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 Final Quest #23

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Embala

Embala

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptySun Dec 31, 2017 11:59 am

Thank you for sharing, Wisp.

I won't skip a comment of either kind. Both sides are right. Both sides are important. And in my opinion it is important for each member express his/her thoughts - critics and love and disappointment and thankfulness. For me it's about balance here. For acceptance and admitting both. And about love. There would be no anger or grief if there is not love for ElfQuest.

Happy new year, Wisp.

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Anaid

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptySun Dec 31, 2017 12:48 pm

I haven't read #23 yet. That's because I picked up #22 a couple of days before 23 came out and I didn't realize. I don't really follow the release dates, I just drop in on my local comic book shop and ask if there's anything new for me. They have mailboxes for their subscribed members Smile

I do want to add something to the thread, though, if that is alright.

I am mostly on the side of the disappointed people. But, I wouldn't be an engineer if I didn't try to disassemble something and then try to understand how it fits together or *why* it isn't working. And I personally think it is this: The elves have become ridiculously overpowered.

In OQ, it was an origin quest. Leetah could only send while healing. Winnowill's (normal) sending hurt her. Redlance's gift was expected, and yet still a big surprise, somehow. Rayek could not lift himself. Slowly, their powers grew. They find the palace. Like, spaceship, whoa. But it's not until kings of the broken wheel that Rayek flies it, and then afterwards there's major trouble and ofcourse he loses that power again, resulting in the palace sinking to the bottom of the ocean. Then, the palace is taken over by Winnowill and it crashes on the rocks. There's some balance there: The elves have a big struggle. There was cunning there, in their foes and themselves, and some sort of balance when it came to their powers.

And then? The palace found, they fly to Sorrow's End (correct me if I have the order wrong). From that point on, there's teleportation and lots and lots of magic involved. There's flying pods and unlimited sending.

I personally think WaRP didn't think this through by the time KOTBW ended: How are you going to balance it out again?

What disadvantage do you introduce for the elves, or advantage for the humans, to make it an interesting storyline again?

The choices made in FQ reflect that the device they chose is "inner strife". In other words, if you can't take away the superpowers of your superheroes, then you can try to introduce some dysfunction in their relationships. Often, this results in hilarious movie scenes, like Frozone yelling at his wife "Where's my super suit?!?!". But for Elfquest, that doesn't work I think. The premise was never "fantasy with a bit of comedy".

Looking at it this way, I'm not sure they had much choice besides "inner strife" when it comes to plotlines and re-balancing the parties. The guns... ehh.. Humans would need space travel to balance things out again. Maybe that's what the Jink series was intended to be: To ease Elfquest from fantasy straight into science fiction. Rayek should have jumped another couple thousand years at least.

I think the only alternative they had, was killing Cutter and some other central figures and, in the resulting chaos, have the humans kidnap some of the central figures: Elves who are going to be the palace's pilots (whatever their group name) and who can get them off Abode. Basically: Get all the palace- and pod-flyers.

As it is now, the directions that were chosen, even before Final Quest started, I think made it pretty difficult for the Pini's to spin a fourth (OQ, SABM, KOTBW, FQ) tale of epic proportions.

Just my thoughts here.

At this point, they've spun a web they cannot gracefully untangle. Let's see what they can do with #24. Perhaps there is something to be salvaged yet. Or perhaps the palace just flies off and that's it. Without a central theme or arc, I think there's little that can be done. (Conversely, with a strong premise / arc, some of the discontinuities may have been forgiven. Or maybe not.. Wink )

I was 13 when I discovered Elfquest. I grew up in a pretty goddamn awful household. Elfquest was one of the ways I could escape. I have fond memories, and although I am unhappy with FQ, I am faithfully following the story as a tribute to all it stood for, to me, in my formative years. In a strange way I keep coming back to FQ, because every disappointment does bring something good: It reminds me of how, back then, in a shitty childhood that left me with quite a lot of scars, a little girl found something good and beautiful. It showed me something to aspire to in my relationships. FQ is not what I had hoped for. And that's okay.
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Anduinel

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptySun Dec 31, 2017 1:15 pm

@ErinC1978 wrote:
But it's important to remember that I'm not owed whatever it is I've been hoping for or expecting. Ultimately, ElfQuest belongs to Wendy and Richard.

Of course. To paraphrase Neil Gaiman, "The artist is not your bitch." (Nor your mother, your auntie, your bff, crying shoulder, etc.) The artist does not exist for the benefit of the audience; their priority is their satisfaction in their own work or the satisfaction of the client, depending on the circumstances.

But that works both ways. The audience does not exist for the benefit of the artist either. All the artist is owed is compensation for their effort. Their previous successes don't entitle them to leeway for an objectively poor effort. And FQ has been, for the most part, a poor effort in ways that have nothing to do with people being disappointed that this fan theory didn't pan out, or that character didn't get a happy ending. There are significant artistic and narrative issues with the story.

