Mind Capsules – New Avengers #14 and ElfQuest: The Final Quest # 15

New Avengers #14
New Avengers #14

Writer – Al Ewing
Artist – Paco Medina
Inker – Juan Vlasco
Colours – Jesus Aburtov

The New Avengers are in a bad spot at the moment with the team being splintered and the New Revengers taking advantage of that and attacking those who remain at their secret base. POD has already been taken down by Skar, the Weapon of Mars and the Maker – the Ultimate Universe Reed Richards, while Roberto, the Avengers’ fearless leader is assaulted by O.M.N.T.R.O.N.I.C.U.S., a villain both ridiculous and awesome. O.M.N.T.R.O.N.I.C.U.S. decides that the easiest way to defeat Roberto is to put him in a Danger Room-like setting. Roberto da Costa a.k.a. Sunspot – an X-Man! Of course, nothing is ever as it seems when it comes to Roberto’s team and as always, he is one step ahead of everyone else and that includes the Maker. Ewing continues to make this book as entertaining as possible with the perfect mix of action, drama and comedy. Though some may have doubted it during Jonathan Hickman’s run, Sunspot has made for a great leader of the Avengers – one of the best in fact. The man knows what he is doing, whether it is tactics or negotiating, being in the field or what have you, Roberto has truly come into his own. Ewing does not simply concentrate on the few Avengers that have remained behind at the base though as the rescue mission for Songbird is fully underway and our heroes having no idea just what it is they are rushing into. The book reads at a mile a minute as the pace never settles down for more than a second and it is not only the great story by Ewing that keeps it moving, but the always reliable and talented pencils of Paco Medina. There are a lot of unique characters in this one issue from the members of the New Revengers to those at S.H.I.E.L.D. to those we have not seen before like Dr. Positron – Adam Brashear’s son and Medina makes it look effortless. The entire book is one fantastic thrill-ride, but the best part of it all is the cliff-hanger that we are left on where Ewing brings back an old fan-favourite and just seeing that one page fills your body with excitement. Ewing never fails to deliver or surprise and this issue is one of the better ones in the run so far. If this one character came back, you have to wonder if more will as well and it makes you start to imagine the possibilities. With villains facing them on every front, will this return be enough to turn the tide?

4.5 out of 5

ElfQuest The Final Quest # 15
ElfQuest: The Final Quest # 15

Writer – Wendy Pini, Richard Pini
Artist – Wendy Pini
Colours – Sonny Strait
Letters – Nate Piekos of Blambot

It is hard to say if things are looking up for the elves or if they are just getting progressively worse. Whether good or bad, does one outweigh the other? On one hand, Leetah, Skywise and the search party have found Cutter, just barely alive yet willing to fight. Another bonus to their discovery is that they have also met a new tribe of elves, one previously unknown and as strange as they can possibly come. On the other hand, the Djunn’s armies are making their way ever closer and it spells nothing good. The one thing about ElfQuest is that it always packs a dramatic punch on one front or another. This particular issue features a few of them, the first dealing with Cutter obviously while a second findsRayek feeling betrayed by Ekuar who is only trying to help as he fears Winnowill’s resurgence. For Rayek, it is not just a betrayal but something far worse for of all the elves on Two Moons, Ekuar is the only one who has stuck by him through thick and thin. It will be most interesting to see if Rayek can bring himself to forgive Ekuar, for even at the best of times Rayek is quite temperamental and now, with Winnowill exerting her influence, he is even more touchy than usual. Additionally, Strongbow is preoccupied, his heart torn in two. While he wishes to stay and live on Two Moons and follow the Way until his dying day, his life-mate Moonshade is in the Palace of the High Ones, feeling that it is her destiny to be there even if it should take her away from the one who shares her soul. Strongbow has always been a very stoic elf, one of resolve and determination, much like Rayek in a way and once he sets his mind to something, he sticks to it. Being separated from Moonshade is tearing him apart though and while emotional, you cannot help but wonder which of the two will make the sacrifice to be with the other. The Pini’s of course always pack ElfQuest so full that there is usually more happening in the pages of one book than two of any other you might read and that you really have to love. It also keeps you coming back month after month, year after year and it takes a really great story to do that of which ElfQuest is definitely one.

4 out of 5

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