Comic Review – ‘The Shape of Elvira’ #1

The Mistress of the Dark is back in a brand-new miniseries, The Shape of Elvira, written by David Avallone and art by Fran Strukan.


Elvira meets with her agent, Jill Van Nuys, who has some good news: Elvira has a chance to star in the next Billy Bullworth film The Heart is a Black Lagoon. Elvira drives to the Bullworth mansion to meet with the director. She is greeted by Don Sandman, actor and right-hand man to Mr. Bullworth. He takes her to the library to wait for Billy. The door opens and it’s Jack Hornet, Mr. Bullworth’s lawyer. He has Elvira sign a non-disclosure agreement. As he leaves, Elvira hears a ghostly sound and finds a secret passageway behind the bookcase in the library.

Elvira runs into a monster, but it turns out to be a prop from the movie Mercury’s Maze. As she follows the labyrinth she finds a door and discovers the office of Eddie Mezzogiorno, scriptwriter of Billy’s films. After a brief talk and a promise to get drinks after her meeting, Eddie shows her the way back to the main house.

Elvira finds her way to Billy Bullworth and her costar, Ross Cashew, who is unrecognizable thanks to a wig and moustache he is wearing for his role in the film. Ross departs, and Elvira and Billy discuss the movie. The film is set in the 1970s and Elvira will be starring as a research scientist named Dr. Eva Fisher. Billy wants her to meet the other costar of the film but warns her of a few things. She won’t know the identity of her costar until after the movie opens. The actor is so immersed in character that he wants to be referred as “The Gill Man” and he won’t be seen out of makeup. Elvira agrees to these terms and Billy opens a door revealing The Gill Man swimming in a tank, waving at Billy and Elvira.

If you haven’t guessed it by now, this miniseries is a spoof of The Shape of Water by Guillermo Del Toro. I did like the in-jokes sprinkled throughout the book (For example: Mercury’s Maze is Pan Labyrinth). There are one of two ways I see this playing out. Either the Gill Man is a bona fide monster or Mr. Avallone wants you to think the Gill Man is a monster and the twist is he’s a real-life actor. Very curious to see how this ends up playing out.

Up NextFilming begins on Elvira’s gill monster romance, and she has some questions about her scaly paramour. Why doesn’t he ever speak? Why is he never out of makeup? The Mistress of the Dark discovers that “Love Means Never Having to Say You’re Soggy”, in the second ridiculous issue of this special four-part miniseries. Release Date – February 20th, 2019.