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FQ Issue 3-**Spoilers**

Heather

Absolutely, amazingly fantastic!
Where to start? Wendy art is always fantastic, but I have to say this time I am blown away. Especially by the way, during close ups of Ember, you can see that she is both Cutter and Leetah's daughter in ways you haven't before. That attention to detail is wonderful. Sonny also makes another home run.

I have so much I want to talk about, but I am still digesting it all. First, Strongbow and Moonshade, we haven't really seen an argument like this ever, the only time I can remember him losing his cool was in the original quest when they left Blue Mountain together. But he was pretty cutting to her now. I also find it interesting that she is working with Timmain and it's Strongbow who is anxious about even being in the presence of Timmain. Especially since it is Strongbow who first sent to Timmain when she came back to elf form. He still has issues with being around her, fascinating and possibly important?

Ember, Djun and the Gun OMG! I was terrified! I was getting chills when he pulled out the gun, when the shot was fired and we saw Teir's reaction, my stomach sank. Then it was replaced by chills again by the look of terror on Ember's face. The fear there is so great.

I know I am forgetting other things I want to talk about, but my brain is swirling still. Will read it a few more times today I am sure!

Rae_treeshaper

Ah, I love it... and omg the cliffhangers, it always feels to short and a long wait but worth it!!! <3 I knew that argument would be brewing heh heh... Yeh Ember the Djun and the gun lol what a headline lol... yeh... is it awful to like the Djun to what hes doing to the elves lol? The whole mean streak lol.

Tavie

"The GUN moment" literally took my breath away! I almost had an asthma attack!

Ember's face was so perfect- it was my favorite panel in the issue. This is the first time any of "our" elves have seen a weapon like this. It had an especially deep impact with all te current feverish debate about gun control in America (a debate that has no place in this topic, BTW- mentioning in passing only!) - but it's such a very impactful, terrifying image- to see our "innocent" elves come literally face to face with that was astonishing and powerful. Ember's terrified, anguished face was absolutely masterfully drawn. I want to stand up and applaud.

Loved Khorbasi's dealings with the human cubs, teaching them to see his family as people. Beautiful work.

Heather

Tavie said: This is the first time any of "our" elves have seen a weapon like this.


Yes! Not only that, but she saw what it can do. She spoke of just "going out" (another thing that got me thinking, can Ember actually do this now?) but "going out" would just keep you from feeling the pain, that weapon would do so much damage to the body, there would be nothing left to come back to.

I am also wondering about Windkin. He wants to know about spirits answering questions. Who does he want to talk to? His father? Kahvi? What is going on???

Joellyn_Auklandus

What struck me about the gun moment was actually our reaction, not only Ember's. We are so used to explosions, fireball-throwing superheroes, so much concussive violence in the majority of stories, that a simple lead ball out of an archaic pistol should barely register with us. Here it reminds us that Elfquest is, once more, so very different from what's out there as general storytelling. There *is* no gratuitous violence, no "well let's put something blowing up on page 6 to keep the story moving."

Also -- there have been no over-the-top villains before, not even Winnowill or Gromuhl Djun, in my opinion. Winnowill was a flawed, complete character, whose pain came from real, historically-traceable circumstances. Gromuhl Djun was the worst we'd seen, but he was simply beastly -- the Big Bad Bear, as I believe Cutter called him (if I am wrong, please correct me here).

But Angrif? A born sociopath. His sadistic, effectively re-routed sexual delight in watching people slowly suffer, and patently believing the creation of suffering to be an art form is an evil beyond anything yet experienced on Abode. This is taking Elfquest's elves to a place of marrow-deep, gut-twisting fear that we have never seen nor felt. And while it may be as gut-twisting and nauseating for us to see and experience it with them, it is part of the truest storytelling. I hate what I'm seeing. I applaud Wendy's courage to tell the story true. And I am as riveted to the storyline as everyone else.

Laurel

Just read the digital copy, and will read my hard copy once it gets here in a few days.

I have to admire the strength that Ember has. Even in the face of evil, and at that time unknown quite how nasty, she still tells Teir to take the human children. Her love of all kinds of life is admirable.

IMO that is what some of her fear is about. She knows that humans take each other's and elvin lives, but I don't think she knew anything about how sadistic and uncaring of life Angrif really is. Yes, the shot and intentional near miss also scared the be-jeebers out of her, but I think there was more than just that, more than her own possible death.

I don't believe for one second that Strongbow and Moonshade are going to be the only ones that are having problems with change happening.

On a much lighter note, I loved the revisit to the archives with the "Day in the life" series.

CoyotesGirl

BANG!
I think I actually died for a second. Holy wow.

willderbeast

Heather said: during close ups of Ember, you can see that she is both Cutter and Leetah's daughter in ways you haven't before


I noticed this particularly in the immediate aftermath of the gunshot; her trembling face looked remarkably like Cutter's during his trial on the Bridge of Destiny all those long ages ago. In many ways, this is Ember's Bridge of Destiny, and my feeling is that she's not going to survive it. I firmly maintain her surrender to the Djun is the product of long-planned intent and design: either broker peace with the Djun, and / or discover what new threats he brings to the table. As @Laurel mentions, and as @Joellyn_Auklandus alludes to, I think Ember badly underestimated -- possibly because of the Recognition factor -- the sadism and cruelty that he, and so many other (far too many) humans, are capable of.

I agree with with @Joellyn_Auklandus - this isn't gratuitous; it's great storytelling, and precisely the direction the story needs to go. The stakes have never been higher (and they're mounting by the issue).

jeb

"No one thinks such things here - ever!" I gotta say, between that line and the animals willingly sacrificing their lives for the good of the elves, I find this issue a little hard to swallow. It sure doesn't make me want to live in the palace. I can only hope the idea here is to contrast the idyllic, Eden - like existence the elves seem to have suddenly acquired with the knowledge of good and evil Ember's about to experience. I wonder how she could feel she'd ever fit in the palace if this continues in the way it's going.

