Mind Capsules – New Avengers #18 and ElfQuest: The Final Quest #17

New Avengers #18

Writer – Al Ewing
Artist – Carlo Barberi
Colours – Jesus Aburtov
Letters – VC’s Clayton Cowles

Like most issues of the series by Al Ewing, this one is no different as the story gives us one thing that soon turns into something else. It is this sort of unpredictability on Ewing’s and lead character Sunspot’s part that makes it a pure joy to read. This book finds Bobby faking his own death to draw out one of the A.I.M. splinter factions and while he does so, the other members of the team are doing the same thing all over the rest of the globe. It is also here that Ewing puts his particular brand of humour to work and it makes the story absolutely hilarious at times, especially when it comes to the acronyms of those splinter groups. So as Bobby winds things up, cleaning up the mess he might have inadvertently made, some of our heroes decide that for the moment, they are a little tired of being Avengers and would rather do something else. Quite possibly the biggest loss to the team will be Wiccan and Hulkling as they just want to settle down for a little while and take a break. Of course, being as foresighted as he is and a great team leader, Bobby has a little surprise for them, but if he were to call on them in the future, you have to know that they will come running. Power Man and Max Brashear have also decided to call it quits while the White Tigers realize that if they fail to get out now, they might never be able to do so, especially as the Tiger God is still out there somewhere and it is only a matter of time before he comes back. Nice to see is that love is in the air, whether it is between the already established Hulkling and Wiccan or new romance like that between Aikku and Toni who have been working towards this point for some time now. Carlo Barberi provides some very energetic pencils for the issue and it looks fantastic to say the least. As for Songbird, she is not completely out of the picture, though she is heading over to the Thunderbolts for a bit and Ewing even throws in a bit of history with a nod to Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco’s Avengers Forever series which long-time readers will instantly recognize. New Avengers was a truly great series that ended on a strong note while leading into the new U.S.Avengers book, which will also coincidentally be written by Ewing.

4.5 out of 5

ElfQuest: The Final Quest #17

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

A lot happens in this issue courtesy of Richard and Wendy Pini including Savah and Sunstream meeting the Rootless Ones and the Djunn’s army making landfall while the various humans who live in the area being aware of such and making plans for war or otherwise. Cutter and his companions reunite with Skywise, Aroree and the others as Two-Edge lays in need of healing after his injuries and it is here that Cutter lays out his plan to head back through the Frozen Mountains in order to use the key in the hilt of his sword once again. Whether it is to save Rayek from Winnowill, to save all of the Elves even, Cutter knows that he has to do this and though the trip might be impossible, he is going to try even if it kills him. This issue has one of the biggest reveals of the story so far and it goes hand in hand with Cutter discovering that he was born a part of Timmain. Though he has come back to his senses thanks to his friends and family, he has come to a decision and that is to remain a Wolfrider and remain upon the planet. If he lives a full life, so be it and if he should die, he is fine with that as well. He will join the others in the Palace among the stars, but only after he has passed and it not only shocks the other Elves, it angers Skywise quite fiercely. If there is one thing that this book provides in spades, it is those soap opera moments and what else could you classify ElfQuest as but a drama in a fantasy setting? Yes, there is some action now and then, but for the most part, it simply details the lives of the Elves, the trials and the tribulations that they go through and what they must do on a daily basis to survive. It has for the most part, been extremely fascinating and with the Final Quest now upon us, it is great to see all the various Elves come together for on last, grand adventure. This was a good issue with an ending that definitely leaves you wanting more and one that makes you kind of sad due to the bimonthly schedule.

4 out of 5

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