Mind Capsules – ElfQuest: The Final Quest #16 and New Avengers #16

ElfQuest: The Final Quest #16

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

Final quest though it may be, the Elves have definitely got their hands full and on more than one front. For one, Cutter has not taken to the true nature of his being as Timmain might have hoped, but he finally seems to be coming around thanks to Leetah, Skywise and those strange, new Forest Elves they have recently discovered. While they deal with their Chieftain’s turmoil, Rayek is also losing control which is a far more dangerous predicament. As he battles the humans, he holds Winnowill caged within him while the humans are dangerous, Winnowill is more so. Wendy and Richard Pini continue to delve into the lives of their most famous creations and decades later after their introduction, they are just as thrilling as they ever were. The main difference between then and now is the fact that it does indeed feel as if this is a ‘Final Quest.’ There is a slight urgency about it, almost as if the story wants to tell itself, like time is running out and it yearns for completion. Events with the Elves are picking up steam, they are making plans and congregating as never before thanks to the Call and while it is exciting to see, it is also a little sad. That does not necessarily mean that there will never be another ElfQuest tale, but you can see things winding down and the good thing about it is that it looks like it will not be a quiet exit into that good night. There is that possibility of course as the humans are clamouring for a battle, but only time will tell. Some unfortunate things take place in this issue, namely Elves being injured by friend and foe alike and you know that by series’ end, and not everyone is going to make it out alive. One can hazard a guess at this point, but it would only be guessing but the smart money says it will be Cutter if anyone. All good captains as they say and who can guess which of the Elves will simply wish to just stay upon Two Moons when the rest leave. For now, we simply have to sit back and see how it all plays out which for now, has been an amazing ride.

4.5 out of 5

New Avengers #16

Writer – Al Ewing
Artist – Paco Medina
Inker – Juan Vlasco
Colours – Jesus Aburtov
Letters – VC’s Clayton Cowles

While John Garrett, the rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. agent investigates the W.H.I.S.P.E.R. base, the New Avengers are still mopping up what is left of the Maker’s forces back at A.I.M. Avenger Base Two. As Asti the All-Seeing, Paibok the Super-Skrull, Angar the Screamer and Vermin, the Lord of the Rats keep them busy, the Maker has a bigger plan in mind which involves the President of the United States. For the most part, Al Ewing and Paco Medina craft one huge battle for the issue with room for little else except the Maker’s machinations. As such, Medina gets to go all out with the story and his pencils are probably the best they have been on the series so far. While the villains do not seem all that dangerous and on their own, only Paibok has ever really made any ground against any of the heroes, together they are quite formidable, even against the greater odds they now face. The New Avengers are getting tired of all the secrets and the plans of which they know nothing and with the New Revengers right in front of them, it offers the team a chance to let loose with all of their frustrations. Ewing of course, manages to inject some funny scenes into the book, particularly that involving Tippy-Toe who convinces Vermin’s rats to go on strike, thus ending his role in the fight. Squirrel Girl might not be the most imposing of heroes, but surprisingly she can get the job done, with a little help from Tippy-Toe, when need be. Over the course of its run, Ewing has been beefing up the cast and it now features one of the better rosters seen in some time, featuring Avengers new and old and even a few New Mutants. There is a big cliff-hanger involving the aforementioned John Garrett and it leaves everything in doubt. Will the team recover from that climactic scene and how will they stop the Maker, not to mention Garrett? Amazing stuff from an amazing creative team continues to make New Avengers one of Marvel’s best titles.

4 out of 5

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