Heather

willderbeast said: In many ways, this is Ember's Bridge of Destiny,

Amazing comparison and very true. Thank you for pointing that one out. I will read that section with even more light shone on it.

Joellyn_Auklandus said: And while it may be as gut-twisting and nauseating for us to see and experience it with them, it is part of the truest storytelling.

Amen.



lunakat

Okay... when did Ember suddenly acquire the power to "go out"? I thought that was Suntop's thing.

Secondly, @Jeb, I don't think the frog leaping to it's death was a voluntary action. I think Tier brainwashed it. I think that he brainwashed all of the animals in order to coerce them into meeting the needs of the elves. What I got from that was that the animal brain understood "good of the group" and he manipulated that understanding. From what I can see, Tiers morals have degraded. He used to say "never the trusting ones"- yet he killed that frog. He lied to it, then killed it. He did it because he now aligns himself with the elves- they are his pack and where his priorities lie. I don't think any of this is Eden-like. It's moral compromise.

Third... Does anyone else think that the cover of issue four is probably Suntop's dream/vision? And that it brings Cutter and crew to the rescue?

Tam

I have more thoughts, but I do want to agree that Tier "asking" which animals wanted to sacrifice their lives for the elves seemed a bit manipulative. "Never the trusting ones" was the first thing that popped into my head, and there goes that frog. :/ Even the text in the panel said that Tier can "blend his will with that of any beast." Would the frog have understood "good of the group" without that blending? And did it really volunteer, or was it influenced to by Tier's will? When he calls the deer, the panel says that "the good of the group" isn't a foreign concept to any living creature. But the elves aren't part of a frog's group, or a deer's, other than the basic Circle of Life concept. I mean...deer and frogs aren't sacrificing themselves right and left for the good of other predator groups. *chuckles*

I understand the need for quick food, but they have many accomplished hunters in the tribe. Two could have gone ahead scouting, killed something, and brought it back. And I think the decision to make the human children eat the frog raw was perhaps a bit shortsighted. They're slow now; just wait til they're sick.

lunakat

When he calls the deer, the panel says that "the good of the group" isn't a foreign concept to any living creature. But the elves aren't part of a frog's group, or a deer's, other than the basic Circle of Life concept. I mean...deer and frogs aren't sacrificing themselves right and left for the good of other predator groups.


Exactly! That's why it's so manipulative! Clearly the elves are not morally superior to human beings. They aren't perfect. They are just a little less exposed to particular concepts.

roboturtle

Heather said: Yes! Not only that, but she saw what it can do. She spoke of just "going out" (another thing that got me thinking, can Ember actually do this now?) but "going out" would just keep you from feeling the pain, that weapon would do so much damage to the body, there would be nothing left to come back to.


Fear for herself had to be a big part of it, but I wonder if she also could imagine what the implications of the gun might be, for the elves. I can't imagine that there's much they would be able to do to defend themselves against more guns, and whatever technology comes next. The palace is breakable too, for some reason. I could imagine the elves being driven back out of the palace. The time for them to leave WOTM is arriving.

lunakat

Maybe this is the revelation that freaks out Cutter. At this point, Ember really needs to contact someone- because if she doesn't warn everyone about gunpowder, she is remiss.

Laurel

Tam said: And I think the decision to make the human children eat the frog raw was perhaps a bit shortsighted. They're slow now; just wait til they're sick.

They have Mender with them. He can fix the children's upset stomachs in moments.

lunakat said: Exactly! That's why it's so manipulative! Clearly the elves are not morally superior to human beings. They aren't perfect. They are just a little less exposed to particular concepts.

Ah, but that is human morality, not elvin, perhaps. For them, "manipulating" the animals may not present any moral dilemma. Look at it this way (albeit a human way) "The needs of the many..."

I am wondering, if in the confusion of recognition, perhaps Ember was "sacrificing" herself...

roboturtle said: The time for them to leave WOTM is arriving

I so thought that since way back when we were shown a teaser picture (can't find it and only remember one face clearly now). In it Skywise was looking up.

Stefan

The comment made by Sunstream being more worried about Ember's tribe than his sister made me think of this image:eqhh

It seems to hint at something that'll happen to Ember's part of the wolfriders...And that it will be the catalist for the FQ itself...Seems as if the above image is Cutter reacting to that event. (the wolfblood being that waht makes cutter react the way he does.. And Leetah's lack of wolfblood gives her a 'calmer' reaction)

skyward

I was terrified when Angrif brought the gun out. We've already seen the effect that human industry can have on the world of the elves, but firearms are really going to change everything. I feel like we're speeding headlong towards a more "modern" world and it scares me thinking about what that's going to do to the elves!

re: Moonshade and Strongbow, I think a need a minute to weep in despair for one of my favorite couples? Because I can see no way in which this ends happily. Moonshade has always stood by her lifemate no matter what, so I think it's cool that she's carving out a more "separate" identity for herself, but giving up her wolfblood? She'd lose everyone she loves! And I wonder if Strongbow, the Keeper of the Way who hates change and fears Timmain's magic so much, loves her enough to make the change with her. They'd still have to watch their children die. So either way they lose part of their family...ahh, it hurts. I don't know how this is going to be resolved!

Oh, and on a lighter note, I really appreciate how much Ember looks like both of her parents. Especially in this issue, it seems. A+ character design there.

skyward

@roboturtle Wasn't Zhantee able to create shields? Maybe that would be a practical piece of magic to start teaching the elves in the Palace about now...

Tam

I don't think most magics can be taught like that. It seems that many elves are discovering magic or new abilities within their magic, but I don't think that one can just teach another elf how to shield. :/

MrsGrizzley

Pardon the language... but OH HOLY SHIT!!!!! I just had a proverbial lightningbolt hit my head!!!!

