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Help complete “the Complete Elfquest”

As (we hope) you know, Dark Horse Comics has published two gorgeous volumes in their “Complete Elfquest” series. These books contain, in the first collection, the entire original 20-issue quest; and in the second, all 17 issues of “Siege at Blue Mountain” and “Kings of the Broken Wheel.”

Those were the easy collections! Each book contains totally linear story. But now, as Warp and Dark Horse contemplate further volumes, the question becomes “In what order should the later tales be read to make the most sense?” For a while, Elfquest split into concurrent tales (Cutter’s Wolfriders in “Shards,” Ember’s in “Hidden Years”), as well as past and future threads.

If you had the perfect magic wand, how would you collect different titles (or even individual stories within titles) into nice, combined, kindred volumes that – when all is said and done – make “The Complete Elfquest”? Who knows, there may be more than one good way, and we welcome your thoughts here.


50 Comments

  1. GREAT question! I think the way the tales are organized in the online comic reader here at elfquest.com is actually a really good way of combining them.

  2. Dreamtime would be the next logical story as it happens so quickly after “Kings”. But after that it’s quite difficult for me to think exactly how I would go about it.
    I would think that Dreamtime should be followed by the Hidden Years with Ember returning to the Sun Village, then Shards and Ember’s Hidden Years.
    This is just a start to my thinking though.

  3. I am thinking:
    Dreamtime.
    HY up to 9.5, not sure, but then Shards where Winnowill steels the Palace and crashes.
    HY, with Ember’s tribe.
    In All but Blood.
    The Sword and the Searcher.
    The Discovery
    Final Quest.

    Between In All but Blood and TSatS you could add the Wavedancers, because it is mentioned in FQ.
    And if Forevergreen is canon. Maybe after HY? But only if it is mentioned in other published stories…

    When FQ is finished maybe publish Rogue’s Curse and Jink?
    BoTC and Wolfriders are some what seperate, so…. bonus material?

  4. I just recently binge read everything from up to FQ7 using the reading order suggested on the OnlineComics page (I had hard copies (graphic novels) of everything up to HY9 or so and Rogue’s Challenge). There is a bit of an omission somewhere in the index of HY and Shards where one issue of one or the other is left out of the suggested reading order, but linked there. I missed that issue and had to go back and read it, but other than that, the order there worked well for me. I’m looking forward to adding to my hard copy collection, particularly since the binding on a couple of the soft covers

    • There has been a glitch in the new comics reader code for Hidden Years which inadvertently caused one issue to be skipped. It had been corrected, but an old backup may have overwritten the fix. We’ll dig back in and see if that persistent bug can’t be squashed for good.

  5. Livie the Lurker

    Livie the Lurker on March 24, 2015

    This is a vague idea of making the continuing story linear. There are plenty of stories and series missing, I’m just looking at “and that then happened, and that then happened”. Also I’m leaving out The Final Quest for obvious reasons:

    Wolfshadow
    Dreamtime
    Hidden Years #4
    Hidden Years #9.5 – Hidden Years #15
    Shards
    Hidden Years #16-#29
    New Blood #14-#35
    Full Circle
    The Searcher and the Sword
    The Discovery

    I’ve no idea how to divide the collections though, especially since Shards, Hidden Years #16-#29 and New Blood #14-35 take place at the same time in canon. And so “all” that’s left to work out is how to collect everything else…

    • One thing to keep in mind is that the two volumes Dark Horse has so far published were roughly 700 and 500 pages. We don’t know yet but suspect they’d rather put together books that contain consistent story lines, than insist on a certain page count.

  6. I kinda want to suggest that in the section of the storyline where Shards and Hidden Years took place contemporaneously, perhaps alternate issues of each? (I often rewatch Buffy and Angel episodes like that, since they’re contemporaneous starting with S4 of Buffy and S1 of Angel. I have OCD >_>)

    • You’re not the first to suggest such a scheme. It would be kind of radical, but then that could be fun as well.

  7. I am on the midst of reading everything from start to finish, some of it for the first time since I didn’t catch all of it the first time around., so I did some research into a definitive Reader’s Guide (for me). The timeline and chronological links here on the official website gave me a lot of insight. Also, you need to think about what fits in a printed volume, about 20 issues or so to keep with the format of what’s gone before.

    I think you should take a step back in the timeline to what was going on during the Long Wait and then go forward from there. So this is what I would do:

    Hidden Years 2,1,3. New Blood 11,12. Kahvi 1-6. Wolfshadow. Dreamtime (about 5 issues worth in length). Rogues Challenge (which is Hidden Years 8,6,7,9,9.5), with Hidden Years 4 inserted after issue 8 to keep things chronological. This is about 23 issues, a good fit for a volume. It also sets up the Shards War storyline well for the next volume. It would be nice to fit in The Jury too if their is room after HY 3. What do you guys think of my list?

