Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Esad Ribic
Color Artist: Matthew Wilson
Cover Artist: Esad Ribic
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Everything has come full circle. The Eternals’ discovery of dark truths behind their existence. The growing animosity between them and the Avengers. And not to mention, a betrayal among them that leads to not only Thanos’ return but his rise to power as the Prime Eternal. The Eternals only have one shot to stop Thanos before he fulfills his dark desires in Eternals #12!
Like the cover says, “It all ends here!” Everything that Kieron Gillen has been building up in this story arc is finally coming to its conclusion with a weird thud. However, due to the nature of specific story developments and major moments in this comic, the review will be split into a spoiler-free and spoiler-heavy review. The story picks up where it left off with the Eternals fighting the Avengers so they can “covertly” learn the secrets of the Deviants from the dead Celestial in Avengers Mountain to stop Thanos for good.
The story finds its footing this issue with the Eternals and Avengers fighting directly leading into the main story of stopping Thanos. The comic quickly covers the Mad Titan’s half of the story and his progress for discovering the secrets of his conception, and the strength of this comic is how every storyline converges together. By the end, the story between the Eternals and Thanos is concluded while the comic lays the foundation for the upcoming Judgement Day event that this directly leads into, which will be written by Kieron Gillen, too.
The art by Esad Ribic is good for the most part and it’s relatively fine with the action, characters’ facial expressions and body language, and more. The art with the fight between the Eternals and Avenges is fine, but it’s Ribic’s art for the Thanos and Druig portions that steals the show just as these villains do each issue. However, the real problems of this comic fall on the story as some developments occur which seem rushed in various regards specifically the fighting between the Eternals and Avengers. Not to mention that Thanos’ storyline feels ultimately pointless after a certain “revelation” is made that makes everything unsatisfying to put it nicely. Plus, some of the Eternals will come off as unlikable based on how they interact with the Avengers. Mileage will vary on whether readers actually end up liking or disliking the Eternals by the end of this comic.
Previously I said that there were story developments and character interactions that demanded to be openly critiqued and it’s because of how significant and underwhelming they are. Let’s start with the big reveal that Ajak discovers about the Eternals and Deviants. I’m not going to say what it is, but it’s ultimately pointless because it only matters to those reading this series. This is a reveal that should have huge ramifications, and it could in the Judgement Day event. But if it doesn’t then it’ll fall to wayside with all of the other “big reveals” about the origins of life on Earth in Marvel Comics.
The second problem is that the Eternals come away looking like incompetent fools instead of compelling characters. After everything that has transpired in the last story arc, the Avengers are infuriated with the Eternals, and rightly so. But Sersi leaves the Avengers with an unlikable impression of her civilization and partly of herself. She basically lectures them on how since the Eternals are older and more long-lived than humans, they don’t feel the need to explain themselves to humanity, let alone the Avengers. That’s balderdash considering the Avengers have faced and humbled many ancient races who sung the same tune over many years. Admittedly, she’s only stating what “75%” of the Eternals’ civilization would say to them, which still doesn’t make them look good since they essentially voted for a cosmic omnicidal maniac as their leader and think they’re above criticism.
The third problem is that Thanos’ story and this entire storyline is ultimately pointless since he can’t join with the Machine to receive a new body. Why? There’s a technobabble explanation for that along with how his parents conceived in the first place. The long and short of it is that Thanos has become so one with Death where it “lies congealing in every part” of his body, that he’s virtually incompatible with the Machine. So, there’s no payoff to anything for Thanos or the readers. Plus, it’s not that big of a profound reveal to anyone who’s read any canon Thanos series in the past decade.
Eternals #12 concludes the “Hail, Thanos” storyline, which ends with a weird thud. The comic quickly wraps up the fights between the Avengers and Eternals so it can finish the main story while laying the groundwork for the Judgement Day event. However, the main storyline with Thanos has some rushed developments for him, and it ends on an unsatisfying conclusion.