REVIEW: Elvira: The Shape of Elvira, #1

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Elvira: The Shape of Elvira, #1

Elvira: The Shape of Elvira #1 is published by Dynamite Entertainment with a creative team featuring writer David Avallone, artist Fran Strukan, colorist Maxim Šimić, and letters by Taylor Esposito. The comic follows the Mistress of the Dark in a four issue mini-series as she takes the reader on a grand Hollywood story where she gets a lead role in a film about human/gill monster romance. However, some ‘fin’ isn’t quite right with her co-star.

Outside of the comic panels, Elvira has a long history of delighting audiences with her seductive but spooky nature. Elvira has delighted fans since 1981 when she became the first horror host ever to be syndicated nationally. Since then she has graced TV screens (most recently she produced and starred in Thirteen Nights of Elvira for Hulu,) movies, novels, and of course, comics.

Right off the bat Elvira is breaking the fourth wall and narrating her own story as if she was back commentating on the cult classic horror films of the 1980s. Elvira: The Shape of Elvira #1 is chock-full of pop culture references, some newer than others and sexual innuendos. Her sassy demeanor and quick wit leaps off the page.

Not even a year ago, The Shape of Water, from horror director Guillermo del Toro, dazzled audiences with it’s twist on the monster movie. It seems only fitting the Mistress of Darkness would parody the critically acclaimed film considering her long history with parodying horror tropes. From an outlandish and artsy horror director to an elusive co-star, Elvira: The Shape of Elvira mini-series starts off with a bang.

Similar to other fantastic ladies at Dynamite including Bettie Page, also written by Avallone, Elvira is revamped (pun intended) for modern audiences while keeping her cult-classic charm. Elvira is a strong, confident, and sexy leading lady who is unafraid to flaunt her curves and sharp tongue. Avallone’s take on the character is spot on.

The dialogue is dripping with well-placed humor and just a touch of fourth wall breaks without it being overbearing. Esposito’s lettering does its job, keeping the panels from feeling crowded. Additionally, Strukan’s art feels classic with Šimić’s colors. Both paired together are reminiscent of the cinematography and color palette of classic horror films, particularly monster movie posters from the 1950s including Creature from the Black Lagoon which this story also takes a lot of inspiration from. The one small gripe I had with the comic was the that there were moments where Elvira’s face didn’t look as stunning as she should.

Overall, Elvira: The Shape of Elvira #1 is a wicked fun ride that captures the essence of the Mistress of the Dark in a fun original story that stays true to the roots of the character. So far Dynamite Comics and Avallone have blown me away with their daring takes on classic characters. I look forward to the rest of Elvira’s adventures on the set of ‘The Heart is a Black Lagoon.’

The Shape of Elvira #1 is available in comic book stores everywhere now.

The Shape of Elvira #1
5

TL;DR

Overall, Elvira: The Shape of Elvira #1 is a wicked fun ride that captures the essence of the Mistress of the Dark in a fun original story that stays true to the roots of the character. So far Dynamite Comics and Avallone have blown me away with their daring takes on classic characters.