  8. “the Jury” story line as well as the story with “Strongbow and his Wolf Briersting” should have been woven into the “Kings of the Broken Wheel” story line somehow, after that should be “Dreamtime” and the “Tale of Little Patch” “Daughters Day” with “Rayek and Venka” then “Wolfshadow”, “Hidden Years”…This is where I have had many discussions on the Order because the story splits at this point and the 3 stories run simultaneously with “Shards”, “Hidden Years again (Ember becomes a Chief in her own right), And “New Blood” (Dart, Suntop and Wing as they go against Door and some Crazy Humans)…I know I am missing some stuff! because, I have collected and Scanned for (My own Private) digital reading every ElfQuest Story “Ever” Printed! I have reconstructed it so that it reads (for me anyway) in Chronological Order! Starting from the Coming of the High Ones in “Blood of Ten Chiefs”, following the Ten Chief, through “Wolfrider” (Bearclaws Story), through the Original Quest, SaBM, KotBW, all the way through to the Current issue of Final Quest!!! 3,888 Pages in order as I felt it should Read!!! I used alot of the Bridge art from the Marvel Issues and the Manga issues to link story lines as well as wove in alot of the side stories so that it flows nicely and Makes sense…All on a nice little 16GB Thumb Drive! and a back up copy on my satellite Harddrive!! It’s an OCD Thing!!! Then we have all the individual side storylines to think about…Embers Story (Hidden Years), Darts Story (New Blood), Kahvi, Wavedancers, Rayek’s Story (Rogues Curse), Fire Eye (Jetthal’s Story), and finally Widkins Story!? Where do you fit these in? Shade and Sweetwater!!!

  9. This is the order I read the Reader’s Collection Books!
    Kahvi
    Dream Time
    Shards
    Ascent
    Reunion
    Legacy
    Huntress
    Wild Hunt
    Shadow Stalker
    Rogue’s Curse

  10. As somewhat of a purist, I would want them in the order they were originally released.

    • Question: Do you mean “the numerical order within each title” or “the chronological order of publication from month to month”?

  11. There are so many meh stories—I mean they’re still EQ and I love reading them but there are plenty of stories that would make people question why everyone loves EQ so much if that was their fist exposure to it—I lean toward versions 3 and 4 being told in some sort of sequential fashion featuring only the best elements of the story that drive toward the Final Quest. For instance, I don’t recognize the story where Skywise becomes a wolf-elf cannon and that’s fine left on the cutting room floor where someone who is hooked can always circle back and find it but it doesn’t necessarily need to be known to get the most out of the full story. Same with most of the Barry Blair stuff and Wavedancers. I was happy to read them once but I would love a way around them as a reader. If there’s a way to pull out key panels or pages that help tell the story, fine but not sure everyone needs all the details from all these tales.

  12. Maybe it can be done in the storybook style that was so wall done in Reunion. Just hit the high notes.

  13. Storybook style would be nice. I do like that idea. And while I know paperbacks are cost effective, I wouldn’t mind a hard back.

    • The storybook was a fun experiment, and there could very well be more such formatted tales in the future, but Dark Horse seems to be firm that they want all the comics reprinted as they appeared (though perhaps in high quality black and white to keep the price down).

  14. I’m leaning more towards Stargazer7’s list. That sounds great!

  15. This would certainly depend (for me) on the number of pages required for each volume. If you go with 500pages volumes, the task becomes a lot simpler, I think 😉
    The idea on an approximately 300 pages volume was like this

    KoBW 1-7, HY 1, the Jury
    HY2 (Going Back), NB 11, 12, 13 (1/2), Kahvi 1-6
    KoBW 8-9, Dreamtime (1-12), HY 3 (Little Patch), Wolfshadow (as bonus)
    HY 8 (Daughter’s day), HY 4 (Right of passage), HY 9,5 – 15 (if you wish to include the nice bridging art from Rogue’s Curse hardcover, I guess that would require including HY 9 (Enemy’s face) and HY 6,7 (How shall I…) – another 80+ pages)

    But there’s certainly much more than one way to make ElfQuest complete…

  16. I tend to prefer my EQ in related chunks that don’t hop too far back and forth across the timeline at once. The end of Rogue’s Curse annoyed me in that respect, as did the Rogue’s Challenge graphic novel even though I think the additional artwork that was added to string those issues together did help a lot. That said it’s definitely an interesting challenge to group the stories together in a way that maintains a feeling of cohesion as well as a good sense of when things are relative to other things. This is how I’d probably go about it:

    The Far Past
    * Hidden Years 6-7
    * Blood of Ten Chiefs 1, 3, 4, 6
    * Two-Spear issues 1-6
    * Blood of Ten Chiefs 5, 7, 17, 18, 9, 8
    * Blood of Ten Chiefs 20

    Mantricker’s and Bearclaw’s Time
    * Blood of Ten Chiefs 12, 13, 14, 2, 15, 16
    * Wolfrider Manga, but I’d take out Out of the woods, Eclipse of the Heart and Fur Flowers Gift
    * HomeSpun

    The Sun Village:
    * Hidden Years 9 – The Enemy’s Face
    * The Heart’s Way
    * New Blood 4 – Moonshade
    * New Blood 5 – Windkin’s Birth
    * New Blood ’93 – Rockshaper
    * Hidden Years 2 – Going Back
    * New Blood 11-15 p.15 (or maybe just through #13 p.19 plus pages 24 & 25? Not sure this needs the lead in to the Forevergreen or not)
    * New Blood 20 p.10-14
    * New Blood 22 p.19-25
    * New Blood 25-26
    * Shards 16 (where the palace picks up the Sun Villagers and Dart’s Band)
    * Windkin?

