Avallone
Art: Kewber Baal
Colors: Walter Pereyra
Letters: Taylor Esposito
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: September 27th, 2023
Elvira has a final showdown with Vlad the Impaler and his army of movie monsters (including Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee’s Dracula, Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein and even the Son of Godzilla!) in Elvira in Monsterland #5. They’re determined to take over the world, but Elvira isn’t going to fight them alone. Meet Elvira’s new allies The Revengers, The Judgment Guild and The Ladybot Squad, and they’re exactly who you think they are!
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Elvira in Monsterland #5 begins immediately after last issue’s cliffhanger, with Elvira facing Vlad the Impaler and his massive army of monsters. Even with this dire situation, the book works in some meta humor. Throughout the issue, nearly everything with films is poked fun at. Most dead-on are The Revengers and The Judgment Guild, who are obvious plays on The Avengers from the MCU films and The Justice League from Zack Snyder’s DC films. It’s a huge shot taken at the big budget superhero films that Disney and Warner Brothers have unleashed on the world in the past decade.
The Revengers’ designs are the most hilarious, including a morbidly obese version of Thor called “Public Domain Thor” and a giant purple monstrosity symbolizing The Hulk called “The Incredible Chonk”. Surprisingly, I actually liked the design of this version of the Scarlet Witch (whose name is “Wicca Medea” here), though I’m still trying to figure out why she’s wearing huge goggles. Maybe they should have called her “Wicca Madea” instead and made her look like a witchy version of Tyler Perry’s Madea character?
The issue felt very much like the old Marvel parody comics such as Not Branch Ecch! or Fred Hembeck’s work (though the art is much better) and I appreciated that. At times throughout the issue, there are some great gags going on in the background. I wish they’d done more of this, I’ve always been a sucker for these types of sight gags buried in the main story. Sweeney Boo, the artist on DC’s Harley Quinn series, is a master of this.
Elvira’s big personality is on display here, as well as her other assets, but I like that the book goes easy on her usual sexual entendres and her sharp wit is directed more at the film industry itself. It’s a great change of pace and I hope they continue this trend. After all, how many sly references and witticisms can be made about Elvira’s ample bosom? At this point, even the most seasoned joke writer would have trouble pulling something new out of that well.
Kewber Baal’s art on Elvira in Monsterland #5 captures Elvira’s essence perfectly throughout, including her many facial expressions, right down to her trademark smirk, which she gets many opportunities to flash this issue. In this way, he reminds me a bit of Kevin Maguire, another master of facial expressions. The many film versions of monsters are also rendered wonderfully, and even though the book is full of movie monsters, each one is recognizable, down to the actor and time period.
Elvira in Monsterland #5 ends the miniseries with action and a LOT of meta jokes, serving as a parody of the huge blockbuster superhero films of Disney and Warner Brothers. This issue didn’t have me laughing out loud like the previous issues have, but it’s still a fun ride and sets up things nicely for the next miniseries.