ElfQuest, published by Dark Horse comics, is a fantasy comic written by Wendy and Richard Pini, who worked on graphic novels for both DC and Marvel. Lettering is done by Sonny Strait, who has worked on and published seventeen comics, as well as by Nate Pikeo.
The comic focuses on the lives of three clans- one is of land elves known as wolf riders, while a second consists of elves from the sea known as wave dancers. There are also humans who have grown up in the elves clans and are known as peacekeepers. ElfQuest is more than just a graphic novel; like The Avengers, the comic has created its own story line and world created around the story.
The book covers six stories showing the birth of children as well as the deaths of their kin and the time passing for the clans. It also shows the relationship between humans and elves and despite the peacekeepers, humans still fear elves and the elves hate humans. They sometimes go as far as killing humans that appear hostile to them.
The two clans are both run by a clan leader. For the wolf riders a male elf known as Cutter is in charge while the wave dancers are led by a female elf known as Dewshine. It’s interesting to see the elves use magic, like being able to extend a human’s life, making them an immortal like the elves, and changing an elf to fit both the land one second and the sea the next.
The story was interesting; it made me think of LARPing and the elf races that are offered. In Alliance (a LARP group in New Jersey), you could play a land or sea elf, but instead of being one giant clan like in Elfquest, they were all at war with one another.
The illustrations seem cartoonish yet still held on to the idea of the characters being human-like. The elves were easy to pick out by their ears and also the way they were dressed and how they acted. It would have been nice if there was more focus on the magic, and an explanation on why there is a memory of an elf with wings, but no one else seems to have wings. There is also a wingless elf that can still fly like Rogue from the X-Men that isn’t really explained.
However, the story is well written and they keep the large list of characters from being mixed up by the reader, while also making them complex.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy in order to write the article.