    The in Between Times
    * New Blood 6?
    * Hidden Years 1 – Wolfwood
    * Hidden Years 3 – Little Patch
    * The Jury
    * New BLood 9 – Egg and Timmian
    * New Blood 1 – The Price of a Soul
    * Kahvi issues 1-6

    The Returned Times
    * Dreamtime
    * New Blood Summer Special ’93 – The Passage
    * Wolfshadow Summer Special 2001 #1
    * Hidden Years 4
    * Hidden Years 8, 9.5

    The Shattering
    * Hidden Years 10-15
    * Shards 1-13
    * Hidden Years 16-29
    * Shards 15-16

    The Forevergreen
    * New Blood 15-35 (minus the Sorrows End vs humans story)
    * Shards 16 where the palace picks up Dart’s Band (Not sure this is needed)
    * Windkin?
    * Fire-Eye
    * WorldPool

    The Gathering
    * Full Circle
    * Searcher and the Sword
    * Windkin 1 & 2
    * WaveDancers Special – Turning Tide
    * WaveDancers parts 1-11
    * parts never finished off the website
    * The Discovery

    Ember’s Tribe
    * The Wild Hunt Betwixt Tales
    * The Wild Hunt
    * Recognition Summer Special 2001 #2
    * parts never finished off the website

    Final Quest
    * Final Quest Special
    * Final Quest 1-?

    Rogue’s Curse
    * Rogue’s Curse parts 1-3
    * Fantasy Illustrated – Rogue’s Curse
    * Rogue’s Curse 4-19

    The Stars
    * Proof Positive part 1-2
    * Jink issues 1-12
    * The Rebels issue 1-12
    * Future Quest parts 1-10

    Children’s Stories
    * New Blood 6
    * New Blood Summer Special ’93 – Eclipse of the Heart
    * New Blood Summer Special ’93 – Fur Flower’s Gift
    * New Blood Summer Special ’93 – Naming Day
    * Bedtime Stories Graphic Novel/New Blood 7 & 10
    * A gift of Her Own

    Worldpool
    * New Blood 1-3 Darkness Rising
    * EQ2 – Small World
    * EQ2 – Leetah’s Song
    * EQ2 – King’s Cross
    * Kings Cross 1-2
    * EQ2 & Independent Voices – Wish Upon A Star

    Comedy
    * New Blood 1 – A Troll’s Tale
    * New Blood 1 – Berries For the Brave
    * New Blood 8 – Invasion Infestation
    * New Blood Summer Special ’93 – Lethargic Lad Hands
    * New Blood Summer Special ’93 – Heal Thy Elf
    * New Blood Summer Special ’93 – How Not to Write EQ
    * EQ2 – Return of the Redeye
    * EQ2 – Grow Wild and the 7 elves
    * EQ2 – Story Time
    * EQ2 – Mr Beat Meets Elfquest

  17. There’s a handful of stories I cant quite decide where they go because They really feel like they belong in two places.

    New Blood 6 works at either the beginning of The In Between Times or in Children’s Stories depending on how you want it to feel, but it always felt more like the Bedtime Stories than like main cannon EQ.

    Hidden Years #2 and New Blood #11-13 drive me kinda nuts, as they very much tie into Khavi’s story, and the Sunvillager stories. I have them with the Sun Villagers, but could easily see them integrated in before Kahvi with the In Between Times. I suppose you might move Kahvi to to the end of the Sun Village and call it something like Fire and Ice, but that would just feel like a really weird ending note and she fits in better with the stories of The In Between Times anyways.

    Then there’s New Blood #13-15 plus the whole story of Sorrow’s End being attacked which always felt like it’s own story to me given that if you pull it out you can leave The Forevergreen stuff standing entirely on it’s own. They are another couple of issues that really want to be in two places. I mean you dont have to have them in The Returned Times and The Shattering for the end of Shards #16 to make sense, but if you put them in context it does make it less confusing.

    I also couldnt figure out where to put New Blood 5 but decided that with it being Windkin’s birth it fit in with how big a part of the Sun Village arc he is. The individual Windkin stories are a hard one as well, they also fit in well with the Sun Village arc, (and would add more context to New Blood 5 being there) and could also kinda drop in between the Forevergreen stuff and the Fire-Eye stuff. However I very much feel like they go with The Gathering which was me trying to tie together the new stuff in context with the older threads it’s all pulling together right before Final Quest. It gives a little more context to his relationship with Ahdri and it fits in with the WaveDancer stuff from EQ2. What do you guys think?

  18. From the “credit where due” department: Skya helped greatly with the years-long project of putting the Elfquest back issues online, scanning thousands of pages from the comics.

