Saturday, June 24, 2006

Eternals #1

The new six issue mini-series Eternals kicked off this week, from the minds of Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr. And although steeped in a history that I am completely unfamiliar with, this issue did a great job of introducing the concept of the alien race and porpelling an interesting story forward. Basically, the Eternals, an immortal race who've shaped the course of humanity, have been brainwashed by a group they've been at odds with since the beginning of their races, when they were both created by the galactic beings known as The Celestials. This race that they are at odds with are the Deviants, a despicable species who once enslaved humanity. And once some Deviant agents have discovered that one of the Eternals has gained some insight into his true origins and is trying to awaken it in others, they do their best to remove that individual from the scenario. It sounds a little complicated, but the characters are very recognizable and the main conflict is told through two men, although there are some other plots involving Sersi and Thena that give a little repite to the flashback sequences and tireless convincing that the awakened Eternal commits to. I think that these types of stories where a character tries to convince another of something unbelievable is always a difficult one. It's been done hundreds of times, and not always in the best, most believable respect. I think a show of superpowers would maybe do the trick here, or perhaps an encouragement of stirring up the disbeliever's powers, but the awakened Eternal here relies upon trying to merely convince the other of the truth with this spectacular origin tale. Would that ever really work? This is an interesting idea, with all of the players being assembled into their roles in the scheme of things, but we'll have to wait and see beyond the set-up stage whether this tale is one worth following or not. Neil Gaiman's hit-and-miss with me. I loathed 1602. Loved Sandman. But at least we get to be treated to some nice art by John Romita Jr. as we're taken on this ride.

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