There's not a thing wrong with people choosing to focus on the positive points of FQ or choosing to remember the best of EQ. But I don't think it's unbalanced or out of line that a weak installment (and a weak final installment at that) gets more criticism than praise.

ETA: That's a very good summation of the power creep that's gotten into EQ over the decades, Anaid. It's not an insurmountable challenge, but I think it would have necessitated Wendy (metaphorically!) killing off her darlings pretty early in Final Quest.
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sun girl

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptySun Dec 31, 2017 1:43 pm

@Anduinel wrote:
The audience does not exist for the benefit of the artist either. All the artist is owed is compensation for their effort. Their previous successes don't entitle them to leeway for an objectively poor effort. And FQ has been, for the most part, a poor effort in ways that have nothing to do with people being disappointed that this fan theory didn't pan out, or that character didn't get a happy ending. There are significant artistic and narrative issues with the story.

Amen.
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Wisp

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptySun Dec 31, 2017 2:28 pm

Anaid, your insightful comment (which I definitely agree with re: overpowered elves) highlights a positive thing I’ve taken from FQ. I learned a lot about storytelling from reading OQ at a young age, and I’m learning just as much from FQ. As an engineer, you probably appreciate failures as well as successes. I learn more from failures in my line of work, in any event. Dissecting FQ may be making me a better writer, and that’s something to be grateful for. It’s not just rubbernecking. I’m actively trying to understand how certain choices in FQ undermine the world-building, the characters, the narrative tension. It’s instructive both in instances in which the story works and doesn’t work.

The artwork is another matter, but I acknowledge that not everyone likes the same art, and I salute Wendy for venturing into new styles and mediums throughout her career. She’s definitely brave.
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Embala

Embala

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptySun Dec 31, 2017 2:38 pm

@Anduinel wrote:
There's not a thing wrong with people choosing to focus on the positive points of FQ or choosing to remember the best of EQ.
*nod*

Just in case I was not clear:
The "balance" I'm talking about is that various points of view can be worded here and are welcome. Critique - there is reason enough. Nostalgia. Thankfulness for what EQ has already given us. Acceptance that hopes - in respect of story and art - were not fulfilled. Love - love need not be reasonable. Love can be there despite knowing about weakness and faults. Love can even be blind.

I hope for comments of all kind. I wish for all members having a home and a voice. For me it's about balance and acceptance in our Holt ... not necessarily in the comments of each individual member.


Lunakat's post reminded me of the love I feel for EQ including the FQ (despite faults and disappointment) and the beauty ILove I sometimes forget to express (or don't dare to) and beauty I can usually word only much later.

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Anaid

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptySun Dec 31, 2017 3:14 pm

Wisp, yes, successes as well as failures can be appreciated, once you understand why something did or didn't work. In fact, for me it is a prerequisite to acceptance, of any kind: understanding why something happened the way it did.

There are obviously multiple facets to a good story. I think even with poor artwork and bad storytelling, a good storyline for FQ could have carried itself pretty far. I've seen poor art with a great storyline work very well. I've seen poor storytelling, still with a great storyline at heart (e.g. Wheel of Time) work well (although the storytelling has to be good at times, for a reader to want to continue). But I've never seen a poor storyline work, no matter how great the art or the storytelling.

For me, it means Elfquest hasn't lost its shine or its potential. One misstep does not erase the past journey.
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Sifra

Sifra

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptyWed Jan 03, 2018 2:55 pm

Wow that was another bad issue. Sad I love Kimo, did he really have to die in such a stupid way?

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Shadowpath

Shadowpath

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptyWed Jan 03, 2018 3:17 pm

1: I'll be totally honest. I enjoy the brutal murder of Djun's men.
2: Daaaaw. I'm actually loving Ahdri/Two-Edge.
3: Erm...not sure I had a third point. Tho, Kimo dying honestly made me think up the meanest theory about Strongbow there is.

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Sifra

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptyWed Jan 03, 2018 3:21 pm

I agree on Ahdri and Two-Edge. Ahdri Two-Edge
And on Strongbow, too. That was a really stupid thing to do.

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Shadowpath

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptyWed Jan 03, 2018 3:25 pm

@Sifra wrote:
I agree on Ahdri and Two-Edge. Ahdri Two-Edge
And on Strongbow, too. That was a really stupid thing to do.
Yaaay!  They're honestly adorable.
-
Just to clarify. My theory doesn't have anything to do with Strongbow using that gun tho.