  19. Here’s another suggestion: getting new clean, black and white scans to remove the sometimes muddy coloring in storylines like Shards and Hidden Years. Maybe even having Wendy (or someone else since she’s focused on Final Quest) do a makeover on the art to correct off-model characters or flat-out mistakes.

  20. Skya’s concept looks great! I like the way the issues are collected thematically.

    Details that came to mind:

    I think Hidden Years 9.5 should go in the same volume as Hidden Years 10, if at all possible. HY10 follows directly, in the same day, even.

    I was under the impression Leetah’s Song was part of canon, since it was referenced in Full Circle, so it could either go before Full Circle, or after the last part of Shards.

    The Windkin shorts – didn’t he have what looked like an automatic gun on him in one of those, suggesting at least that one took part in the future (taking Final Quest as present for now)?

    Alternating the parallel-running issues of Shards and Hiddey Years seems like a good idea, particularly considering that they “touch” im between.

    Clean re-scans would be great, but I’m not sure it’s feasible – I’m assuming the other artists kept their original pages and may have sold them. I remember Brandon McKinney offering some.

    And getting into pipe-dream territory, I’d love to see the Wavedancers storyline completed entirely, to close the gap between that and The Discovery.

  21. “Clean re-scans would be great, but I’m not sure it’s feasible – I’m assuming the other artists kept their original pages and may have sold them. I remember Brandon McKinney offering some.”

    Yes, it was always Warp Graphics policy to return original art to the one(s) who made it. If one person did both pencils and inks, they got all the pages back. If there were separate pencilers and inkers, they split the pages. Our understanding, from watching some wizards at work at Dark Horse headquarters, is that they’re able to take even marginally printed color pages and extract really crisp black and white linework from them. They’ve already done that for some of their other collections. We’re very hopeful!

  22. Okay, comparing notes further on:

    NB 13 (1/2), 14-35, Windkin 1-2 (I feel it belongs here for several reasons: artwork style, a little bit of a “worldpoolish” taste to the story, it’s black and white, it’s logically connected to Windkin’s story of returning back from the Forevergreen to Sorrow’s End and starting his journey to meet Wavedancers etc.) (580 pages)
    This Forevegreen arch ends with a reunion of the tribes, same as Shards #16.

    HY 16-29 (350 pages). Also ends with a reunion, Teir is left behind at Howling Rock.

    SH1-16, leetah’s song, Full circle (Ultimate reunion, personally I’d rather include Full Circle into SATS, because SATS is so short by itself, but only if Full Circle were colored *snicker*) (450 pages)

    NWD (230 pages)

    SATS, Discovery (220 pages)

    Wild Hunt, Mender’s Tale, Recognition (old one) (550 pages)

    FiQ (500 pages?)

    Fire Eye, Proof Positive (320 pages)

    Rogue’s Curse (300 pages)

    Jink, Rebels, Futurequest (750 pages)

    OLD TIMES and stuff
    BOTC huge volume:
    HY 6,7 (How shall I…) – if not included otherwise, BoTC 1,3,4,6, TS1-5, BoTC 5,7,17,18,8,9,12,13,14,2,15,16,20,10,11 (there’s a huge dilemma, whether to include #10 and #11 here, since the artwork is marvellous, and very much deserving (IMO) to be included into Wolfrider volume.) (650 pages)

    Wolfrider volume: WR-5, bridging page from manga, HY5, WR5,6,7,Troll games…,HY5, (BoTC 10,11 – optional),WR 8, Courage by.., WR9,10,11 (230 pages)

    MISC volume:
    NB,s.sp Eclipse of the heart, Naming day, HY9 Enemy’s face (if not included otherwise), Nb1,4 (Moonshade), NB9 (Long dream’s ending), NB 5 (Windkin’s birth), NBs.sp. Rockshaper, Price of a soul, Voluntary chain (+Ausp.Beg,Power of2, Choice of dir), Passage. (Darkness Rising – optional, since it doesn’t really fit anywhere else *giggle*)

  23. I mean month to month. Publication order. I can always look up chronology on my own and read them as such.

  24. Hmmm cant seem to leave a reply to individual people the way Richard did. Lots of thoughts here then.

    @ElfQuest: It is a project I’m proud to have been a part of

    @Raenefel:
    1)Windkin fits well in so many different places that I’d be loathe to put it in with the Forevergreen arc just because I’d really like to be able to keep that entire arc separate and only pull it out when I really want to reread absolutely everything.
    2)Hmm, yeah Proof Positive could work well with Firefly instead of Jink/Rebels.
    3)Full Circle really goes with SatS even if it’s not colored the a colored version of Full circle would be amazing
    4) I also originally had a misc short stories compilation, given the choice I’d really rather have them integrated into the places where they fit best.

    @Anke: Yeah I can see what you mean about putting HY 9.5 in with HY 10 makes things feel more continuous

    Since we’re looking at larger books I’d probably combine The In Between Times and The Returned Times into one book and move HY 8 and 9.5 to the beginning of the Shards arc wherever that ends up. I’m pretty unattached to whether Shards and Hidden Years end up interwoven or as separate story arcs, but if doing separate story arcs what do you do with Shards #16, stick it at the end of both?

