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Elfquest Graphic Novel 7: The Cry from Beyond

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The first new Elfquest graphic novel in two years opens to find the elfin Wolf-riders and their companions enjoying a well-deserved tranquility. But appearances deceive as a mysterious psychic cry for help shatters the peace. The same award-winning creative team and the same characters readers have loved for ten years are back in this mysterious new adventure. Full color.


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The first new Elfquest graphic novel in two years opens to find the elfin Wolf-riders and their companions enjoying a well-deserved tranquility. But appearances deceive as a mysterious psychic cry for help shatters the peace. The same award-winning creative team and the same characters readers have loved for ten years are back in this mysterious new adventure. Full color.

30 review for Elfquest Graphic Novel 7: The Cry from Beyond

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael Jandrok

    So here we are….Book Seven of the Elfquest Saga...subtitled as “The Cry From Beyond,” it’s actually the first four anthologized issues of the “Kings of the Broken Wheel” story arc. We’re now getting close to the end of what I consider to be the “classic” Elfquest adventures. It’s been a fun ride for me as I had never really read through the series as a whole before. I understand now why so many people were swept up in Elfmania back in the day. Wendy and Richard Pini reinvented the idea of the in So here we are….Book Seven of the Elfquest Saga...subtitled as “The Cry From Beyond,” it’s actually the first four anthologized issues of the “Kings of the Broken Wheel” story arc. We’re now getting close to the end of what I consider to be the “classic” Elfquest adventures. It’s been a fun ride for me as I had never really read through the series as a whole before. I understand now why so many people were swept up in Elfmania back in the day. Wendy and Richard Pini reinvented the idea of the independent comic and took a small publication right smack dab into the middle of the comics mainstream. Elfquest opened many a door for other independent publications, and they proved that you could produce quality mainstream product and get it to market in non-traditional ways. Andy and John Byrne provide the introduction to this particular collection, and it’s interesting to hear from the guys who brought a new sort of darker characterization to their heroes at a time when comic book conventions were becoming stale and sales were beginning to stagnate for both of the major players in the industry. John Byrne made the X-Men an analogue for a generation that would eventually make itself heard through grunge music and the rise of goth culture. I have long suspected that Elfquest owes a lot of its cultural cues directly to the influence of the “X-Men.” The idea of outcasts looking for a home speaks to a pretty wide comics demographic, and “Elfquest” is nothing if not a quest for that ultimate ideal of acceptance and comfort in a place where sleep comes easy and the dreams are quiet. I’m not sure that the Byrnes are spot-on with their idea that Cutter is the Wolverine of the Elfquest universe, but there are a couple of outward similarities between the two characters. “Kings of the Broken Wheel” opens with the Wolfriders in their new Holt, taking stock of their situation while Rayek and Treestump and Clearbrook make their way to the Palace of the High Ones. This sets up one of the most shocking scenes of the entire series, as Rayek engages in what amounts to a “scouring of the Go-Backs.” Using the channeled powers of the Gliders who are now in spirit form, Rayek destroys the entire Go-Back village and exiles the survivors. This is some pretty heavy stuff, as he buries his former lover Kahvi and the child that Rayek doesn’t know he sired in the rubble of the Go-Back home cave. It’s a bit of unwarranted violence that only serves to show Rayek as the power-mad boor that he’s always been, albeit now endowed with a set of Elven superpowers that would give John Byrne’s Phoenix pause. Shortly thereafter, they reach the Palace and the spirits of the Gliders destroy the barrier that the Gnomes had built to hide the Palace. The essences of the Gliders become one with the other elven spirits of the Palace, giving Rayek ultimate control of the now renewed ancestral home of the Elves. Rayek harnesses the strength of the Palace to make it fly once more, and takes it on a journey to the Holt of the Wolfriders. Cutter’s son Suntop is in distress, hearing a cry for help that only he can detect. A plan is hatched to use the power of the Palace to find the source of the distress call, but first the Palace must make a pit-stop at the desert home of the Sun-Folk. The basic idea of this four-issue set is to set up the big events to come in the final book. In other words, no more spoilers for YOU. The art, as usual, is fantastic. The writing is crisp and clean and things move along at a speedy pace. There is the loss of an old friend, the letting go of a spirit in pain, and all sorts of Elven revelry and love-making. The Moorcockian darkness that had settled over the series while the Glider story line held sway seems to have melted away, replaced by a brighter palette of colors and a rediscovery of the joy and abandonment of the earlier stories in the saga. Cutter and his band of plucky Elves seem to have returned to a Quest that rings truer to the roots of Elfquest as it was originally imagined. There is also much more of a science-fiction element to “Kings of the Broken Wheel.” The alien nature of the High Ones has become apparent to all, and the Palace’s true purpose as a ship that can travel through time and space is finally realized. The fact that it now uses the spirits of dead Elves as a power source seems to not be an issue for any of the characters…..I guess if they’re good with it….. The spiritual nature of the Elves really comes to forefront in these final volumes. The Wolfriders have exchanged immortality for a bonded relationship to the World of the Two-Moons. The High-Ones were immune to aging, but could certainly be killed through combat. Yet ALL of the Elvish descendants seem to have a powerful soul that seeks freedom and release once separated from the flesh. This idea of spiritual renewal has been one of the central thematic elements of Elfquest right from the start, and I like how it’s handled in this story arc. One last note on aesthetics. I have mentioned before that I am lucky to have in my possession the first editions of the collected graphic novels. Father Tree Press did an exceptionally good job with the printing and binding of these volumes. I do my best to keep and protect them well, but the fact that they still look and feel great after 30 some-odd years is heartening to me. I loves me a beat-up old paperback and all...but to hold and enjoy a quality printing of a quality book is a true gift. On to the conclusion of the series.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Feld