What could be so horrible that the gift of FORGETFULNESS could be necessary?

The exact sort of trauma that Angrif is going to subject Ember to. He's a sadist of the highest degree. This is about to get worse than Saw, people, for all that ElfMom might spare our sensibilities because of it.

He's going to *break* her psychologically, for no reason other than he gets his jollies off from that sort of thing. It's the sort of abuse and trauma that STAYS WITH A PERSON for the rest of their life. You remember how horrified Leetah was at Redlance's injuries because they were purposefully inflicted? What Ember is about to feel is going to be a hundred times WORSE than that because I have a feeling that Angrif isn't going to just HURT her... he's going to attack her *MIND*, he's going to make her AFRAID. And fear... you can't just HEAL fear.

So... could this be setting up for Jink to be the daughter of Ember and Teir?

roboturtle

skyward said: @roboturtle Wasn't Zhantee able to create shields? Maybe that would be a practical piece of magic to start teaching the elves in the Palace about now...

That's a great idea! I agree with @Tam in that it seems that the particular elf needs to have an aptitude for it, but maybe they could find at least a few that would be able to learn shielding. Although, it would be a temporary solution, unless the elves wanted to engage in an arms race, because other technologies follow gunpowder, and the Djunlanders have some way to go with that one, too.

Tavie

MrsGrizzley said: He's going to *break* her psychologically, for no reason other than he gets his jollies off from that sort of thing. It's the sort of abuse and trauma that STAYS WITH A PERSON for the rest of their life. You remember how horrified Leetah was at Redlance's injuries because they were purposefully inflicted? What Ember is about to feel is going to be a hundred times WORSE than that because I have a feeling that Angrif isn't going to just HURT her... he's going to attack her *MIND*, he's going to make her AFRAID. And fear... you can't just HEAL fear.


A terrifying thought. It reminds me of what Winnowill used to inflict on her underlings, the hellish psychological "games" she played with her son.

CAN that sort of trauma be healed? I know Leetah started to try to help Two-Edge, but didn't get very far...

MrsGrizzley

Leetah didn't get very far in healing Two-Edge because he ran away from her, and I think she'd done all she could in terms of the biochemical issues that were in him by virtue of his mixed ancestry. The rest of his healing is something that *he* is going to have to do on his own, facing his own demons and recovering from them.

Healing from that sort of damage is a VERY difficult journey for anyone and I really don't know if the elves are even ABLE to appreciate just how traumatic it can be... I think they *need* the humans at this point because it's possible that only humans are capable of understanding just HOW to heal from that damage...

But I really don't know. I just know that Ember has NO idea what she's gotten herself into.

Davrille

Re: Teir manipulating the animals. While I see "for the good of the group" working on herd animals, not so much with frogs. I don't think Teir manipulating the animals is necessarily bad, however. One, they're in dire straits. Two, it gives a more subtle shade of gray to the situation. The characters aren't perfect; they don't always make choices that come strictly from their principles.

"To no animal's mind is that an alien concept" struck me as romanticizing animals too much; wolves and bears will eat their own young, after all, and some predators will kill more than they can eat. However, "the good of the group" can lead to difficult territory, too. Part of me thinks it's foreshadowing a decision the Wolfriders (either Ember's or Cutter's) must make later on,

The gun. Until Angrif fired it, the elves and the humans were on the same scale in terms of weapons. Angrif's gun didn't just demonstrate the ability to kill, but the ability to destroy. If an elf is hit by a gun, the chance of surviving is very, very slim.

On top of that, picture how it must have been for Ember. She wasn't there when Two-Edge's machines tore up the forest for Grohmul Djun; as far as we know, she's never been exposed to that level of technology. So..the gunshot, the echo, the heat as the bullet passed by her, the smell of the gunpowder and shot. All her senses must have been screaming "THIS JUST AIN'T RIGHT! RUN RUN RUN!"

Angrif is an example of "cruelty as an art form." I'm wondering if we'll see the WotM's version of "cruelty as a kindness" -- the villain who believes what they do is for their victim's own good.

Moonshade and Strongbow. In sendings there may only be truth, but not necessarily [i]all[/i] the truth. Or that sending conversation couldn't have happened. "No one thinks such things here -- ever!" Is that because they truly don't think them, or they don't want to cause Moonshade more pain than she may be going through? The spirits of the dead may not judge; the living are another story.

And -- what exactly did Dewshine cut up to make foot wrappings? Her cloak?


jeb

Davrille said: However, "the good of the group" can lead to difficult territory, too. Part of me thinks it's foreshadowing a decision the Wolfriders (either Ember's or Cutter's) must make later on,


That's what I'm thinking, too. I've always felt that the High Ones were a collective conscious, and I think as all the elves are gathered together they are going to hit some critical mass where the hive-mind takes over. Recognition between two individuals will no longer mean anything because, in a way, all will be Recognized all the time. I could see that some elves might choose not to be a part of it. Strongbow might resist, just because it's him. Cutter might break away, it's been mentioned that he feels that he's experienced something that he never wants to expose the rest to. I could see Ember feeling that way, too, depending on how it goes with the Djun.

Another thought - About the Djun educating Ember on how bad humans can be. She seems to already get the idea of torture. She sees big pointy sharp things hanging around, it's not too far of a leap. But I'm surprised that she seems to know what he's talking about and responds kind of non-nonchalantly when he talks about sexually assaulting her. You would think the thought of him forcing sex against her will would be a little more disturbing.

And I don't see why the gun is so disturbing, especially as an instrument of torture. Guns kill faster and at greater distance, but his point isn't to kill her. I'd think you can do far greater, and slower, damage with a blade. And I'm not even going to go into the realities of black-powder pistols.

