Writer: Kieron Gillen
Art: Esad Ribíc, Matthew Wilson, and VC’s Clayton Cowles
Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
Release Date: January 6th, 2021
For eons, one hundred Eternals have wandered the Earth as covert guardians of humanity. Without these beings, humans would be demonic stains of the Deviants. This “Eternal” war has waged for all time, reverberating throughout ancient myths and legends. However today, these Eternals confront something different: change. Can they endure their discovery? Let’s jump into the ETERNALS #1 by Kieron Gillen and Esad Ribíc to witness their new vision of this classic Marvel lore!
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I’ve been waiting for this series to happen for what seems like an eternity. With the movie scheduled for release at some point in 2021, this comic fan has been craving something new, explosive, and fresh to hit the comic landscape since HOXPOX. Sure, we’ve received the usual Marvel events like invading space aliens and MORTAL KOMBAT tournaments, but nothing entirely different. And due to COVID, I feel like the release of the ETERNALS has been pushed back and altered numerous times, including this comic series. Well, finally on January 6th, 2021, we get the inaugural issue of the ETERNALS by Kieron Gillen and this reviewer couldn’t be more excited.
Realistically, we haven’t seen the ETERNALS in their own series since 2009. So, it’s been a long time. Nevertheless, if you recall, Jason Aaron last used them in his first six issues of AVENGERS: THE FINAL HOST. To recap, Dark Celestials were arriving on Earth. So, Iron Man and Doctor Strange traveled to Olympia to get some answers from the ETERNALS. However, almost everyone was dead with their injuries appearing to be self-inflicted. Ikaris was still barely alive mumbling something that was never really touched on again… until now. Iron Man takes off but only after Ikaris uses the Uni-Mind to give Tony some of the answers they may need to stop these Dark Celestials. But otherwise, that’s all we’ve sent since 2009. And fans, that was merely a taste that happened in 2018. Therefore, it’s been over a decade since we’ve touched on anything related to the ETERNALS.
Now, I bring all this up before digging into my review because this issue opens cold. And when I say cold, I mean frosty! Gillen gives fans little to no background and throws readers right into the heart of the story without much to go on. Granted, throughout this opening installment, Gillen uses “The Machine” as a narrator of sorts to divulge some background about specific key characters in this inaugural issue. Ideally, I was hoping for one of those LORD OF THE RINGS type of openings where the narrator gives fans a 5-10 minute snapshot of history involving the characters. Sadly, you won’t get that this issue. Nevertheless, Gillen does do a fantastic job providing readers with the information you need at the right time to understand the current issue as it unfolds.
Gillen also takes the time to skim over the events from Aaron’s AVENGERS: FINAL HOST arc and connects the dots with a minor cameo or two, which shows the research Gillen put forth before endeavoring in this journey. Additionally, Gillen capitalizes on a mini-tour of the inner-workings within the Eternal’s landscape, furnishes an introduction to some of their abilities, unravels roughly 2-3 interwoven plots, and hits readers with one heck of a cliffhanger. Furthermore, I’m a huge Ribíc fan. His artistic style has these elements of realism mixed with what appears to be an almost painted on overtone that’s so captivating and almost mesmerizing. There is always so much detail and his style is so confronting that it always draws me deeper into the story. If you’re looking for more of his work, check out SECRET WARS by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribíc. It is truly one of my all-time favorite Marvel events.
After going in cold with very little knowledge of the ETERNALS, Gillen strategically guides readers with only the information required to survive this immediate issue. Diehard fans will already know all they need but newer fans, like myself, may have to dig a bit deeper to gain more knowledge on the characters involved. However, that’s not a bad thing. Plus, I’m assuming this is part of Gillen’s intent to attract more mystery and intrigue into the narrative. And readers, it works masterfully. This issue may be a frigid open leaving readers with a ton of questions, however, it’s those queries that will drive as the hook to add this series to your pull list. If you’re looking for something brand spanking new, this series is perfect for you. New readers should pick this up and add it to their pull list. With the movie on the horizon, I highly recommend comic fans, in general, giving this series a shot. I’m 100% on board and can’t wait for the next issue.