Publisher: Vault
Writer: Brian Schirmer
Artist: Elena Gogou
Colourist: Rebecca Nalty
Letterer: Andworld Design

Hey everyone you may recall I was very into Quests Aside and regularly reviewing it. Yet I never covered the last issue. Quite why is a tale for the ages involving dragons, knights, and evil mage. It would take too long to tell. Short version we never got a review copy and I forgot to track it down. Now, two and a half months later I can finally complete my reviewing quest. Sure, you’ve probably all read Quests Aside by now but if you haven’t here’s a review and if you have here’s my thoughts.

Things were looking dire when last we left Quests Aside. The King and his army were right outside, Barrow was left with no options and it looked like this could be the end. It is the end and there is resolution. Quests Aside does tend to subvert expectations and this is no exception. This issue is less about action than talking. The real key here is communication not with swords but with conversations. That really gets to the heart of things.

It’s time for Barrow to fix things. He’s told the staff how bad things are and they are not happy but this is Barrow’s mess and he needs to solve it. His idea is to speak to the king. After all they are old friends. We’ve never really found out why they went from good friends to this feud but finally we get answers here. Their conversations are charged and there’s quite a bit of tension. It some of the best to and fro we’ve had this series.

Not to say everyone is idle. The Bard gets a really great moment of victory. The art really gives his moment the shining focus it deserves. The art in general really gives the sense of everyone banding together. It also shows some nice moments, a kiss between Zusanna and Jordan, Ray putting his arm around Vail and moving it. Ray and Cleaver drinking. It’s the little moments that really work.

Not that the art doesn’t also give a sense of scale. We get strong impressions of the size of the kings forces. There’s some nice longer landscape perspectives too. Of course the art is strongest when dealing with the individual characters and when the ficus is characters that works really well.

Founds family is very much the theme that has run through Quests Aside since the first issue. This is a group of misfits who find themselves all working in a bar together. They don’t always get along, but neither do a lot of families. At the end of the day they care about each other and the bar they have made their home. It’s not subtle, especially at the end where it’s spoken aloud that they are a family. I don’t mind at all. I am a sucker for the round family trope so I’m quite delighted to have that trope front and centre. It’s a strong theme and that really helps give Quests Aside the heart.

It’s been a really fun series with humour, action and heart. Characters you care about and want to see more of. It’s been nice to spend time at Quests Aside with them and it would be nice to spend some more. However this is a satisfying ending and if there’s no more I’m very glad we got this. Long may Quests Aside continue.

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