RichardPini

Just popping in here to say we really appreciate all the energy going into this discussion (and there will be more, certainly - I've already seen issue #4 and #5 is well in the works). Of course I'm not giving anything away - you know me better than that! But I wanted to let everyone know we're watching. :)

skyward

@jeb I think the gun is disturbing because of its implications for the elves in general, but Ember's immediate reaction was probably just knee-jerk terror.

And on the subject of Angrif sexually assaulting anyone, he seems to think Mender can fix Krim's castration. Obviously he's not going to have an in-depth knowledge of what Mender can and can't do, so it makes sense for him to think it's possible, but now I'm curious...have we ever seen Mender "regrow" something as part of a healing? Because nothing is immediately coming to mind.

@Tavie, I was wondering about the Angrif/Winnowill thing too. Angrif seems to think that elves have no concept of torture for torture's sake, but Ember can't be that innocent when she's seen firsthand the damage Winnowill did just because she could.

MrsGrizzley

@jeb the reason why the idea of rape is kinda blah for Ember, I think, is because well, she knows he CAN'T and because it's not as horrifying an act for elves as it is for humans. For humans the act is horrifically traumatic and can damage a person for life. It isn't an act of sex, it's an act of domination and nullification of humanity. Elves just aren't that tied to their bodies. Not like that.

For an elf to REALLY understand what happens to a human when they're raped, you have to rephrase things. It's the willful mis-use of their soulname for those who have it, or anything which abuses the soul for those who don't. That makes what Winnowill did even more horrifying, for us, because she was using the literal interpretation of Mind Rape when she tortured Strongbow and tormented Dewshine.

She was an abusive rapist. And I really don't know if all the Love in the world can really cure that. I have to question if it should even be a goal because, let's face it, it's revictimizing her victims to suggest that they have to even try.

But that's not the current discussion, Angrif is, and he's MUCH more easily dealt with, for the moment. Killing him is the only answer right now. Humans have gunpowder and *reliable* firearms. Ones that are capable of *aiming* and *targeting*. This is bad. This is very bad.

But the fact of the matter is that what Angrif is doing to Ember's MIND by making her *afraid* is about on par with physical rape for humans because it's that damaging. And, sadly, that dominating.

Tam

I think the idea of him forcing sex onto her isn't as disturbing to her because she doesn't think he'll do it. I don't think it's necessarily that elves aren't as tied to their bodies like humans are, but that the idea of forcing someone into something so intimate is so foreign to them that very few can even really fathom it.

Additionally, after snapping back at Angrif, that's when he realizes she doesn't really know torture and cruelty as an art form. So in a future issue, she may very well be horrified by him forcing himself on her. I definitely agree that Winnowill was a master of cruelty for cruelty's sake, but Ember was also very young when they dealt with her, and was never really a direct victim; with the necessity of forgetfulness in beings that are so long-lived, I could certainly see childhood memories fading a bit.

In terms of the gun, I think it's disturbing as a weapon against elves as a whole, not just against Ember. Again, Ember doesn't have first-hand experience with torture; she might not be thinking why a gun would be inappropriate for most kinds of torture. She's probably thinking more about "oh crap, what if they have more and go after the tribe?" A weapon with such destructive capabilities that has a range would be devastating; archers wouldn't have a chance.

lunakat

Jeb made an interesting point earlier- that recognition might be a remnant of the cone head hive mind.

MultiFacets

MrsGrizzley said: So... could this be setting up for Jink to be the daughter of Ember and Teir?


Jink is the daughter of Skywise and Timmain.

As for Ember going out, I think she was bluffing in order to keep Angrif's paws off her, so Teir wouldn't feel her pain and be even more handicapped. I also hope that once her tribe is back in range, she can warn them about the guns. Maybe she can at least warn Sunstream?

I'll argue that animals do have a sense of compassion that can manifest in unexpected ways. It might not be as humans understand it, but it can happen.

I would say more, but basically everyone else has covered it. XD Man, I can't wait for the rest of the story! I'm practically salivating while I wait.

Edited to add: If the Palace's magic makes Strongbow uncomfortable, why does he have a shard of it at his neck?

lunakat

All of Skywise's love mates are being eliminated one by one- I'm betting he recognizes Timmain or someone soon.

Ember must realize at this point that she has to warn the rest of the elves, via Sunstream, about what the humans are capable of. It's not just about her tribe anymore.

Re- Strongbow... Because Moonshade makes him!

Heather

@multifacets We don't know who Jink's parents are. That has not been confirmed.

skyward

@MultiFacets I didn't even notice that Strongbow wears a piece of the Palace around his neck! Good eye!

Tam

MultiFacets said: If the Palace's magic makes Strongbow uncomfortable, why does he have a shard of it at his neck?


All the elves have shards of the Palace incorporated into their leathers. :) So yeah, Moonshade makes him. ;)

RedheadEmber

*Gulpwhines*

Is it... the end of July yet?

Elwing

I read it today, and it was more than OK, but as strange as it sounds I would rather wait twice as long and pay twice as much for a book with a little more substance. But I guess that's not how the comics industry works in the US?

jeb

I agree with you. I was just thinking last night that in the original series, each issue was like a TV episode. Most had a set-up, a climax and a denouement. Even though they all told a greater story, each issue was a story itself. Now, each issue is just like the little bits between commercials. It's like a soap opera that keeps shifting between stories, giving little snippets at a time. I find it really hard to get engrossed in it the way it is.

Maybe I'm just old-fashioned and this is fine for those raised on YouTube and Web - sized chunks of data. But if there is a section of the Fandom that is holding off on buying until a compilation comes out, as discussed in another thread, maybe it has nothing to do with cost, but more with the experience they are willing to pay for.

lunakat

edited out massive tangent!

lunakat

That said... yeah! Issue three! Call for help, Ember! Call for help! Can't wait for issue four- ERMIGOD!

MultiFacets

@Heather - Not confirmed, true, but the very strong implications are all over the place in "Jink" and "The Rebels".

