• Elvira: Mistress Of The Dark #8 (Dynamite Entertainment) Comic Review

    Elvira: Mistress Of The Dark #8 (Dynamite Entertainment) Comic Review
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: August 7th, 2019.
    Written by: David Avallone
    Illustrated by: Dave Acosta
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    Not caught up? Faust sent Elvira pummeling through time where she ran into trouble with Mephistopheles, who snagged her soul alongside Faust's. Hoping to get out of Hell, she teams up with 'Glenn' to find her way out - which leads up to where this issue begins.

    Elvira and Glenn stand face to hoof with Lucifer himself, a massive, cloven-hoofed beast that feasts on the damned and seems kind of… bored. Elvira calls to him, hoping to plead her case and make her escape, at which point the devil takes on the form of Elvira’s high school gym teacher, Mr. Emery. Why? Because the devil knows she hates him and the devil thinks it’s funny. He isn’t wrong. I hated my high school gym teacher too. And my middle school gym teacher. Anyway, Lucifer, who refers to himself in the third person, allows Elvira to plead her case, and as the inferno turns into a court room, she does just that.

    Lucifer wants to learn how and why Elvira came to be standing as close to Faust as she was when Mephistopheles came to collect, and so, by the powers of evil, we zip over to a theater where the devil asks Faust himself and we learn of how he placed ‘an actual monster, a creature of horror’ into Elvira’s 21st century timeline. Elvira and Faust bicker about the details of the ‘time coffin’ – which somehow (it’s complicated but it makes perfect sense when you read it) leads into the big finish of this particular storyline.

    Rolling Stones references, jokes about those Rolling Stones references, philosophizing about the merits of horror, Doctor Who and Twilight Zone gags, Cecil B. Demille references, an Evil Dead quote, Glenn’s true identity finally revealed (it was a poorly kept secret, but still neat to see!), an Ed Wood zinger and a Mary Poppins dig? Writer David Avallone continues to do a very fine job of layering things into what is, on the surface level at least, a goofy story – but scratch a little deeper and you realize that this is pretty clever stuff. The pop culture references are sometimes blatant (to the point of being called out by Elvira herself) and sometimes more subtle but they make the book more fun. The elements of ‘higher culture’ woven into the tale blend surprisingly well with the more lowbrow material – you’d think there would be a culture clash here of sorts, but nope, it’s surprisingly balanced in that regard.

    Dave Acosta’s artwork has been the perfect complement to Avallone’s storytelling since the first issue and, thankfully, that hasn’t changed with this eighth installment. He nails the likenesses of Peterson and Divine but also does a great job with the layouts, particularly in the opening and closing scenes of this issue. There are lots of neat little bits and bobs in the background to keep your eyes busy, and the guy shows a real knack for drawing monsters – which is never a bad thing. The coloring work from Walter Pereya is rock solid, and even the lettering from Taylor Esposito is strong. This team consistently puts out a quality funny book.

    This storyline has been a blast and leaves us wanting to see what the ‘Elvira Daves’ are going to come up with for the next arc. And on top of that, a fantastic painted cover from the great Joe Jusko, channeling something Lovecraftian, clearly – what more could you possibly want?