by Wendy Pini (Author, Illustrator), Richard Pini (Author), Sonny Strait (Illustrator)
Publisher: Dark Horse Books (November 19, 2019)
Softcover, 584 pages
Dark Horse is continuing their rendition of publishing the Complete Elfquest series. This is the penultimate volume before they collect The Final Quest into one complete volume. Now while it claims to be “the complete” edition, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of Elfquest titles and issues which have been left out of these books. The original Wave Dancers series and the extra pages which the Pini’s created for the Marvel/Epic reprint of their first series - though there are issues of rights attached to these, I believe. But also missing is the Jink and Rebels storyline, the 6 issue Kahvi series, The Blood of Ten Chiefs series, the Two-Spear series, several of the Worldpool stories, the two issue King’s Cross series, and maybe one or two issues from Hidden Years as well - Plus the newly written Stargazer’s Hunt, published after the Final Quest.
So this series is more a collection of what the Pini’s have put their official stamp on and called “cannon”. The ones they are most proud of. So to be accurate, this is really the Best of Elfquest, rather than the whole of it reprinted. What you do have here is the entire Wolfrider story, which retells the conception of Cutter and his eventual rise to chief. This story was first told in the original Elfquest series, but is retold in greater depth and feeling. This is added to by various short stories from across the time frame - and while not very important tales continuity wise, they art is amazing and they are fun to read. Also included are reprints of The Discovery and The Searcher and the Stone- which are both well worth reading.
While this is a great collection of material, most of which needed to be reprinted, there are several stories here which were originally published in color and the art reflects that decision. Specifically I’m talking about The Discovery, The Searcher and the Stone, Homespun and possibly The Jury. All the rest were originally printed in black and white and are perfectly reprinted here. But for these tales some of the magic is lost. This is compounded by the fact that The Discovery and The Searcher and the Stone are both easily available on Amazon and eBay.
For more readings, try books by Rex Hurst