  25. @Skya Well, yes, but for example “Moonshade” fits best to Book 2, and “Windkin” (birth) to book 4, “Long dream’s ending” perhaps to book 3. But graphic differences make it hard to want to include them there (for me).

    So, forgive this purist vibes, but OQ volumes are Wendy-Only in my universe;))

    Which makes a MISC volume very very required to fit all the standalone issues that do not quite fit in other places.

  26. Moreover, Proof Positive has same art style with Fire Eye. (same place – town Port Passage)

    Where else would you put Windkin story? To Wavedancers?

    Another difficult story is BoTC series. While there are absolutely stunning tales both in terms of art and plot, the majority of them cause a “meh” reaction in me. But I’m trying hard to love them as they are. Those like “hero worship” or “scavenger hunt”, they seem more like a “what if” tale rather than actual story, or even a myth, or anything that could give you view on the events more or less accurately. They just seem out of place.

    But if I were to decide how to make ElfQuest complete, I’d probably publish them in a single volume, together with Two-Spear.
    I would also include HY 6,7 into this volume rather than in Rogue’s Challenge, because this is the very beginning, and we see Coneheads in it.
    The next issue where we see them again, is BoTC 10,11 which is the end of BoTC series, and makes a nice “circle”.
    The volume would start with these mysterious aliens and end with them.

    Wolfrider just WANTS color.

    As for New Blood “War” episodes, I would just split NB #13 into two halves.
    One (up to Dart going into wrapstuff) goes with following Kahvi series.
    The rest would go to NewBlood 14 and on, when the story starts revolving around Suntop rather than Dart.

  27. Hmn what if you took everything I had in the Sun Villagers section and added in the for Fovergreen? So something like this:

    * Hidden Years 9 – The Enemy’s Face
    * The Heart’s Way
    * New Blood 4 – Moonshade
    * New Blood 5 – Windkin’s Birth
    * New Blood ’93 – Rockshaper
    * Hidden Years 2 – Going Back
    * New Blood 11-35
    * Shards 16 (where the palace picks up the Sun Villagers and Dart’s Band)
    * Windkin

    Gives you a place for most of the short stories and a good place for Windkin. I know it doesn’t give the nice New Blood tie in with the Kahvi series but Kahvi goes pretty well with the Dreamtime stuff under things that happened while the Wolfriders slept.

  28. I’ve been working on this for quite a while now. I’m torn whether the Wolfrider stories should be told first or Hidden Years/(select) New Blood, followed by Shards/Howling Rock/Forevergreen (which I would shove together 100% of the time, though I’m also not sure of the best order for those).

    I actually have all of the images from the reader saved on my computer in folders I periodically rearrange(which I can’t/won’t share, for ethical/legal reasons). But I could go through and do a write up.

  29. Please, I am humbly begging, do not re release the various storylines in the original black and white muddy format that appeared in the Reader’s collections. Please don’t do that. If at all possible, I hope a team of artists can clean this material up a bit so that it doesn’t look so shabby compared to the 2 books we have now from Dark Horse.
    The computer has changed things so that with graphic programs like Photoshop, Dreamtime, Shards, etc could be made clearer.
    Thanks for asking us!

  30. Just bought the two “complete elfQuest collection” volumes, didn’t know that the black and white line-art was so marvelous 😀

    I’d go with a volume of Dreamtime first and then Shards and Hidden Years (Ember’s tribe) preferably in one volume.

  31. I think that kahvi’ story should be included right before Dream Time since it is mentioned in Dream Time itself. With Shards and Hidden Years, I think that the first volume, with Cutter and the palace, should go up to right before the two tribes meet again. After that volume, which would be Ember’s tribe, that volume could end when the two tribes meet back up. I’m in the process of reading new blood now so I’m not sure where those would go. However, aren’t the New Blood stories all “what if” stories? If so, why would they have to be weaved into the story and not into their own separate volumes?

  32. I think Dreamtime, Kahvi and the new blood flashback stories of the ten thousand years would be a nice Vol 3.

    Vol 4: Hidden Years leading up to Shards, all of Shards and Full Circle. (I think The Searcher and the sword fits better here, but maybe the volume would be to big?)

    Vol 5: Ember leading the wolfriders and all of Wild Hunt and Menders tale

    Vol 6: Sun Village stories and Forevergreen

    Vol 7: stories about high ones, Timmorn and Blood of ten chiefs

    Vol 8: Wavedancers, The searcher and the sword (Sats seems a bit out of place here, even it if is cronologically correct), Discovery

    Vol 9: stories about Rayek

    I have probably forgotten some

  33. Does anybody know if what is in the WILD HUNT and SHADOWSTALKER reader’s collections books is during hidden years or not. I read them after Huntress and it seemed to make sense. Also, would Dark Horse allow different stories in one volume?
    Example: Volume 3 could have Kahvi, Dream Time, and some Hidden Years. Or do they want one volume that has Hidden Years, One with New Blood, and another volume with Shards?