    I really like seeing Nightfall and Redlance's plot arc here, and watching Strongbow, Clearbrook, and Treestump struggle with finding closure. It's also great to see Cutter as a father, something we've seen relatively little of in previous books, as he's often been separated from his cubs. And the art, as always, is lovely. But this is more of a "bridge" book, summing up what's happened before, tying up some loose threads, and setting up for the real conflict of book eight.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rhiannon Graye

    These are a series of graphic novels that I first read in my tweens and hold a special place in my childhood reading. I have since come back to them and re-read them several times, and for me, they continue to stand to the test of time. This series changed drastically in plot and voice after the eighth volume, and increasingly became more and more of the saccharine sweet fantasy fluff that I can't bear to read. The first eight volumes are literary treasures that I continue to cherish.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Eliza

    Hooray for ElfQuest online! Good call, Richard.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Katy Lohman

    Suntop hears a piercing psychic scream...but no one can reach the screamers. The elves decide to seek them out and help. But can they even reach as far as they find have to?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Camilla Hjertø

    Note to self: Read this online. This is Kings of the broken wheel part 1 (1-4).

  7. 5 out of 5

    David

    I think I bought this in high school at Border's Books because it was on the clearance table. I don't remember it being especially confusing or bad because I was starting out of order, in fact I remember being really drawn into the story. When I re-read this book it all seemed kind of amateurish and unoriginal...and very dated. It is the kind of fantasy story were characters have names like "Suntop" and "Skywatcher." In fact, characters are often referred to by what they do, like "he who spins sp I think I bought this in high school at Border's Books because it was on the clearance table. I don't remember it being especially confusing or bad because I was starting out of order, in fact I remember being really drawn into the story. When I re-read this book it all seemed kind of amateurish and unoriginal...and very dated. It is the kind of fantasy story were characters have names like "Suntop" and "Skywatcher." In fact, characters are often referred to by what they do, like "he who spins spells" instead of just magician. The book also seems very dated in the elves weird combination of hippy and androgynous glam rock look, with a healthy portion of faux Native American. It could have been a lot worse, but time has definitely not been kind to this series.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jewels

    I love how ElfQuest has now incorporated time travel into the story. The magic users have really developed since finding the palace, and all the intricate relationships are lovely. I really felt sorrow when Rayek committed his great atrocity. The choice between 'the way' and the need to be with his family again was really a struggle for Cutter, and I like how the story turned out.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Maja - BibliophiliaDK ✨

    I want to love this one, I really do! I loved all the other ones... But the artwork has changed too much, and not for the better, and the story is getting really tangled. But I still love all the characters to death.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    A personal favorite.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I had no concept that these books were slightly seventies when I read them. Just a little dated.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Shira

    Part of my great ElfQuest re-read!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Boyd

    Fantastic blend of fantasy and comics. Incredible characters and storyline. Highly recommended

  14. 4 out of 5

    Timothy McNeil

    I remembered this being much less coherent (and that was back when I was reading it as a comic book and didn't know where ElfQuest would go in the future). But I still hate Rayek.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    This one made Rayek a lot less interesting to me. Bleh.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bram Cleaver

  17. 4 out of 5

    Angel

  18. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bill Suphan

  20. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Potter

  21. 4 out of 5

    Erica

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kelli

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rana

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carmen Reyes

  25. 5 out of 5

    Owl

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Peppan

  28. 4 out of 5

    Hudson Obervon

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sierra

  30. 4 out of 5

    stormhawk

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