@skyward - XD It's always so amusing when someone tells me "Good eye!" considering I'm unbelievably nearsighted. (I do have glasses and contacts, of course, but I still get a kick out of it.)

Why wear Palace shards, though? Ember wearing one I get; her tribe doesn't have a Little Palace, so it's a way to better keep in touch. But does Cutter's tribe need them when the Palace is in their backyard?

Tam

I don't think it's really a need thing, just a stylistic choice. In my mind, it symbolizes the transition that's happening from earth-bound elves to star travelers. Not for EVERYONE, but...elves as a whole. Just how being near the Palace is changing them.

Heather

A lot of the elves are wearing pieces of the palace, Shenshen, Leetah, Nightfall, just to name a few.

Trollbabe

Waiting for our battery charger to charge. So we can use it to start the car. So we can take it half a block to the auto shop. So we can get a new battery. So I can go to the comic shop and buy #3.

TalonClaw

Poor Strongbow . . . this looks like a divorce/separation in the making to me . . . 30 years ago, who would imagine this rock solid couple would ever have any problems. She just always followed his lead. Is it just the Palace, or do you think she's just tired of him after 2000 or so years?

lunakat

Well, he is pretty repetitive.

skyward

I don't think it's that at all! They obviously still love each other, but Moonshade wants something more from her life--and it's something that Strongbow just can't give her. She's looking to the future of the elves, the Palace and the magic and the communing with spirits; her lifemate is more interested in the "now of wolf thought" and the Way and watching their other children grow. It's an impasse, yeah, but I don't think it's to do with boredom of Strongbow on her part.

I blurted this whole plotline to my sister, who's never read the comics but has been suffering through my long-winded explanations for years, and even she was unhappy. "It's like they're getting a divorce but they're still in love! That sucks!"

krwordgazer

A few thoughts on what's already been said:

I, too, have had a hard time getting my EQ in such short, widely-spaced bites, but I'm spoiled from having had the other books already fully made before I became a fan. I can accept this scenario because I'd really rather get a little taste every two months than wait a year or two for a whole book that I'd then have to wait a year or two for the sequel.

Maybe I'm being too rosy about this, but I don't think Strongbow and Moonshade are on the verge of whatever would be the elf version of divorce. Bearclaw and Joyleaf got close a number of times-- but honestly, I've been married 26 years myself, and one rift, one disparity in the directions they want to go, does not a divorce make. Particularly when they still clearly love one another and are accepting of one another's choices, even if they get frustrated sometimes. Marriage is about compromise, about allowing one another to be, and it's not about calling it quits just because she wants A and he wants B.

I know that the Dreamtime arc shows that there will be a separation between them, but I always thought it was caused by death. We'll see. But I'm certainly not ready to start taking bets on how long they'll be together.

I do differ from the consensus so far that Tier is selfishly imposing his will on the creatures and is only pretending their consent as a self-justification. There is a way of thinking about nature that belongs to those who live close to the earth, and Tier clearly ascribes to it. Creatures who know death is near simply accept it, and who knows that they don't in some fashion choose what moment they will give up and allow the predator to take them? Frogs only live a few years, and that frog may have been at the end of its life, finding its muscles stiff and jumping growing more and more difficult. So when invited, it took one last jump. The deer we see the wolves eating as the children mount the others, may have been in a similar situation. I don't think Teir's rule "never the trusting ones" applies when he is not simply calling creatures to him, but asking them if they are willing to die.

That's not to say I think the elves are perfect or have a perfect society; I don't. But I think Teir is being misunderstood. In any event, he is now being the strong person I know he's always been, and the weakness he showed in the first two issues was, as I expected, circumstantial and not character-based.

But I loved seeing his and Ember's collaboration on leading the tribe. She has Cutter's gift of being able to see possibilities and jump to innovations. Having Teir call creatures who could carry the children was brilliant! Bearclaw (if he had ever agreed to allow them to come along in the first place, which I doubt) would at that point have left them to die.

I am very afraid for Ember here, though I think she was serious about "going out." Whether or not she can go out herself, she has a twin brother who can pull her out at a moment's notice. But she may very well have learned the technique from him; who knows?

Finally, this isn't the first time EQ has gone into very dark places. Guttlekraw used to casually torture elves, cutting off their fingers and so on. There have been bloody battlegrounds littered with elfin bodies. And then there's the whole Kings of the Broken Wheel arc with its threats of genocide and the long soul-torture of the bereaved Cutter. But EQ has always come out on the side of life-affirming, dignity-upholding, soul-uplifting narrative. I trust Wendy and Richard now.

RedheadEmber

One thing that annoyed me a little about Strongbow during that "confrontation" (and that was already when I read the preview) was the way he accused Moonshade of 'neglegting her living, breating daughter'.
Uhm... Freetouch is hardly a child anymore (she might actually be older than Crescent was when she died) and she seems pretty clear that she just wants her mother to be happy.

krwordgazer

@Redhead Ember: Yes, I agree-- but what Strongbow really meant was "you're neglecting me." He was just using Freetouch as an excuse, a way of venting his anger and pain. I'm glad Moonshade confronted him on it, and glad he repented instead of just getting more self-defensive. The fact that he did shows how very vulnerable and trusting Strongbow is with Moonshade. It would have been so easy for him to just turn around and storm back out, rather than accepting blame and going on his knees the way he did.

The two of them have a way of understanding one another more deeply than words. I get it. My husband and I do the same. I suspect Richard and Wendy do too.

Tavie

krwordgazer said: Yes, I agree-- but what Strongbow really meant was "you're neglecting me." He was just using Freetouch as an excuse, a way of venting his anger and pain. I'm glad Moonshade confronted him on it, and glad he repented instead of just getting more self-defensive. The fact that he did shows how very vulnerable and trusting Strongbow is with Moonshade. It would have been so easy for him to just turn around and storm back out, rather than accepting blame and going on his knees the way he did.