  34. Since this was tweeted out/brought up again, here’s some of my thoughts. I don’t have issue numbers handy, so I’ll be rather generic.

    At the point volume 2 leaves off, story-wise, the tribe has just been reunited. Realistically, Leetah and Skywise (and likely the cubs) would want Cutter and the others to tell them what happened while they were gone. This means that it’s the perfect time to introduce all of the stories that took place during the wait (bridging artwork introducing it as tales being told would give it a framework as well, but that’s just me being greedy).

    This would include the early Hidden Years issues (Little Patch, the one with Strongbow, etc), the Sun Folk/Go Back war, etc. Dreamtime is natural to go after this, as everyone is already thinking on what happened during that time period. Given that, as people pointed out, Kahvi is directly referenced in Dreamtime, Kahvi belongs in here as well, though I don’t know if it should be placed before or after Dreamtime.

    The story where Skywise wishes he had his wolf blood back also would work well here, followed by when they go to the Sun Village to heal everyone from the war. Other “current” (as relative to the point in the story where the book is at) stuff could follow, and I feel it would be fitting to end with Cutter and Rayek’s fight.

    Ending the book there would bring the events of this and the previous book full circle, as Rayek has done what he did, we have learned about what happened when he did it and how it affected everyone, as well as the fallout, and now Cutter and Rayek have come to terms and accepted what happened, allowing for both to move forward.

    Volume 4 is where it gets complicated, since we have the 3 concurrent storylines. Obviously, Shards 16 HAS to come last, since it ties everything together, and all 3 storylines are represented. But how to present the others? Bouncing back and forth between the three arcs would be confusing, especially with New Blood/Forevergreen, since it has such distinctly different artwork. Rather, I’d prefer them being grouped together by series, and even a “Part 1,” “Part 2,” “Part 3” separation. Start with Hidden Years, since Shards splits off from it. Then do New Blood, so that Shards, with its finale, can be last.

    After that, it’s much easier to present things in more-or-less chronological order, and there’s probably only 1 book left before we hit Final Quest anyway, of the “current” stuff.

    As an aside, I think that all of the “Before Times” stories should be grouped together, but I don’t know when/where that book should be placed. That would be all of Blood of Ten Chiefs, Two-Spear, Wolfrider, the story of the Elves first coming (it works where it is in Hidden Years, but I think it would work better in a “Before Times” book), and even HY5 with Skywise finding his parents’ killers. All in chronological order, rather than bouncing around like BoTC does.

    Another stand-alone book, obviously, would be Whirlpool, starting with the original introduction to New Blood, explaining that these are stories that maybe did, maybe didn’t happen. Ideally, the original Wavedancers would be included in this, but I know that it’s not possible. The original Recognition story, though, would fit in here, as it’s been rewritten and worked into Final Quest. The Children’s Stories also fit in here.

    Yes, I know missing from my stuff is all of the Future Quest-related materials. Because I don’t think they SHOULD be published, at least, not yet. Wait until Final Quest is done, so that we can see how they tie in with everything, and publish them after that.

  35. Great news to hear, that the collections from Dark Horse will be continued. I have been wondering what will happen after Vol 2.

    Here some thoughts on things posted above:

    Windkin
    Is this in the Elfquest Comics Reader? I couldn’t find it there. Does anybody have a link or under which title can it be found?

    Shards/Hidden Years: I recently reread them 1:1 switching between the storylines. I noticed that they do not fit together. I thought they were supposed to start at the same time and get together with Timmain leaving HY and appearing in Shards and in the end with the Palace picking up Ember’s tribe. But in their wanderings passes much more time then in Shards, while Cutter’s band tries to enters Citadel mount.

    So for the collections it would be better to have each storyline it it’s own volume. Or in the same volume but one after the other – possibly Ember’s part first, then a “to be continued on page xxx) and then Shards with the end for both.

  36. Since the reader here on EQ.com suggests alternating chapters of HY and Shards during the time frame they’re simultaneous, how feasible would it be to publish them that way? Namely, “For the best reading experience, read Hidden Years 9.5 to 15, then alternative reading issues of Shards 1-13 and Hidden Years 16-29, then finish with Shards 15 and 16.” So the volume of Complete EQ that includes those chapters, could it be spliced together as Shards 1 / Hidden Years 16 / Shards 2 / Hidden Years 17 / Shards 3 … and so on, until reaching the dénouement of Shards? The only reason I can think of not to do this is that the switch between the art styles of Steve Blevins and Brandon McKinney might be a little jarring for some readers ^^;

  37. I feel the stories each in their own volumes would be perfect.
    Kahvi/Dream Time
    Hidden Years/Wild Hunt
    Shards
    New Blood
    BOTC/ Two Spear/ Other extras
    World pool and “what ifs”
    Discovery/Searcher And The Sword

  38. I’ve been thinking about this since I was 12 years old! I used to make my own chronology lists, marking down page numbers and fantasizing about such compilations.

    Thanks for asking us for help!

