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Eric: Okay. Aeire is smarter than I am. And cooler. Smarter and cooler. Yay!

(From Queen of Wands. Click on the thumbnail for full sized lack of epic!)

I've expressed some concern that Queen of Wands was about to go into another extended flashback, where Angela -- the last almost always unremittingly fun character -- would expose some trauma in her past. I've expressed some concern that QoW was on the brink of the dreaded First and Ten Syndrome that folks can read the Lexicon to learn more about. I've expressed some concern that, while I dearly love Queen of Wands and there was no chance I'd drop it soon, I would soon be in deep frustration-land.

For the record? Not only didn't any of the above happen? Aeire just kicked my ass. She just kicked it to the fucking curb. Aeire just proved that she is vastly, vastly cooler than I am, and what's more she got my Force Commander and Oberon matched pair from my room, assembled the two together into centaur mode, and then set it on fire while I watched, just because she could.

"Geez, Kestrel -- not everything has to be an epic story. Sometimes, shit just happens."

Not only did this completely torpedo the expectations I had -- in a bright and cheerful and most all life affirming way, I would add -- but it completely recasts the multiple layer (and often very depressing) flashback sequences that Kestrel herself underwent earlier in the series. This becomes a defining moment for Queen of Wands and for Kestrel's own character development; not only does that mean that QoW isn't about to go all First and Ten on us... it means that it was never in danger of it in the first place.

This was a cute strip, if you're not a regular reader. If you are a regular reader, it seems subtle, and then suddenly goes off like a firecracker in your brain. This is what the whole series is about, right here! Kestrel is learning. She had to learn first off that it was all right to start looking out for herself and her own needs instead of simply living for her friends. Kestrel isn't at the end of her lightning bolt path journey just yet, but she's made a major turn on it, even if she doesn't realize it.

Aeire? So gets a biscuit. A tasty, tasty biscuit.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at October 2, 2004 8:59 AM

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