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Elfquest Archives Volume 4 (Archive Editions) Hardcover – 12 Dec 2007

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Amazon.com: 5 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Lovely archive, for new fans and old 21 Sept. 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Elfquest Archives: Vol. 4 / 978-1-4012-0773-1

The quest comes to a blazing and surprising end, as Cutter and the Go-Backs fight their way through the mountain in search of the High One's home. As I noted in my review for the first volume, these archives are massively colorful and detailed - with artistic drawings that draw the reader in and a sensitive and intelligent handling of all subject matter. I noted that another reviewer felt that the volume was overly bright and garish, but I didn't feel this was the case at all, in my personal opinion. I suppose there is a fair bit of torchlight scattered throughout the volume, but they *are* primarily underground, after all.

Volume 4 takes off immediately after Volume 3, as Cutter and his people are forced into a confrontation with the mountain trolls, and the Go-Backs - a fierce tribe fighting a constant war with the trolls - teach them how to survive in the freezing mountains. Once again, the Wolfriders must learn the ways of a new tribe and must learn how to get along with them, and also once again, this tension is symbolized in romance - this time between Leetah and an old friend. Indeed, this symbolism between the two tribes is most apt, for the two superficially share much in common (both the Wolfriders and the Go-Backs are well versed in war and fighting), yet there is a fundamental difference in philosophy that prevents a complete joining of these two otherwise similar souls.

Fascinatingly, the point is made later in the volume that, though the trolls and the elves are two separate races, their past and future is largely tied together, as they arrived here with the High Ones, struggle to survive against the humans, and ultimately must eke out a living together, side by side. This is particularly interesting as this is the first time the recurring theme that all elves are in the same boat (as it were) has been extended to the other fantastical races within the series.

I've noted before that it's hard to know how to classify ElfQuest within a genre. Volume 4 is perhaps the most action oriented of the series - the elf-troll war takes up most of the volume, particularly as the Wolfriders learn new fighting techniques and possess new battle gear. The "adult" material is ramped up noticeably, too, with a great deal of fighting, dying, and a scene that can only be described as a pre-battle orgy. As always, though, there is a heavy emphasis on philosophy and emotion, as childhood lovers heal their remaining emotional scars, as warriors fight and die to protect their loved ones, and as the Wolfriders come to finally understand that war and killing are bad things to be avoided whenever possible, and not the glorious rush that they once thought it to be.

Because I'm a new fan, I can't speak to how this archive compares to the original old issues. Snippets of the old issues are included in the beginning and ending of each archive; sometimes in black-and-white panels, others in full color portraits and covers. I believe, however, that the spirit of the original was perfectly preserved.

~ Ana Mardoll
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5 stars for content, 2 for new color edition 4 Feb. 2008
By Parkermann347 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been reading Elfquest for 20 years now, and the stories, particularly this book, reach levels of depth that are very rare in comics today. The fourth book of the original Quest is by far the best of the series in terms of pacing and storytelling power. This new version is very pretty to look as far as first impressions go, and I have read the Original Quest in at least 3 different forms now, from the original soft pastels of the Starblaze Donning editions, to the Father Tree versions that were more cartoonish. When I first read the new editions from DC comics, I was a little overwhelmed at first. As others have noted, the first volume is way over saturated in color, and while I liked it overall the main strength was that everything was so much clearer. The next two books are obviously a learn as you go kind of thing. Wendy appears to be trying out different things in Photoshop and it shows. Very inconsistent and too much reliance on auto features with prearranged shapes for leaves, grass etc.

While Elfquest has made the leap to `hi-def' amazingly well, the colors used in the Archive edtions are sometimes distracting. Also, Wendy appears to have a new habit of using the Paintbucket function on EVERY PAGE and it gets really annoying after a while. She literally has colored the entire page for most of each book. A few white pages would have let the art stand out in the panels and not be so overwhelmed. Maybe she thought it was a cool feature and just kept on plugging. But page after page of solid over saturated colors like these , for example yellow fading into purple that grates on the eyes - you almost have to squint to make out the text.

And, for the record, I hate, hate! the yellow tone that is virtually washing through almost every page. Someone, take away the super bright yellow selection in Photoshop as well as Paintbucket. She needs to find another color! Actually, antiquated as it might be, hand painting and drawing should come back some of the time instead of Wacom tablets and Photoshop, please! There was a time when Elfquest in color breathed life, now it is flat, lifeless and just plain garish.
This is not to say it's all bad. A handful of pages really stand out and make the chills race down my spine. The last 15 pages when the truth about the elves is at last revealed are just perfect. Couldn't be better. Why that sort of subtlety and beauty couldn't have been the norm for the entire book, I'm not sure. Was Wendy in a rush? DC riding her a little? Whatever the difference it's very noticeable. Maybe ? They had another artist take over parts of it, an it's not Wendy at all.
This is supposed to be the Authoritative Edition, but now that the Pinis and DC comics have parted ways, they will probably let this set go out of print and someday we will see yet another `authoritative' edition. Hopefully with the colors toned down out of Crayola Crayon status.
So buy if you are curious, but be aware that this is another in what has been a long line of incarnations of the Elfquest series.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Glad they are releasing this 6 Aug. 2011
By Abby - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read parts of this comic when I was a kid, but being as I was a kid, I couldn't really buy it because my parents didn't give me an allowance :( So I'm really glad they're releasing all volumes of it in hardcover copies. Even my friends who are fans want to borrow them!
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
So beautiful... 25 Oct. 2008
By Victoria Cheney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been collecting the series since it first came out and was so happy when I heard DC comics and the Pinis were working to put the series in manga form as well as hardcover volumes. Can't wait until the next volume!
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Elfquest- Archives. Volume 4 27 Mar. 2008
By Edward N. Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Always loved the art work and story line that Wendy Pini created in the original comic books. I was elated to see that she compiled several magazines into a hard back version. My only question to Wendy is When are going to the the animated versions?
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