    My priorities these days are a little different then they were twenty-some years ago, and my design for these volumes would be accordingly more sober. Listed in rough order, they are:

    a) creating a great reading experience for someone enjoying Elfquest for the first time, coming off of the amazing jag of Kings of the Broken Wheel and ravenous for more.

    b) cheating — by reading the books titles not as “The Complete Elfquest,” but as “The Complete Elfquest by Wendy and Richard Pini” whenever possible.

    c) making these volumes filler-free and looking great on my bookshelves

    d) making these volumes handy references for future scholars

    With all that in mind, I propose five volumes, followed by FINAL QUEST and whatever comes after:

    1) “CATCHING UP” – this is the breather book, serving as the first few issues of “Hidden Years” did back in the day. Some of my very favorite stories would be in this collection. It’s also probably the most complicated volume.

    HY #1 – Strongbow (set the tone for this volume as someonewhat of an anthology volume, more concerned than telling smaller stories)
    HY #2 – Kahvi (set the reader firmly in the “Long Sleep” era, something that may be lost on them on a casual reading of HY#1)
    The Jury (placement in this volume could also follow “War”)
    NB #11, 12 (“War” – the first non-Wendy art in these volumes but a crucial and wonderful story)
    Dreamtime (excluding the “Wendy” chapter — AKA “Part ?”)
    HY #3 (Little Patch – told as flashback)
    Wolfshadow (if desired)
    HY #4 (Ember visits Sun Village)
    NB #13 (concluding the story of “War”) (I think this is the best placement for this story — though it takes a little work on the reader’s part, it lets the reader discover some of these events first through Ember’s eyes inHY #4)
    HY #9.5 (I’ve noticed many people consider this part of the “Shards” storyline, but it’s much more of the ending of the story then the beginning of the new one, even though the destruction of the palace happens in close chronological proximity.)
    Dreamtime Part ? – as an addendum

    What a great volume that would be!

    2) SHARDS
    This is an easy one. This would take the SHARDS storyline from Hidden Years #10-15, and the entire run of “SHARDS.” Mainly McKinney art. Nice, big volume.

    3) WILD HUNT
    This would take Ember’s stories from “Hidden Years” 16 on, and “The Wild Hunt” anthology. These are great stories, especially the later ones, but they are much better read separate from the “Shards” storyline in my opinion. Alternating issues is occasionally done in some mainstream crossover collections, and it never helps the story. The “Hidden Years” and “Shards” series, though they ran parallel and were complimentary to each other, deserve their stories told as their respective storytellers intended.

    4) AFTER THE SHARDS WAR
    Probably a smaller volume, but a nice one. I put the Final Quest Special on the end there for kicks.

    Full Circle
    Rogue’s Curse (short story)
    The Searcher and the Sword
    The Discovery
    Final Quest Special

    5) “BLOOD OF TEN CHIEFS” / WOLFRIDER / whatever you want to call it
    This would be a collection of Wendy Pini stories, mainly from the time of Bearclaw. It collects the major loose ends and also has great thematic unity!

    Wolfrider (Wendy parts especially, other parts as needed)
    Courage By Any Other Name
    Hidden Years #5 (Skywise)
    The Heart’s Way
    Homespun

    If this volume appears too slim, it could also be a good repository for Blood of Ten Chiefs stories, Kahvi, or (my choice) the Marvel pages.

    That’s basically Elfquest as I’d give it to a friend who had asked me to be their guide.
    By this point you’d have quite a healthy collection of volumes and could publish other storylines — Forevergreen, FutureQuest, etc. — as demand dictates!

    Thanks for indulging me! I hope this helps in some way and that whoever gets put in charge of this enjoys thinking about this as much as I do! – Brian P.

  39. I actually just went and figured out what my roommate should read next, since she’s through Vol. 2, and this is what I came up with:

    Complete Elfquest Vol 1: 20 issues
    Complete Elfquest Vol 2: 17 issues

    So we’re looking at about 17-20 issues for Vol. 3

    Ideally, this volume should get us ready for the split.

    First, it should be pointed out that New Blood 5 should have been in CEV2, since it’s Windkin’s birth, and takes place prior to the events of that volume. So it should be in V3 (1).

    Next, we have the stories that take place during the Disappearance. Hidden Years 1 and 3, the Go-Back/Sun Folk War in Hidden Years 2, and New Blood 11-12, and Kahvi 1-6 (12).

    Ideally, we’d then have Dreamtime. But Dreamtime is 12 chapters, which would put us at 24 issues/chapters. Dreamtime references Kahvi, and Kahvi takes place after the Go-Back/Sun Folk War, so I feel those 3 sets should be kept together. If we take out NB5 and HY 1 and 3, that would bring us back down to 21, which isn’t bad. If it can be stretched, HY 1 and 3 should be in here, too. NB 5 we can hold off on.

    So we’ll say CEV3 is HY 2, NB 11-12, Kahvi 1-6, and Dreamtime, and now we have CEV4 to look at.

    Windkin’s birth would be awkward to throw in here, so we’ll have to relegate it to a “side stories” book.

