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
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..
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.