Overview

Eternal Descent #1

Review

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Eternal Descent #1

Credits

  • Words: Llexi Leon
  • Art: Jason Metcalf
  • Colors: Javier Tartaglia
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Mar 31, 2010

Every one of us, at one time or another, has whiled away a lazy afternoon lost in the strange, wondrous realms of our favorite comic, the perfect musical accompaniment running through our imaginations, matching the action beat for beat.

Llexi Leon, the creative force behind the virtual band Eternal Descent, attempts to tap into our need for a complimentary soundtrack, by marrying heavy metal music to the graphic narrative. Billed as the source material for the metaphysical ideas framing his musical endeavors, Leon’s new ongoing series from IDW seeks to set the foundation for a true multimedia experience.

Theoretically, this engaging concept could provide a veritable cornucopia of new artistic and marketing avenues for its creator and publisher to explore, in a variety of different media. Partnered with ESP Guitars and featuring guest appearances by a motley cast of popular heavy metal bands, Eternal Descent could blaze new creative ground backed by deep corporate pockets and a built-in fan base. The potential here is limitless. Unfortunately, it’s a potential Leon never realizes in his inaugural foray into comics.

The problem with Eternal Descent is that it’s a mediocre comic at best, due in large part to Leon’s amateurish script. Truth be told, he makes a far better musician than he does a writer. There are very few truly original ideas on the racks these days and the core concept of Eternal Descent fails to present anything new to set it apart from other supernaturally-themed comics.

This is a common issue for many comics, but where other books succeed in presenting exciting riffs on familiar ideas through solid storytelling and characterization, Eternal Descent fails because of a cardboard cutout cast and stiff, awkward dialogue. Leon makes the fatal assumption that we already know his characters and understand the fictional world they inhabit. Until the supplementary interview in the back of the book, it’s difficult to determine whether Leon’s protagonist Lyra is an actual musician or just a lonely fan wandering home through a dark alley.

Jason Metcalf’s artwork lacks the maturity and polish to raise Leon’s script out of mediocrity and only contributes to the overall amateurish feel of the comic. Although his exceptional inking adds some much needed weight and texture to the story, Metcalf’s art is inconsistent and his storytelling muddy. At times he appears to be channeling the gritty style of Mark Texteira; at others the cleaner lines of Ian Churchill.

Leon describes Eternal Descent as a true multimedia journey, more than just a comic or a vehicle for musical exploration. The metaphysical framework he introduces in his series supposedly informs all of his musical compositions but he’s constructed nothing more than the skeleton upon which to hang the meat and muscle of his music. More time seems to have been spent forging business alliances and marketing strategies than on the actual end product. The result is a flimsy, sub-par offering that only serves to dilute Leon’s creative vision and call into question his passion for the comics medium.

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