nonesane: (He's staaaaring at you...)
[personal profile] nonesane
Finally found the time and energy to write a review for this issue (nr 19 coming up soon). I'm sad to say that I'm finding it hard to stay motivated in buying and read Final Quest. I've been a huge ElfQuest fan since I was a little girl; written fanficton, been in and still am in a number of post-by-post roleplaying games, own all the comics. All of it hasn't been "pure gold" or anything, but Final Quest feels so very, very different from the rest of ElfQuest.

I think my main problem with it is that I feel like I'm reading a finale of an AU ElfQuest I haven't been keeping up with. There are so many, many plots and subplots here that there has been no foreshadowing or build-up for. At least not that I can remember. I'm starting to worry that I've forgotten or misremembered like 60% of ElfQuest at this point.

So, what am I whining about this time? Well, we left Skywise and Cutter during a big confrontation, the two of them wrestling and yelling at each other, Skywise demanding to know what happened to Cutter, what's wrong with him. This comic has one page devoted to that same thing. The two of them then fall and crash in front of a group of trolls, interrupting their "discussion".

Skywise and Cutter fight the troll, careful to not kill or even wound (if they can help it) while Ahdri tunnels the rest of the group lower towards them. The trolls don't seem to know what Cutter & Skywise are. The trolls corner Cutter and Skywise, about to force them to fight back for real. Cutter comments that if they kill the trolls he won't be able to do what he came there to do. Luckily Ahdri finds them at the last moment and snatches them through the stone wall.

Back in the Palace we see Savah and Moonshade talking about the swampelves, and how great it will be to have a part of the Sun Folk stay behind on the World of Two Moons while the Palace heads for the stars. They and some of the Sun Folk practice "being fire"; taking spirit-like form without dying. They talk about finding a "hum" or something. Whatever it is they do, it makes them invisible and untouchable while they do it. Sadly it seems Strongbow too has drunk the Kool-Aid, because he's come to learn from Moonshade. No Strongbow, no!

Strongbow sends about how the tribe is important and how the Djunlanders have started attacking for real. Shuna's language lessons have helped some of the native humans fight back. Strongbow is mostly focused on why Cutter still is gone, up in the Frozen Mountains. Also, he mentions Cutter's "heart circle" like it's a common thing elves say, like "lifemate", and it's driving me batty because I don't think I've read that term before Final Quest at all!

Urgh, sorry. Back in the Frozen Mountains the elves make light of Skywise's claustrophobia and the spirit of Timmorn Yelloweyes shows up. Yes, really. And he leads them to a big door guarded by trolls. A door that can be opened by New Moon's key. Yes. Really. And though the trolls try to stop them the elves open the door. Inside, among numerous treasures and shards of the Palace sits a surviving First Commer Troll. Yes. Really.

This is what Cutter has been questing after, apparently. A First Commer Troll who Two-Edge apparently is nervous around, because the (still unnamed) First Commer Troll doesn't like that he's half elf. First Commer Troll also thinks the Palace shards might contain dead troll spirits. Sure, why not? Cutter then tells the First Commer Troll how the elves are really super sorry they ever treated the trolls badly. And that seems to be all the diplomacy needed because the troll breaks down crying (yay?)

At the Holt, Rayek has finally arrived with (the artist currently known as) Daboi. Venka blocks his flying magic, sending him and Daboi crashing to the ground. After brief conversation and Ekuar showing up all forgiving they make peace, just like that. By the way, Venka is pregnant. For how long? By whom? Who cares, we've got another scene skip to deal with!

In the Palace, Moonshade and Strongbow are having sex, because reasons. They flashback to that scene in the older comics where they ride on wolves half naked holding hands (and the comparison to the modern art really shows how much copy paste is going on nowadays). Strongbow talks about how he's willing to die and become a spirit if it will allow him to stay close to Moonshade. She answers that spirits can't hold anything or anyone (meaning no more sex), but that there's a better way - she says, I quote: "I often wished I could change from skin to spirit to skin again to live, but be unseen!"

...WHEN DID MOONSHADE EVER WISH THAT??? Have I completely forgotten Moonshade's character? Have I been reading the wrong comics? What is going on???

Strongbow seems as confused as I am, because when Moonshade shows him the disappearing act trick the Palace elves were practicing earlier he bails. His exact words as he leaves are: **You...are a High One! Be happy, my Eyrn. Be...happy.**

Back with the First Commer Troll the elves are having a surprisingly calm, non-shocked conversation. There is a little tension when Two-Edge shows up, but Cutter uses Two-Edge's existence to "prove" how much alike trolls and elves are, so thus things must be hunky dory, right?

Apparently so because First Commer Troll is perfectly alright with them sending for Drub to rule in his stead. Yes, the First Commer Troll clearly doesn't want to rule and wants to go back to "the home-sphere", but really? A life long fear and hatred of elves fixed in what, ten minutes? Twenty? This troll is 10 000+ years old and all he needed was a "sorry" to get over everything? Oh brother...

A Palace "egg" shows up and drops off Drub & Flam (who are quite sky-sick). Sunstream, Mender and Dart are along for the ride too. Skywise and Cutter have a spat about allowing trolls into the Palace (Skywise doesn't like it, Cutter tells him to go stuff himself). Their "fight" ends with Cutter making clear he's changed and that he's staying on the World of Two Moons, no matter that Skywise is leaving for the stars. His words on the comic's final panel are: "I want the Wolfriders. I want a new wolf. I want to kick some war-man tail. And I want a few more turns of the seasons to hunt and howl and be with you."

Would have been very touching if I wasn't so confused and frustrated by the rest of the story. Issue 19's review will be up...later.
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