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Miss Gillespie

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptyWed Jan 03, 2018 4:36 pm

as Anaid pointed out, the one of the biggest problems with EQ right now is that the elves are massively overpowered. Mender is, I think, supposed to be a weak healer (at least not nearly as good as Leetah) and he can shapeshift willy nilly. Redlance in Wild Hunt shaped that giant tree in the steppe in a couple of hours (and probably wrecked the local environment in the process); the elves have this giant space-travelling , super-surveillance thing, which can harness the powers of all elves who have ever lived... The elves never really die...

Right from the beginning, we all knew how FiQu was going to end: the palace and (most of) the elves leave the planet, but we don't know how this will happen. Most likely the elves would leave because of some tragedy*, but we didn't know how the story would move from A to B. Well, how to create a tragedy for someone who is massively overpowered? Of course, it can be done well but obviously with FiQu it wasn't. In the end, we didn't even get a tragedy. Some really unimportant minor background characters died (Kimo, Ruffel, Venka's baby father and maybe Door**). That whole TimTam thing didn't help either. We had a lot of hyped up blurbs which never kept what they promised




*Maybe that's where all these "who is going to die" questions come from, we just expected massive death counts why else should the elves leave?

**Yes, they are completely unimportant to the story. If they'd been left out from the very beginning, nothing ever would have changed (well, with the exception of Door, perhaps).

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Anduinel

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptyWed Jan 03, 2018 5:29 pm

I feel like I've been waiting for something from FQ to fall into place, and I suspect it's waiting for the mortality of the Wolfriders to actually be important to this last tale. It's something that's been made much of over the years (most effectively in Kings and HY 9.5, imo), but it's never actually felt like a tragedy when Wolfriders have a lifespan of 2500 years or so. So we'll see what this last issue brings.
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Sofia

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptyThu Jan 04, 2018 6:52 pm

Late to the party, so sorry for jumping into the discussion at issue 23! Being a Swede who likes to read offline comics more than online ones I tend to get the comic much later than its original release date, catching the discussion when it's reached page 15, and thus I've had a hard time joining the fray - which is not a complaint, just wanted to explain why I've been lurking for so long.

I'm glad people still are feeling nostalgic about Elfquest, because I am too! As much as I haven't enjoyed Final Quest, I still love Elfquest as a world and most of the older stuff. No matter what happens in issue 24, I'll always been a fan of Elfquest as a whole.

This said, Final Quest feels so...odd to me. There is so much retconning going on that I feel like I have Elfquest-specific-amnesia. I can deal with the story being rushed and the characters acting foolish to serve the plot (to a certain degree), but at points this series so obviously contradicts itself (like back when Skywise claimed Cutter had spent his childhood playing in the troll tunnels while according to the Original Quest only Bearclaw ever sat foot down there before the forest burned) that it feels more like a poorly researched AU fic than actual canon. Things seem to happen because the Pinis say they do, instead of the story saying it does.

Like, Kimo's whole "dropping life like a feather"-speech I in the past interpreted as wolves not worrying about the future and their eventual death. But in this issue, it seems the Pinis are saying wolves and other animals just...don't care if they die or not? That they can just choose to die and not care? Despite animals definitely having a survival instincts and animals like wolves definitely emoting signs of fear and anger when their lives are threatened...

Is there a list somewhere of what in pre-Final-Quest-Elfquest has been officially retconned or not? Because at this point I feel like I'm reading the ending to an alternate timeline of Elfquest and I'm so very, very confused.
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Embala

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptyFri Jan 05, 2018 2:52 pm

Welcome back, Sofia! Never too late to catch up. Hug *remembers me waiting for German issues back in the past*

I doubt there is an "official" retconning at all - less a list! All I remember is there's still Rule #1 ... and comments along the lines: "That's not important for Elves!" "That's just another thread / different pov ..." Elves are not linear." or new: "Every rule will be broken."

I suggest you just tell what's puzzling you most, Sofia ... and we try to explain as far as we know. Or - how we put it together for ourselves.

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Vaeri

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptySat Jan 06, 2018 12:32 am

actually i read in the FAQ on elfquest.com that Wendy and Richard admitted they were totally retconning in FQ....for me, it was like "wow, they actually said it."
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Embala

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptySat Jan 06, 2018 6:58 am

WOW indeed!

... though - I welcome it as it gives back this matter a normality that "is allowed" to be discussed. This I can handle so much better than that wishi-washi mystification. I know well that in some cases retconning was a practical necessity to gather all those widespread threads.

