So the first couple issues proper of the new EQ story are out. When the first one came out, there was some blogger/reviewer type who had never read EQ before who said “confusing, too many characters, no emotional connection,” or words to that effect.
In the comments and on FB and places, people shrieked, “How dare somebody come into a 30 year saga on the latest iteration and say it’s no good! They don’t UNDERSTAND!” and words to that effect.
The thing is, the blogger was right.
I mean, I’ve been an ElfQuest fan since I was 11 years old. Thirty years this autumn. I’ve read it *all*. The comics, the anthologies, the spin-offs, the novelisations, all of it. I’ve read the original quest and the Kings stories more often than the later stuff, but I re-read every one of the later issues multiple times when they came out. I can still pull up random ElfQuest trivia that no reasonable person could ever need to know from the storage files in my skull.
And the new stuff still isn’t real compelling.
Part of it is that the issues feel really, really *short*. 20 pages plus letters pages to fill it out, and yes, it’s true I’m in the habit of reading graphic novels these days and all single-issue comics feel pretty short, but these feel really. short. There’s barely enough pages to start being reminded of what’s going on and then it’s over. Bleh.
Part of it probably *is* a lack of familarity; a lot of the current story is focused on Ember’s tribe, half of whom I can’t particularly tell apart. And they’re pursuing a storyline with her that annoys the crap out of me, even though I see the logic of it in ElfQuest worldbuilding terms, so that doesn’t especially help. But there’s been very little with Cutter’s tribe, excepting the Moonshade storyline (which, tbf, I’m fascinated by), and the Wavedancers haven’t been re-introduced since the Prologue.
And dammit, I thought the prologue was done so *well*, and I was so excited about so much of it, but…really, the first two issues really feel like a nearly incoherent mess, and I’m pretty disappointed. It doesn’t feel well paced. There feels like there’s too much repeated to hammer points home. I dunno. It’s just…meh.
(Okay, there was one thing in issue two that got me, not because of the event itself but because of its effect on a beloved character. But still. Mostly, meh.) :p