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04 January 2016 @ 03:55 pm
Final Quest - Elfquest summaries  
I've been writing a summaries of the new ElfQuest series Final Quest on a forum belonging to a zine group I'm in. Seeing as I've had other people voice interest in these summaries and since the zine's forum is members only, I thought I'd update the summaries and post them here on LJ.

The first summary is the longest, as it's the 50 page prologue of the series. It's under the cut and will soon be followed by the other 12 issues that have been publised thus far (and those are much shorter since those comics aren't that long).

OBS! While I will continue to buy Final Quest until it's done, I must confess I'm not exactly loving it. Prepare for sarcasm and plot-holes being pointed at!

Final Quest Prologue

Okay, here we go. Prologue. And what's happening? Shuna is giving birth! Skywise comments to Cutter how unexpected it was for his first grandchild to be a human.

Cut to Leetah and Shenshen tending to Shuna. Leetah talks about how pleasant childbirth is for elves (if nothing goes wrong) and offers to ease the pain, but Shuna basically goes "nah, us humans were built for this, I'm fine, let's continue to have casual conversation".

...clearly the people responsible for this scene have never given birth. Or Shuna just got very, very lucky with hers.

We turn to the tribe who comment on the birth, with Treestump saying how odd it is to have the tribe be happy at the birth of a human. Cutter asks if he's forgotten Little Patch, which he clearly has. This is followed by a summary of what's happened of late in the elves' lives.

Anyways, child is born and it's a boy, which apparently will make Shuna's husband Ikopek content. Shuna starts feeling a little more confident about being a parent and we get a foreshadowing look at Moonshade's less than happy face.

The elves say goodbye to Shuna, her newborn and her husband. Kimo of course goes with her, in wolf-form, because the Pinis have willed Forevergreen out of existence so clearly the whole "Kimo knows Dart's soul name" thing never happened :/ They're just "casual bros" and Kimo's one true BFF/psuedo-love interest is Shuna. Yup. That's a thing. According to the Pinis.

And in the distance I hear the sound of a dozen keyboards tapping the rhythm of the fix-it-fic.

Anyways, we see Leetah and Cutter muse on how much the Palace is changing the elves, before we cut to Djunsland and Ember's splinter tribe. They're talking about how Sunstream and Brill's child soon will be born and Ember makes known she's not planning on traveling to see this miracle of life. This causes the tribe general confusion. Pool burst out in Final Quest's first truly narmy line.

I quote: "This makes me hurt here, chieftess." as he puts an open palm to his chest, over his heart.

Let's...hope he's being sarcastic.

So yeah, narm moment over Ember makes clear she's feeling uneasy and by the way she isn't all that into babies – she'll have a look at the kid when it's older and more interesting. Teir comments that she'll probably be as protective as a she-bear once she gets her own cub. Ember looks less than impressed and makes a quip about waiting as long as her mother for Recognition.

This somehow leads to Dewshine talking about her estranged son Windkin with Teir, who apparently reminded her of him all of a sudden. Dewshine sees rootlessness in both Teir and Ember, thus making them very alike. She just wanted to mention that. I'm sure it's not foreshadowing or anything.

Back in the Palace, Savah and Sunstream explain to Skywise, Cutter and Leetah how they can make a separate, smaller pod out of the Palace, for travel in smaller groups. Useful.

Brill and Sunstream then send to each other, since Brill is ready to give birth. Apparently sea-elves are pregnant for more than two years, but no specific time of pregnancy is given.

Leetha, Skywise and Sunstream take a pod over to the Wavedancers. Their chief Snakeskin immediately rushes up to Sunstream and asks him to stop Brill from giving birth alone in the middle of the ocean. A reasonable request, one should think. It's not like Wolfriders go out alone in the middle of the woods to give birth (except that time Skywise's mother Eyes-High did and that went soooo well, right?).

But nope, Sunstream is 100% on Brill's side and can't you Wavedancers stop being so overeprotective all the time, FREEEEDOM!!!

Yeah. Encourage your lifemate to give birth alone among the sharks, Sunstream. That surely is the FREEDOM decision. Also the really stupid decision (there is such a thing as an in-between when it comes to birthing-nest-surrounded-by-guards and birthing-alone-in-the-middle-of-the-ocean), but whatever.

So, we get to see Leetah, Snakeskin and Skimback (another Wavedancer for you people keeping score at home) shape Sunstream into the...less than flattering sea-elf form they've thought up for him. Reef, the artist formerly know as The Broken One, watches the fleshshaping and has a flashback to his own fleshshaping done by Winnowill – likely triggered by the technicolored nightmare Sunstream is turned into every time he needs to hang out in water.