Totally agree. And Moonshade's offer to "tree" with him that morning showed that she, too, was conceding his point - that she was missed. Each gave a little in that interaction. He apologized for lashing out, and she agreed to spend more time with him. It was really a very touching affirmation of the strength of their bond.

RedheadEmber

Okay, now for something else entirely.

Am I the only one who found it kinda creepy that Angrif was so close to being right when he guessed that Ember suffered from "some kind of malady known only to her kind, separation."?
True, he was wrong with his assumption of what (or rather who) it was she suffered from being separated to, but still...

emerald

Wow, it has been quite a while since I have visited these forums and it has completely changed! :) Will try to stop by more often.

I wanted to just come by and say that not only are we getting NEW stories (woohoo!) but Wendy's art and Sonny's colors are just AH-mazing. I was behind two issues but I stopped by a comic book shop and picked them up. Devoured them as soon as I got home today and am still trying to absorb so many major things from one sitting!

Was really hoping the Tier and Ember thing wouldn't happen since I hoped she would go back to Mender...oh well. Was never a Tier fan, he is too odd to like.

Also anyone else bummed that Sunstream isn't living the typical 'family' life with Brill and Korafay?

RichardPini

emerald said: Will try to stop by more often.


Please do, and welcome back!

Heather

@emerald Welcome back and hope you are here more often for sure!

As for Sunstream, Brill and Korafay, they did live the the typical family life for many years before you returned to the palace. We just didn't see much of it!

skyward

Did they? Spend time together as a family, I mean? I'm not sure how much time has passed between issues, but it seemed like he left shortly after Korafay was born.

MrsGrizzley

No, Sunstream STAYED with Brill and Korafay to raise his daughter for at *least* several decades, until Korafay was "well grown", whatever that means.

But yeah, they had a "conventional" family life for a long time, and it was Sunstream's choice to stay with them. And the only thing anyone questioned him on was whether he was really ready to come back. Which I find to be AWESOME!!!!

krwordgazer

Yes -- 20 or more years actually passes between the main plot of the prologue and the beginning of the Final Quest. It's shown passing very quickly at the end of the Special issue. But Shuna and Bee's son also grows to adulthood during that time, and then Bee is killed.

RedheadEmber

emerald said: Was really hoping the Tier and Ember thing wouldn't happen since I hoped she would go back to Mender...oh well. Was never a Tier fan, he is too odd to like.



She can still go back to Mender. Having recognized Teir doesn't really hinder that.

lunakat

That is true!

skyward

Seconding RedheadEmber here; Recognition has never necessarily meant monogamy, or even accepting the other person as your lifemate (thinking of Dewshine here). Personally I think Teir's a good fit for Ember--she needs a cool head to keep her grounded sometimes. But I don't doubt that she'll do what she likes re: lovemates/lifemates.

krwordgazer

She can still go back to Mender. Having recognized Teir doesn't really hinder that.


Hmm. I've never been a Mender fan myself, and less now than ever. So casually cruel in the use of his powers against humans. Brrr. If I were Ember I'd keep my distance.

manga

My thoughts on the latest EQ: Well, now Ember knows how most humans feel around elves! Elf magic seems as mysterious and terrifying to the average human as that gun does to Ember. I hadn't really thought of it like this before but in some ways I think the elves have been acting like an armed troop that wanders into new territory and then is kind of laughably bewildered when the locals don't immediately grasp that they mean no harm.


On a lighter note:
And it needs more Rayek. Darn it, I was promised Rayek! ;)

RedheadEmber

krwordgazer said: So casually cruel in the use of his powers against humans.


I'd say Lodok and co. deserved what they got.

jorenm93

Read my copy today. It was awesome! I was scared to death, when the gun goes off etc.

skyward

@manga, did it say somewhere that Rayek was going to make an appearance in FQ? Because I would be no end of thrilled if that's legit!

RichardPini

skyward said: ...did it say somewhere that Rayek was going to make an appearance in FQ?


"It" did. Not saying where, when, how or why, but we're not done with ol' Brownskin.

jorenm93

I'm looking forward to see Rayek and Ekuar again!!
But what with everything that happened in 'Rogue's Curse'? That storyline is set in the future, so...

RichardPini

jorenm93 said: That storyline is set in the future, so...


...so it means that "Final Quest" can't be the end of Elfquest, right?

Thornbrake

Elwing said: I read it today, and it was more than OK, but as strange as it sounds I would rather wait twice as long and pay twice as much for a book with a little more substance. But I guess that's not how the comics industry works in the US?


Doesn't it work that way everywhere? I can't help but smile when I see posts like this. Back in the old days we waited THREE-FOUR months for one new issue. :x

Thornbrake

Trollbabe said: Waiting for our battery charger to charge. So we can use it to start the car. So we can take it half a block to the auto shop. So we can get a new battery. So I can go to the comic shop and buy #3.


Now THERE is a true fan!!! :-O

Heather

I like taking my time to digest an issue. Binging can be nice, but just like food, it's not always a good thing. Being able to savor it, going back and reading it a few times and really seeing so much makes me enjoy it even more. :D

Thornbrake

krwordgazer said: Finally, this isn't the first time EQ has gone into very dark places. Guttlekraw used to casually torture elves, cutting off their fingers and so on. There have been bloody battlegrounds littered with elfin bodies. And then there's the whole Kings of the Broken Wheel arc with its threats of genocide and the long soul-torture of the bereaved Cutter. But EQ has always come out on the side of life-affirming, dignity-upholding, soul-uplifting narrative. I trust Wendy and Richard now.


