Here we are, another Monday and another Just for the Hell of it Review. On our recent podcast (HERE), I said that my pick for the week was between the Bruce Wayne Agent of Shield Amalgam book and Elfquest #2. Surprise! Elfquest #2 for the win. It's not that the first issue was a huge hit numbers wise on the site, it's more personal than that. Elfquest is one of Eric's favorite things and he has been pushing it on me since I met him. So, to make the little guy feel important, I read and reviewed Elfquest #1 and really enjoyed it. Don't tell Eric, though, because he would get a big head.
Written by: Wendy and Richard Pini
Art by Wendy Pini
Cover Price: $1.50
Release Date: August 1, 1978
Sorrow's End Indeed
The issue opens with a very quick rundown of last issue...the Wolfriders needed a new home, the trolls tricked them and they ended up in the desert. Of course, Cutter blames himself, but soon enough him and Skywise convinces everyone that the only thing they can do is look for food and water. It seems like a reasonable plan, but it does mean traveling through the desert.
It's tough traveling for everyone, but none more so than Redlance. After being injured by the humans in the first issue, he can't go any further. Nightfall stays with him and while Cutter promises to return for them, it doesn't look good.
Thankfully for the rest of the Wolfriders, their luck changes when they get to the mountains and find a mysterious plant that stores it's own water. Yes, it's a cactus and along with sunburn, it's something the Wolfriders aren't used to seeing. After Cutter and Skywise go out exploring, they find something else they aren't used to...a village of elves. While it would seem that this is a prayer answered by the gods, Cutter isn't so sure. I know desperate times call for desperate actions, but I really didn't like what happens next
Cutter gathers the Wolfriders and they attack the peaceful elf village, stealing food and water and even an elf named Leetah. It's so obvious that Cutter has fallen for her at first sight and I am so interested to see how it works out. Maybe a little Romeo and Juliet action going on soon. Speaking of love, we then head back to Redlance and Nightfall who are preparing for death. It's a sad, but nice scene and I can only hope they are saved before joining each other beyond death.
We cut back to the Wolfriders who are being pursued by the other elves, or at least on of them named Rayek. He is trying to save Leetah and when he confronts Cutter and company, displays the power to freeze an enemy in his tracks. However, that's nothing compared to Leetah's power...to make Cutter fall in love with her. I guess that's technically not a power, or is it?
Eventually, Leetah opens her eyes (and everyone else's) and realizes the obvious, the two groups are part of the same race. They head to the village to meet with her Father, Sun-Toucher. As he sees that the Wolfriders' trouble making stems from their desperation, Cutter remembers his promise to Redlance and Nightfall and with Leetah and Rayek, head off to save them. The issue ends with some healing and a whole bunch of understanding. Even though the Wolfriders came with violence, the issue ends with all the elves joining together in Sorrow's End.
I liked this issue, but not as much as the first. There was a lot of setup and some really forced situations here. It's obvious that the love triangle of Leetah, Cutter and Rayek is going to cause friction in the near future (and beyond?) and I really wonder why Sun-Toucher is so quick to accept the kidnapper of his daughter into the fold. All that being said, I still had a good time reading it and will continue on even if I'm a little less enthusiastic then before.
One of the main reasons I still enjoyed it was Wendy Pini's art. As far as fantasy settings and characters go, she really sets the mood here. It makes me want to crack open the old D&D books and start an all elf campaign.
Bits and Pieces:
While not as inspiring as the first issue, Elfquest #2 was still a good read. This issue was mostly forced setup, nut everything was set into place for the book to move forward with a more diverse set of characters that have built in tension in spades. The story may not have been as good, but Wendy Pini's art was as good as usual, which means great. This issue was definitely good enough to continue my Elfquest adventure.