Overview

Eternals #1

Review

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Eternals #1

Credits

  • Words: Charles & Daniel Knauf
  • Art: Daniel Acuna
  • Inks: Daniel Acuna
  • Colors: Daniel Acuna
  • Story Title: The Eyes of the Fulcrum
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jun 11, 2008

Eternals is a different kind of book. Even though the eponymous characters are super powered, there is very little evidence of that seen here. What we do get are emotional moments and a power play. It has often been said that Kirby started his epic of the Eternals at Marvel as a way to revive the ideas of the Fourth World which had recently collapsed at DC. I am unaware as to how much of that is true. However, it is interesting to note that here as in Final Crisis we see god-like beings in human bodies.

The gist of this book is that the Eternals are preparing for an attack from their enemies the Horde. They need every single Eternal to help out with this, so Ikaris and Thena embark on a journey to uncover as many as they can. Along the way they find Ikaris’s father and more mystery.

Of course, the action will come later as the Horde attacks and as Ikaris struggles against Druig, an Eternal who would rather have power than humans or more Eternals. Makkari is dealing with the Dreaming Celestial, as it was that creature's awakening by Makkari that has caused the Horde to come to Earth.

It’s all a little confusing and for those of you who have not read the Neil Gaiman mini-series with the same name from last year, I imagine it will be fairly impenetrable. The effort of reading this book is worth it. There are great character moments and real intrigue set up in this debut issue. However, it is slightly bothersome that the first issue is so bogged down in previous continuities. It makes it hard to get a new reader involved, especially when the history is as convoluted as this. The Knaufs are probably good enough to tackle a creation that not only has Gaiman behind it, but was created by Jack Kirby as well. Unfortunately, it is hard to tell from this issue, as other than a scene with Druig finding an Eternal in a less than glamorous pursuit or the final shocking page and development.

I like Daniel Acuna. If for no other reason than he stands out from the crowd. He has a unique visual style that is ably assisted by his strong inks. His character design and coloring allow for a dynamic, instantly recognizable look that is also an homage to Kirby’s work on the characters. It is a pretty neat trick. However there is a staticness to his frames that is harmful to the story. With all the lack of action in the book, there should maybe be a little less forced pose in the look and a little more emotional presence on the characters’ countenances. His ability to add a sheen to the Eternals in their natural form versus their human form is a stroke of genius that shows that once this gets moving, we will see great work from him.

My one gripe with this comic is Todd Klein’s lettering. Lettering may seem like a horrible nitpick but it can ruin an otherwise great book. I can’t get through David Lloyd’s Kickback because of a poor and horribly distracting choice of font and I really like the story of the ten pages I have read. While the lettering here is not a travesty like in that Dark Horse graphic novel, it is almost as irritating. Klein employs at least three distinctive fonts, the main font is fine. It is the Russian mirror letters that puts a line through the “o”s and the Dreaming Celestial’s alien styled font that leave me scratching my head. They are clearly being used to denote language or accent. The alien font is just plain hard to read, making me squint and reread things, not good. The Russian font is just plain dumb. Use an asterisk and these things: < and >. It allows us to know that there is some translation going on and it doesn’t make it harder for some readers to follow.

Eternals #1 is a good expository book. Just make sure you read the preceding mini before you try to puzzle through it.

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