Poison Elves issue #1.
Published by Sirius Entertainment Inc. in 1995.
Story Written & Drawn by Drew Hayes
The Story :
"Sanctuary Book One - Deathmonks"
Lusiphur "Luse" Malaché returns to his home after a time as a fisherman. He's an elf of 133 years, roughly 20 years in human, and in that short time had racked up a history of killing and stealing that ultimately resulted in his present profession plus just to "hide away" from the authorities. He's returned home to his girlfriend Beth and finds an eviction notice pinned to the door. He enters and finds the place a shambles with numerous people littered about the room. He gets them to leave in his own special way.
He finds that Beth has decided to end the relationship in a poorly conceived way, blaming
him and then attempting to belittle him... a mistake. But an attack by an assassin sent to kill
Luse breaks up the event. Luse's past is catching up with him. A fight ensues between
Luse and the assassin, which is a dwarf. The dwarf decides to grab hold of Beth to use against Luse, Luse's soon to be ex-girlfriend that is.
Beth, of course continues to do the stupid thing of screaming in reaction at Luse. Luse deals with it, again, in his own special way. The dwarf escapes as he realizes what he's gotten himself into with a being like Luse. The remaining crowd in the room, Beth's friends, are then dealt with by Luse. Oh, that was in his own special way too. Lusiphur leaves to pursue the dwarf through the city. He soon finds the assassin hunched over and screaming out loud, in front of the hulk of a burnt out church. Luse is stunned to see a magic gate open revealing a large building and intact one at that. He follows the dwarf through and proceeds to stab him to death on the steps leading to the front door of the building on the other side of the gate. There, he's met by some people from within that building...
The Review :
When I first saw this particular title on the new comics rack, I was caught and made interested by the cover.
It was something a little different then most and the title was catchy for me. Little did
I know as I flipped through the pages that I'd get hooked and hooked hard on this title. It
was a real gem of a series for an old fan of both Elfquest and Elric. This was literally the start
of a saga that was both refreshing and familiar. Imagine in some ways with a mix of Elfquest,
Elric, The Crow, Wolverine and a few original ideas. All of it meshed together into a new
form that stood out with it's characterizations and dialogue. This issue was a mere scratching
of the surface of what was to come.
The story was minute but well paced. It had all the elements of a start to a saga and none of
the flatness that some start out with. The story was a great little dark jewel with scenes
that were rarely seen in comics out of North America at the time. Meanwhile it kept it's North
American attitudes. It was Elf Punk for an Elf fan that was a little tired of cute and romance where
elves were concerned. The main character of Lusiphur aka Luse, was already fleshed out rather
better then most would be for a first issue. The narrative of his future by his best friend helped
in that. That also was terrific as it helped flesh that particular character as well, showing a Holmes/Watson style with a twist later on in the series
The art was rough but clean which was typical of many self published independents of the time.
It's roughness was enjoyable, more so for the simple black & white of it as the comic was not
printed in colour. The line work is solid to me and the layouts well done for story flow. Not over done, but under down either. Drew Hayes had a great eye for structure and it was here that you could begin
to see the evolution he'd go through as the series progressed. It was dark and it was wonderful.
The character designs are very enjoyable too. Nothing too cute, nothing to ugly or rough. Just right
for the story and it's tone. As I said, to sum it up, it was dark and it was wonderful art.
it was here that I got hooked, as I said and I'd stay through with it as long as I could, which
was near to the end. Life and family came first to answer why I didn't. It really was a fantastic
beginning for me in a series that I would greatly enjoy. Few had ever caught me so well and or left me never regretting it. It still holds up more then most in my thoughts, both as an issue and a series. I can't recommend it more so. Sadly, Drew Hayes passed before completing the series. A saga that I believe very strongly, given time and attention from more of the fandom, would have been held as one of the best independent titles to hit North American comics. Another Cerebus or Elfquest to herald and enjoy. The entire series as well as it's min-series sin-offs, are all collected and still available. I suggest it as a holiday gift in the months to come. Go on... try it...
For more information on this comic & Drew Hayes -