ElfQuest
Pini, Wendy & Richard. ElfQuest Book 1. 1981.

I fell in love with ElfQuest when I was in high school and my boyfriend who was collecting them  (many years after they originally came out) introduced me to the World of Two Moons. Sometimes our dates would consist of us sitting side by side reading for hours and debating the finer points of elf lore. That my high school boyfriend eventually became my husband, makes this series dear to my heart.

Fire and Flight, introduces us to the Wolfriders, an elfin band that rides wolves and live in the woods, or as they call it, The Holt. Primitive humans are their enemies, and have captured one of the elves, Redlance. A rescue is mounted to retrieve their friend, but at great cost, as the humans burn down the woods in retaliation. All the elves and their wolves are able to escape to the caverns of the trolls, but due to some trickery the trolls lead them underground and abandon them near an entrance to a desert.

Raid at Sorrow’s End (part 1 & 2) has the elves, led by their leader Cutter, setting out across the sands in hope of finding a new home. On the brink of disaster they are completely shocked to find a hidden elfin village in the desert mountains. They barge into the peaceful village, creating chaos, for the other tribe is as shocked at their existence as they were. The Sun Villagers welcome the Wolfriders while Leetah, the Healer, uses her magic to heal Redlance.

The Challenge gives some important background to the story-as Savah the eldest Sun Village elf there, explains how the elves and humans became enemies and how the desert tribe came to be where they are. Cutter feels the pull of “recognition” towards Leetah, to the great dismay of Rayek, the Sun Villager’s chief hunter. Cutter & Rayek engage in a series of physical challenges in an attempt to win Leetah’s heart. The other Wolfriders have some character development in this segment, and we learn more about the family connections among them.

Voice of the Sun wraps up the intertwining of the two tribes, with Leetah accepting Cutter to be her mate. Rayek goes off into the great unknown and we are left wondering what will be the next adventure the elf tribes will face.

ElfQuest Book 1 contains the collected issues 1-5, that were originally in black and white, beautifully colorized for the graphic novel format. The artwork of ElfQuest is beyond amazing. While both Wendy & Richard Pini tell the story, Wendy’s art IS ElfQuest. The details are extraordinary, with every panel inked with precision. The woods, the caverns, and the village have such details- a complete world is being created. Each elf is unique in looks and personality, and you really start to know the tribe members. Although this first book is stunning, the continuing books of the elf saga continue to get better in both art work and storytelling.

The first comic came out in 1978 and new comics & graphic novels are still being produced today. The series has been published through many different publishers, from big ones such as Marvel and DC, to independent publishers such as WARP (Wendy and Richard Pini) Graphics and currently Dark Horse Comics. A wonderful website (http://elfquest.com/), which includes the stories published through 2014, is a must for fans of this cult classic comic. I hope that you will adore this series as much as I have, and yes, the series has been introduced to my children, so the next generation will love it as much as my husband and I have. ♥

-Nancy

 

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