@kwordgazer It's SOOOO good to have you back here actively posting. You're Savah-like perspective is always so amazing. ;)

Thornbrake

RedheadEmber said: One thing that annoyed me a little about Strongbow during that "confrontation" (and that was already when I read the preview) was the way he accused Moonshade of 'neglegting her living, breating daughter'.
Uhm... Freetouch is hardly a child anymore (she might actually be older than Crescent was when she died) and she seems pretty clear that she just wants her mother to be happy.


That was one of the best parts of this issue. It TOTALLY undercut Strongbow's traditionalist curmudgeonlyness with much-needed humor while at the same time giving us even MORE perspective into Freetouch's personality. :D

Thornbrake

RedheadEmber said: She can still go back to Mender. Having recognized Teir doesn't really hinder that.


#teammender!!!! And Mender doesn't have an emoticon yet. @Rob can we fix that?!! ;)

krwordgazer

@Thornbrake: Aww, so sweet! I'm glad I'm back too!

RedheadEmber said: I'd say Lodok and co. deserved what they got.


Yeah-- but well, the soldiers were just red-shirts, you know? Just doing their jobs so as not to incur the wrath of their "Dominance." I didn't mind Mender killing the Djunlings. I did mind him killing the ordinary guys.

RichardPini

krwordgazer said: Yeah-- but well, the soldiers were just red-shirts, you know? Just doing their jobs so as not to incur the wrath of their "Dominance." I didn't mind Mender killing the Djunlings. I did mind him killing the ordinary guys.


Dey vas chust following orders, eh? The "superior orders" defense didn't work at Nuremburg, and it wouldn't work here. To us, it's inconceivable to claim that the Djunsmen are "just doing a job" that includes the indiscriminate slaughter of their own kind - including children. The elves witnessed this, in spades. A being who would partake in such murder - even if he stood by and let others do the dirty work - is not "just a red-shirt." He is, to echo a sentiment from way back, "meat to be wasted."

krwordgazer

Well, that's a point-- and if that's the reason why Ember's tribe shoots to kill, I can see their reasoning. Personally, I think the waters are a little muddier than that in war situations and am not quite willing to condemn every soldier who returns, having done something in the midst of battle that some at least would later be ashamed and or appalled at themselves about. What would I do in that situation, caught between orders and possible tortuous death for disobedience, and doing what's right? I hope I'd desert, but I have no idea. Particularly if I'd been raised all my life to believe obedience to the Djun was the highest good.

Morally culpable? Certainly. Deserving of death? Probably. Deserving of mercy? Maybe-- and I think the maybe is important. But I can see that the elves aren't in a position to give anyone a war-crimes trial.

LadyUsako

I got my copy yesterday and through it the moment I got home...
I both like it and doesn't like.... I think there is something in the storytelling that is new compared to what we've seem earlier... and I'm not sure i like than...

But still... I do like ElfQuest.... and I can't wait for the next issue to come out....

I have seen some point out all that with Strongbow, and he's comment that Moonshade is neglecting her living daughter... I actually liked that comment comming from him... as I think his right...
I would think learning from the palace doesn't mean you have to live inside it all the time away from the outside... but then again... it's what Moonshade seem to have chosen....

I can't wait to see what happens next with Ember and Angrif... she probably must warne the elves about the gun.... Sunstream may already know.... but we'll see :-)

Sifra

I like the Moonshade storyline, and I liked the scene with them. It was very cute how they both reacted to Strongbow's comment.
I also liked Freetouch's and Darts reactions. I think it's nice how Freetouch is okay with her mothers choice and it was funny how Dart kinda laughed about Strongbow.
I think Moonshade is absolutely right to do what she wants. She has spend plenty time in the tribe, fulfilling her role as tanner and raising Dart and Freetouch. Crescent is also her daughter and Moonshade still loves her, as any mother would. I think it must be wonderful to have a palace around where you can still have contact with your dead child. Moonshade also said she is learning new things and I see the attraction in that. It must be pretty boring spending a lifetime doing the same things, especially if you live as long as an elf.
I don't think they will have a divorce of any kind. It's hard on them now but I think, because he obivously still loves her, Strongbow has it in him to adjust, even if it will take a long while. :P (Of course if they do have a divorce of any kind I would be very interested to watch it.) And being in a relationship doesn't mean you have to live in the same place. They just have to find a new balance.

I don't really care about the rest of the story, to be honest, but I think Amber has a bad taste in men. :P

Laurel

Heather said: I like taking my time to digest an issue. Binging can be nice, but just like food, it's not always a good thing. Being able to savor it, going back and reading it a few times and really seeing so much makes me enjoy it even more.


I like rereading the prior issue, then the new one. I read the new one on my iPad first, since I get the hard copy a few days later. On the iPad I can enlarge each panel, which I like. I can see much more detail that way. But I still prefer the hard copy and holding it in my hands, seeing what is on which side of the page. :D

LadyUsako said: I both like it and doesn't like.... I think there is something in the storytelling that is new compared to what we've seem earlier... and I'm not sure i like than...


I am curious as to what feels different to you. Can you define it at all, yet?

I've been following everyone's comments on Strongbow. To me it basically comes down to him not accepting change. Moonshade has a new interest outside of tanning and it is so very different from what he is used to.

RedheadEmber

Laurel said: I like rereading the prior issue, then the new one


I've actually developed quite a habbit of re-reading all the previous issues (in the Final Quest) before reading the newest.
I read out-loud and... frequently have to stop because I start tearing up...

:((

Heather

I was just thinking about Moonshade and Skywise. Moonshade is having a difficult time balancing her wolfrider life, with palace life. But, Skywise, even without his wolf blood isn't finding it as difficult to balance both worlds.
This is an interesting look into the dynamics of each of their families, as well as the work they are focusing on in the Palace.
Will Skywise perhaps become a confidant/advisor to Moonshade? After all, he is the only wolfrider they know who chose to give up the wolf blood and it is something we know she has been thinking. I am curious to see this play out.

jeb

There you go, mystery solved! Jink is the child of Moonshade and Skywise.

