|Elfquest: Blood of Ten Chiefs. Written by Richard Pini, Andy Mangels, and Terry Collins. Illustrated by various. Poughkeepsie, NY: Warp Graphics, 1999. 1v. (unpaged). (Elfquest Reader's Collection, Book 9b). $12.95. ISBN 0-936861-68-1.|
NOTE: This book collects the series Elfquest: Blood of Ten Chiefs, issues 1-7, 10, and 11.
"Talon," set during Freefoot's chiefdom, pits the elves against the dinosaur-like swordfeet, whose thoughts prove to be intelligible to Lonebriar (later renamed Talon when he persuades the pregnant female to leave). "Tale of the Snowbeast," another story in the Two-Spear "canon," deals with Huntress Skyfire and her clever trick to scare humans away from the holt. Next, a strange little not-quite-wolf seems to call to Oakroot, son of Freefoot, in "At the Oak's Root." But though little Winterleaf eventually proves itself to the elves, did the mysterious call come from him or elsewhere? Finally, in "The Broken Circle," the High Ones long ago put a sphere into orbit around the World of Two Moons as they prepared to land (with, of course, unexpected consequences). During Cutter and Skywise's childhood, the sphere came crashing to earth and caused some of the elves in the tribe to act oddly, fall into comas, or hear a buzzing in their heads. Only Skywise hears the noise in his head as singing. Exploring the devastated area where the sphere crashed, a handful of the adults and Cutter sink into comas. Skywise must figure out how to operate the sphere, if at all, to bring everyone back.
On the other hand, the various Two-Spear/Huntress Skyfire stories deal with a significant period in Wolfrider history. Knowing that at some point Huntress ousted Two-Spear as chief, I would like very much to see more of their story, as well as more intra-tribe conflict as the two strains rub against one another. And the story about Oakroot, who would later be the chief Tanner, is both sweet and poignant.
One thing this book could have used is a table of contents. As it stands, the reader is forced to page through to find particular stories, and the stories are not always clearly separated from one another. Particularly confusing are the stories where the title page is several pages deep into the narrative--a standard comic convention that doesn't lend itself well to collection within a book. It would also have been nice to know which artist or writer was responsible for which story. Except for a couple of the stories where the original title page listed the creators and was reproduced in the book, most of the stories are "anonymous." Finally, unlike most of the other Reader's Collection titles, this one has no foreword or afterword.
I consider this that rarest of birds, a minor Elfquest title. Read/buy the various story threads first, and purchase this one as an adjunct, unless you have considerable interest in elfin history.
Return to Rational Magic Home