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Miss Gillespie

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptySat Jan 06, 2018 11:37 am

*groan* Vaeri Sad

you mentioned the retconning in the FAQ and I decided to look for said FAQ. I found it and then decided to read what came after, whyyyyy I shouldn't have done that

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Vaeri

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptySat Jan 06, 2018 2:58 pm

sorry Gillespie!^^0 i was bored and looking up stuff and decided to look at it as a "what the heck why not" and...found a lot of answers that fans had been upset about lately. like the coloring stuff, the retconning, the "white washing" of the sun folk...

so i gotta give em props for saying it somewhere, even though it's somewhere not really very public or widespread...kinda a little hidden...but still, they said it.

think their excuse is kinda bs-y though. "elfquest 20 years ago was a reflection of ourselves and we changed so the story did too" i don't like this cause like the rule for recognition...i kinda liked this. it was a biological urge, as necessary and undeniable as needing to breath. it provided great and meaningful drama, like with Dewshine and Tyldak.

now it's not so meaningful, with what happened with Ember and Teir."oh no we're recognized, we're suffering! oh we put a stop to it, we cool now, don't need kids cause there's SO MANY ELVES PEEPLES!"
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Miss Gillespie

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptySat Jan 06, 2018 3:52 pm

oh, I found this "when eyes meet eyes actually means 'I totally see the genetic make up of the other person'" even worse. I always had the impression, that recognising means "experiencing/seeing the soul of another elf", the genetic make up of a person is not his or her soul

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Embala

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptySat Jan 06, 2018 4:05 pm

scratch Now this would totally count as a retcon, wouldn't it? A fairly unnecessary one ... and not enlightening either.

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Anduinel

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptyTue Jan 09, 2018 6:40 am

@Embala wrote:
scratch Now this would totally count as a retcon, wouldn't it? A fairly unnecessary one ... and not enlightening either.

And one that retroactively undercuts some of the more dramatic Recognition stories, imo.

Ever since I read the the Elfquest prose stories, I've headcanoned that Recognition was a broken mechanism. Take a group of traumatized, self-shaping psychics who have pretty much forgotten how do deal with the most basic needs of biology, dump them into the rawest conditions possible, add some alien blood to the mix, and Recognition is the mechanism you get out of it. It's not natural, which is why it's such crap when it comes to keeping numbers up; it's a messy biological jury-rig and, like Timmain's sacrifice, is a desperate stab at survival, if an unconscious one. It doesn't take any particular care for the needs or suitability of the individual, it's not great for maintaining a sustainable population (and never well be; even thousands of years later, Rain knows that they need more than Recognition to keep the tribe's numbers up), but it got the ball rolling on forgotten concepts like sex and childbirth. It's one more remnant of the High Ones' trauma, and the various tribes have had to come up with their own ways of coping, either romanticizing it ("soul meets soul when eyes meet eyes"), treating it as inevitable ("no one can refuse Recognition"), or, as with the Go-Backs, living in a manner than makes it almost irrelevant.
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Embala

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptyTue Jan 09, 2018 3:09 pm

Along those lines - not as detailed as you, Anduinel - I've made sense of Recognition myself.

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptyWed Jan 10, 2018 1:59 am

Hi everyone! So I'm totally late to the party like always but here I am. I didn't get my copy of 23 until very recently but I had already been on here lurking for awhile so I had not been able to stop myself reading spoiler comments because honestly at this point my ability to gaf has run completely dry. So Kimo dying wasn't much of a shock, and even how dumb and pointless it was meant pretty much nothing after the stupid Ember-just-stands-there-and-is-captured thing back at the beginning of FQ.
The art was the usual mix of about half actual new art and half copy pasta. The "battle-scene" that also had at the same time mashed into it, the smiling elders of Hillhopper tribe, and the Djunsmen being captured all kinda rammed in together made me cringe. I had some vague hopes of some Battle for the Palace style battle scenes, maybe even some references to how last time the elves made war it was elf against troll, and this time it was elf and troll against human, but it was just sort of rushed through like almost everything in this story.
The coloring was as cryingly bad as always. Flat colored figures in the exact same panel as fully shaded ones, bucket fill with no clean up, and what the hell was up with the scene where everyone was blue except Ahdri? (I joke, I know what 'was up with" that, they copy pasted that Ahdri from another page and were too lazy to drag hue selection over it to turn her blue).
It's just killing me here to sit and watch something I loved so much when I was young turn into this weird effed up thing that I barely recognize. And worse still to see the downfall of an artist I had admired so much. And it's not just the art and story stuff (although that has been pretty painful) it is the social media stuff and how they've treated the fans that really hurts. They killed the forum when people had the nerve to have actual opinions when all they wanted was a chorus of "you're the best". I just read the new FAQ on the EQ site and I'm just sitting here like wow... if you wanted to write a completely different story about a different world and different elves why didn't you just start something new instead of trying to cram it into the already finished stories retroactively?

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jaRf

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PostSubject: Re: Final Quest #23   Final Quest #23 - Page 4 EmptyFri Jan 12, 2018 12:57 pm

Got mine, too, now. Well, humm. That was a strange one in certain aspects. And a bit like "no, Rayek, don't do anything until the magic word is told you"
"Okay." *stares* *realizes* *still can't do anything cause magic "set loose the hounds" is missing
Bam! There goes Kimo, there goes the tree. Razz
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