Tam

*laughs* Nooooooooooooooooooo

Raenafel

Well, I've read issue 3, and to me the main question still is - why the hell Ember willingly chose to surrender to Angrif Djun?
No matter how many years she might have been chief, she never seemed mature enough for me to make such stupid decisions.
I think this is something Cutter would have never done. Hopes too much on the Palace to save her ass whenever it starts hurting too much? Blah

RedheadEmber

I've been wondering about Ember's choice too. It's not like she needed to be captured in order for Teir to escape.

Something else I've been wondering about is why Windkin goes to Moonshade with his question. Why not Sunstream? Or Savah?

Heather

I am wondering why Strongbow is still so uncomfortable around Timmain. I have a weird feeling that there is something more between those two. We saw in the original quest how he shut himself off to her in the same way he did with Winnowill. I just feel there has to be something going on there.

Tavie

Raenafel said: Well, I've read issue 3, and to me the main question still is - why the hell Ember willingly chose to surrender to Angrif Djun?
No matter how many years she might have been chief, she never seemed mature enough for me to make such stupid decisions.


She was weakened and disoriented by Recognition and I don't think she had it in her to put up a fight. She was also trying to distract them so her tribe could get away, right?

krwordgazer

Well, there is one result of Ember's move that is really good for the rest of the tribe. Instead of chasing them himself with a whole cohort of soldiers, Angrif has left that task to his last remaining son and just a handful of men. I suspect that's just what Ember wanted to happen.

Tam

RedheadEmber said: Something else I've been wondering about is why Windkin goes to Moonshade with his question. Why not Sunstream? Or Savah?


Sometimes, when someone starts studying something new, they learn everything they can about it, immerse themselves in it, and for a time, can seem to know answers more immediately, or at least without as much philosophical information. ;) And with Moonshade spending so much time with Crescent's spirit, maybe Windkin figured she would be the better one to ask.

Heather said: I am wondering why Strongbow is still so uncomfortable around Timmain. I have a weird feeling that there is something more between those two. We saw in the original quest how he shut himself off to her in the same way he did with Winnowill. I just feel there has to be something going on there.


I know you've gotten similar responses on Facebook, but I really think it's just because he's so private...Timmain doesn't see the need for barriers, and Strongbow is one walled-up elf. Timmain comes at him...like a wrecking ball. :P

I definitely don't think it's Recognition. *laughs* That seems to be the split, it's either that he's super private or that they're gonna Recognize...good lord. I think she just represents, at the very least, a LOT of unknowns to Strongbow, and all the changes he'd have to make in his thinking to be in the Palace more. And it's worse with Moonshade being in there all the time, because he has to face those fears instead of ignoring them.

Thornbrake

Raenafel said: Well, I've read issue 3, and to me the main question still is - why the hell Ember willingly chose to surrender to Angrif Djun?
No matter how many years she might have been chief, she never seemed mature enough for me to make such stupid decisions.
I think this is something Cutter would have never done. Hopes too much on the Palace to save her ass whenever it starts hurting too much? Blah


We discuss all of this on the latest episode of The Elfquest Show podcast with specific input from Wendy. Ember sacrificed herself so that Teir, Mender and the rest of the tribe could get away, and she most definitely ISN'T relying on the Palace to come rescue her.

Check out The Elfquest Show here.

Tam

Thornbrake said: she most definitely ISN'T relying on the Palace to come rescue her.


Agreed. If she was, I think she would have bailed by now.

RedheadEmber

Something I've been thinking a bit about lately regarding "Magical Rescues":

Ember told Sunstream not to come for her, unless she asked, she never said anything about not coming for her tribe...

jeb

It does almost seem that Ember had some kind of plan or reason for giving herself up beyond just buying her tribe some time to get away. But I wonder, based on what she said and her attitude about children in the prologue, if maybe she's just so freaked out by Recognition that it was some kind of self-destructive impulse just to get away from having to fulfill Recognition.

Heather

jeb said: if maybe she's just so freaked out by Recognition that it was some kind of self-destructive impulse just to get away from having to fulfill Recognition.

This is something that has been said in other places as well and I think by Wendy herself. Yes, recognition made her loopy.

RedheadEmber

The stunned by Recognition from issue #2 did seem to indicate a certain degree of loopy.

manga

jorenm93 said: That storyline is set in the future, so...
RichardPini said:...so it means that "Final Quest" can't be the end of Elfquest, right?


No disrepect to the artists and stories of "Rogue's Curse," but if Elfmom wants to cast it into the Worldpool and give Rayek a better fate, I will be ecstatic! Krim's hint about there being more than just the Palace to go back to gives me hope. Reading the compilation of Wendy's planned "Elric" movie gives me great cause to worry, though. And Richard will say anything just for the fun of watching me bang my head against a wall...

MultiFacets

manga said: And Richard will say anything just for the fun of watching me bang my head against a wall...


"Bang your head! Wake the dead!
We're all metal mad, it's all you have!"

(sorry, couldn't resist XD)

Anyway, the "getting away from Recognition" comment brings to mind that Ember herself said she's not interested in little cubs, and I can see why. Babies don't really have much by way of personality. (By the time Ember met Korafay, Korafay's personality was well on the way to being established.) So while she did surrender to let her tribe get away, this is also giving her time to get used to the idea of "Oh crap, I'm really gonna be a mom," and by the time she and Teir are reunited, she might be so desperate to shut Recognition up, she'll forget to panic. And though I get the feeling she might be a clumsy mother at times, Teir's right in saying she'll be devoted and truly loving.

But it does make me wonder what her escape plan is. She does have one, right? I mean.... right?

(whimper) Right?

jorenm93

I don't think she had an escape plan in mind when she was captured, but i don't think Richard and Wendy are going to let her die...

Are maybe the will? That would explain Cutter's horrified face?

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