Reef doesn't show his thoughts in any outward manner though and sits smiling on a rock. The narrator makes sure we know Reef has been struggling with his mental state, despite having been healed from his less-than-comfortable previous shape, but that he's still able to rejoice for others. Seems like a sweet guy. Wonder how much "on screen" character development he'll be allowed...

Oh, and then comes another amusing quote. This is what Sunstream has to say about his sea-elf form:

"It's a far more beautiful shape than I deserve!" (Please tell me the elves are getting more sarcastic with age...)

And Leetah responds with: "It's how Brill sees you...with all her love."

Just. Uhm. Eh. This. This is what Brill's love looks like:

Seastream

Feast your eyes.

...okay, jokes aside, I get that beauty is very subjective. If you really like Sunstream's sea-elf form, more power to you! I guess I'm just the "less is more" kind of person when it comes to merfolk :/ Or I just can't get over that Leetah saw the other, less over-the-top Wavedancers and seemed to have gone I CAN DO WAY BETTER THAN THAT, WATCH THIS!

But anyways, Sunstream manages to catch up with Brill, who's out in the middle of nowhere by herself, swimming around, about to give birth. And she does. Mid-swim.

I know this is how it works for many sea-mammals, but the image we get of Sunstream swimming behind her and all but catching the newborn with a baseball glove is slightly amusing to me.

So, they have a child now. A tiny, very cherub-like baby (she has tiny "wings" aka fins on her shoulders...) whom they name Korafay. As you can imagine they're then immediately set upon by a gigantic monster of a sea-beast called a belly-ripper. Yeah. Go give birth with no back-up where those things are swimming around, Brill. Great idea.

Of course Sunstream is valiant and uses his burning tentacle decorations to scare the beast away. Except, Sunstream had no idea his tentacle things could do that. Apparently Brill knew and talks to Sunstream about it as if he's been a total cloudhead in not realizing he could burn people horrible with his body.

That's right. Sunstream has been swimming around with tentacles similar to that of a poisonous jellyfish and no one thought to tell him about this. How has he not accidentally burned anyone yet?!

That's a mystery for another day it seems, because we cut back to the Wavedancers' beach where they have a party to celebrate Korafay's birth. Korafay proves to be a glider and people are happy about that.

Sunstream stays with the Wavedancers to raise Korafay, so Leetah and Skywise go back in the pod by themselves. Except they miss-think and end up in the abandoned Sun Village, where they meet Windkin – who's been alone so long he's forgotten his own name. He's been hanging out in the crumbling village, trying to forget the past, and also casually murdering any human who dares venture close. But never mind that he's been having fun doing that (his words, not mine), he thinks that Ahdri is dead and haunting the place, so that's why he's been hanging there, all sad and angsty and contemplating suicide (his words, not mine, again).

Btw, the adventures in the Forevergreen are mentioned here by Leetah, before she tells Windkin Ahdri is alive. So those adventures did happen, at least partially. But Kimo still gives no signs of knowing Dart's soul name... I'm so confused.

Messed up plotlines aside, the Palace pod is falling due to an earthquake! Windkin flies Skywise and Leetah to it at the last second and they get back to the Wolfrider Holt. Many happy reunions are had, especially one joyous but awkward one between Windkin and Ahdri.

Then we get to know what Windkin's been up to in the past however many years. Clearbrook comments that Windkin really looks like Tyldak and Windkin asks if they really remember Tyldak. The answer he gets is pretty much "dude, he was the only elf ever shaped like a Slenderman version of a bat, we remember him". Long story short, we're suppose to realize it's been a looooooong time since Windkin last saw another elf.

Windkin tells of what he did during the long sleep (when Cutter & co were wrapped up waiting for Rayek to return with the Palace + Leetah, Ember and Sunstream-then-top). He hung out with is dad and Kahvi, who'd tried to go back to being Go-Back chief, but realized that life was too narrow and boring for her now that she'd seen the world. They set out to find Winnowill (who at the time was in sea-elf form) to get Tyldak back his old body and get Windkin actual wings.

Tyldak died during this quest, shot down by a human. Windkin and Kahvi avenged him, then parted ways. Now thinking of wings makes Windkin (understandably) sad.

Treestump invites Windkin down to his, Clearbook and Ahdri's smithy, so he won't "drift away on the winds again". This seems to work out well.