    Now we get to have “fun”, because we have a lot of stuff that all happens at roughly the same time. HY 4, 8-15 all lead up to the split. That’s 10 issues alone. We also have stuff that happens right around the same time as HY 4 and Dreamtime, such as The Passage (New Blood Summer Special 2) and Wolfshadow (both dealing with Skywise and fallout from CEV2). That puts us to 12.

    Shards shouldn’t really be split, and has to come after HY, because of Skywise and Timmain leaving HY and going to Shards. If we finished off HY in V4, that would give us 26 issues (more than V3).

    The problem then, is that we have New Blood 13-35 that takes place before Shards 16, too, and are referenced in that book as well. That’s 22 issues all on its own. So that’ll have to be volume 5.

    Finally, we come to Shards. 16 issues would be the shortest volume, issue-wise, but it works well. So Shards 16 is volume 6.

    (Recap so far)
    Volume 3: Hidden Years 2, New Blood 11-12 (Go-Back/Sun Folk War), Kahvi 1-6, and Dreamtime (23 issues)
    Volume 4: The Passage (New Blood Summer Special 2), Wolfshadow, Hidden Years 4, 8-15 (pre-split), HY 16-29 (post-split) (26 issues)
    Volume 5: New Blood 13-35 (Forevergreen arc) (22 issues)
    Volume 6: Shards 1-16 (16 issues)

    At this point, there’s a number of stories that we’ve skipped. Either because they take place pre-series, or because they didn’t really fit in. These also be collected. HY 6-7, with the Firstcomer’s arrival, New Blood 5 (Windkin’s birth), Rock-Shaper (NBSS2, Aubri discovering her Rock Shaping), Moonshade’s mini-arc in the Sun Village (NB1, 4, I see it as definite foreshadowing to the current stuff), which all take place during the storyline. Wolfrider and Naming Day (NBSS2), which take place during Bearclaw’s time. HY 5, NB6, Eclipse of the Heart (NBSS2), and BotC 10-11, which a) take place during Cutter and Skywise’s childhood, and b) are /likely/ to be true, as well as Troll Games and Soul Names and The Heart’s Way from In All but Blood. All of this could be volume 7, with the rest of BotC coming as volume 8.

    Volume 9, then would start us at the ElfQuest vol. 2 material. Specifically, Wild Hunt, Fire Eye, and Rogue’s Curse, as well as the Wavedancers stuff. Once we’re through that, I believe most everything is back to a single, chronological telling.

  40. What is so wrong with just having

    The Complete ElfQuest: Volume 3: The Hidden Years (Dreamtime and Story Arc issues)

    The Complete ElfQuest: Volume 4: Shards

    The Complete ElfQuest: Volume 5: New Blood (Forevergreen)

    The Complete ElfQuest: Volume 6: Blood of Ten Chiefs/Kahvi/Brothers in All But Blood

    The Complete ElfQuest: Volume 7: Wavedancers/Searcher and the Sword

    The Complete ElfQuest: Volume 8*: All the Ties That Bind (Or something to that effect…)

    *This would be any EQ item that is either non-cannon has does not “fit” in the story arc. They would be in chronological order in which they were released.

  41. I’d just like to see all the stories in a linear style of telling, even if it breaks up the story itself. I think that’s what “complete” means to me. To tell the story in the way it progresses, unless you are suppose to find out information along a different sort of timeline. I guess this mainly applies to the Shards war where it diverges, but the stories still impact each other. I remember when they came out and I was a teen and I missed so much because I only collected Hidden Years and not Shards, and only found it all out later as an adult.

  42. I’ve been rereading all of ElfQuest and came up with a reading list cuz my friends are new and didn’t know where to start. So while rereading I’ve come up one and this is what I recommend for Complete ElfQuest as well as how you should read it. (Feel free to disagree)

    ELFQUEST READING ORDER
    Main Quest
    Siege at Blue Mountain
    Kings of the Broken Wheel
    Hidden Years #’s 1-9
    Dreamtime
    Kahvi
    Two-Spear
    Wolfrider
    By Any Other Name
    Blood of Ten Chiefs
    The Jury
    A Gift of Her Own
    New Blood
    Hidden Years 9.5+
    Shards
    In All But Blood
    The Searcher and the Sword
    The Discovery
    Wavedancers
    Wildhunt
    Fire Eye
    Final Quest
    Rogue’s Curse
    Jink
    The Rebels
    Future Quest
    Worldpool
    Kings Cross 1 & 2

  43. Vol. 3 has been confirmed to contain:
    DreamTime
    Hidden Years 1-5
    Hidden Years 8-9.5 plus extras!

    So, after that being confirmed, I think that we can expect the future volumes especially volume four to contain the rest of Ember’s story in Hidden Years. After that, however, will it be Wild Hunt or Shards? I was a,ways confused to where Wild Hunt fit in. Is it like a part 2 to Hidden Years or does it happen during New Blood? So will volume four start contain all of Shards? (Which would be amazing!) or will it be the Wild Hunt? Either way, I hope they put Shards before New Blood. I have faith in you, Dark Horse!

  44. Just to keep everyone updated if they stumble across this thread!
    Volume 4 confirmed to contain:
    Hidden Years #10-15
    Shards #1-16

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