The With Joy to Hear wiki last edited by Owie on 03/10/15 08:56AM View full history

This issue is altered from the original Epic issue. The ending is altered and expanded, and it includes an interview with JM Dematteis and Jon J Muth at the end.

Instead of beginning with a quote from literature, like all the other issues, this story begins with the old Moonshadow making a painting, although we can't see what he is making.

The young Moonshadow, who has now clearly grown up from his experiences over the past two years or so, flies off with Ira, Frodo, and Flobidiah. They are looking for Lord Gaylord, who is apparently alive and has found the fabled Planet of Mists, where the mystic savior Shree Quack-Quack H'onnka is said to live. However Moon isn't sure the letter is even real, and doubts everything.

They meet pilgrims of H'onnka on the planet, but not the mystic himself. They take up in a cave. Ira's health, unfortunately, is getting worse and worse, and Moon rages at the skies. Ira dies. Flobidiah, who loved him, leaves on her own pilgrimage for H'onnka.

Moon is left alone once again, and in the deepest pit of despair out of all his many hard times during his adventures. In the original comic, the final pages are all wordless, and Moon's long-awaited moment of Awakening is symbolic and ambiguous, left up to the viewer to interpret. In this reprint, the experience is now narrated and clarified. The original was controversial for its lack of clarity; the reprint for its clarity. However, in both issues Moon casts away his mother's flute, then meets his mother's ghost. She leads him onto a tightrope, then he flies through metaphysical space, finally landing by the flute. A mystic light (perhaps that prophesied by H'onnka) appears, and he is bombarded by images of his recent life. Coming out of the cave, he plays his flute, having come to the point of Awakening referenced throughout the series, having made peace with himself. The issue ends with Blake's "Song of Innocence," which was also the poem used at the beginning of the first issue.

Then, in an expanded ending, we return to the aged Moonshadow, the narrator of the story. He says that he knows people want to know what happened in the cave, but in an insouciant tone, he says he can't remember, highlighting the degree to which he may be an unreliable narrator. Then, surrounded by several children, he walks away from the painting he was making in the beginning, which depicts him and the children.

The story is followed in a later one-shot, Farewell Moonshadow.

User reviews Add new review

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.