Life goes on. We get flashes of Ember visiting a Korafay who's in her pre-teens; see Shuna and her husband give their about 12-years-old son his tribe name Shukopek, with Kimo looing on; see a horrifically sad scene between Chitter and Moonshade about a dying-but-not-quite-dead-bird; see Chitter later get her new name Freetouch (guess why); see that Mender has used his healing to give Yun's human son Khorbasi a longer life and stronger body (because apparently elf healers can do that now) which makes Ember think of Grohmul Djun's plans for Mender and if his son Angrif Djun might have other, worse plans.

Long story short, it's now twenty-odd years later (counted from before these flashes, I suppose). We see Shuna, Ikopek, Shukopek and Kimo visit a village of Evil Humans(tm) who of course spy on them at night and freak out when they see Kimo shapechange. The Evil Humans kill Ikopek and the others flee, grieving, to the Wolfriders' Holt.

This turn of events makes Shuna wish to get the same gift of long life from Leetah as Khorbasi got from Mender (though her son Shukopek does not want this gift). This so she can keep preaching the world of good spirits/elves to all humans until they can't help but accept that elves exist. Leetah says that if a longer lifespan becomes too much for Shuna it can be undone. We also get a comment that Kimo and Shuna are near-Recognized. Huh.

We go to the Palace, where Newstar is talking to the spirit of her dead Recognized Lutei, Kimo's dad. Yup, elves can have full conversations with the dead now. Just walk into the Palace and talk to the dead. They can't eat or touch, which sucks, but it's basically like have a friend in a different country with whom you only can talk via Skype.

Lutei skypes Newstar that she should get another partner and then makes her walk into his brother Ohler, who's been missing working in his garden. The two of them go outside and hang with Redlance.

Now, more time passes. How much? Eh, the narration box only says "time" passes, so it can be however much you want. We see Suntoucher, Ruffel and Skywise on the roof of the Palace, admiring the rain. Skywise notes that Ruffels looks taller (and paler...), which Suntoucher says is because all purebloods who hang out in the Palace long enough start to transform, to look more like High Ones.

Uhm, unfortunate implications much? Taller is one thing, but paler...

Skywise and Ruffel head outside, since the Palace is pretty but not a very comfortable places to have sex (though Skywise does say that when all elves have returned to the Palace they'll go back and fix the "starhome" so it's both pretty and comfortable). They run into Chitter-now-Freetouch and Moonshade who are out and about despite most Wolfriders sleeping during the day. Moonshade is less than impressed, but says she and Freetouch will stand guard while Ruffel and Skywise enjoy themselves in a field of flowers. Petalwing is not invited to the fun ;)

We then return to the most interesting storyline of Final Quest: Moonshade's midlife crisis. Seriously, I really like the emotions dealt with here (though it's a bit random that Moonshade ended up being the anti-Way elf, seeing as there were plenty of other Wolfrider candidates – would have liked to see the event that set this off from the start).

Moonshade and Freetouch argue about weaving, and Moonshade admits that she no longer loves her work as tanner. Freetouch voices a wish to visit Ember's tribe, mostly to visit the, eh, male part of the tribe. She says Skywise understands her best of all.

Meanwhile, Skywise and Ruffel are getting busy in the meadow. Ruffel stands up in the middle of the field in the middle of a thunderstorm, and starts to dance.

And then Ruffel is hit by lightning and dies.

Yup. Instant death. To develop Skywise's character. We don't even get to see Vurdah and Maleen react to this – you know, the two lady elves who according to the official website are her lovemates and with whom we've seen Ruffel together during the majority of her previous appearances. Also, how did a Wolfrider like Skywise not know not to hang out in a field in the middle of a thunderstorm?! Has time in the Palace made him soft in the head?

Gentlepeople, ElfQuest has officially joined the "proud" comic tradition of Fridging a female character just so a male character can be a little sad and think about life for a bit. Let's make a wild guess and assume Ruffel never will be mentioned again.

Urgh, so disappointed. Not cool, Pinis, not cool.

Well, it's not completely for Skywise's character development alone. Moonshade has a moment of "this is proof that this world is harsh and horrible, the Palace is waaay better" too, but since she was nowhere as close with Ruffel as Skywise it feels a little odd. It's not like Moonshade hasn't seen plenty of senseless death before...

Strongbow goes "it's sad, but it's the Way", which Moonshade counters with "yeah, that's not enough for me anymore, it's a Palace life for me".

And so this prologue ends, with Skywise and Cutter musing that there must be a balance between "safety and boredom" and "death and excitement". We'll see how that works out in the next issue.
 
 
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