Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Esad Ribic
Color Artist: Matthew Wilson
Cover Artist: Esad Ribic
Publisher: Marvel Comics
The Eternals have died and were resurrected. But now they’ve learned a terrible truth of their species’ civilization and our small group of Eternals are trying to “change” their ways. Meanwhile, plots and schemes unfold as Thanos The Mad Titan and Druig enact their strangely lawful takeover of Eternal civilization, as we see in Eternals #8.
So, readers who’ve read my previous Eternals reviews can tell I’m not the biggest fan of this series under Kieron Gillen. Especially with all of the mis-characterizations, huge retcons, gender-swapping, dumbed down oversimplifications, and overall wasted potential. The only good thing this series has going for it is bringing Thanos back to life. But now it’s more of a ticking countdown to see how long until Gillen kills him again so Donny Cates can bring him back in his Thor series.
We get more of the Eternals saying they want to change their ways, but they’re only making surface-level attempts at it. None of them are trying to help figure out ways to truly change their people for the better, like ways to enact resurrection without requiring human sacrifices. Or how about resisting the built-in “compulsion” to kill Deviants who randomly change into rampaging monsters, so that it’s at least a choice for Eternals to do so. Or making attempts to reform their Exclusion practices, since the tie-ins show not everyone in Exclusion deserves to be excluded, Mentor (Thanos’ father) for example.
The second one is important because a major part of this comic is that Ikaris and Thena learn the impact that their compulsion to attack rampaging Deviants could have, especially Thena since she dates Deviants. Sadly, none of that is actively explored, only talked about by the characters as the book continues its strongest point, which is world-building for the Eternals. The best part of the comic of course, is Thanos.
If you’re looking for any real reason to read this comic, it’s to see Thanos. The Mad Titan and Druig steal the show here and their actions and dynamics are the only ones that have any real sense of development and true impact on the book going forward. Like before, Thanos is trying to restore himself with a new body, and we continue to see his efforts toward achieving that while he has Druig tag along in his efforts. Seeing Thanos rule Eternal society is the only upside to this series now, but it’s not wholly explored either.
Don’t let the synopsis fool you, you don’t actually see Thanos enact crazy or rational policies on the Eternals, or even interact with the other Eternals that much. We do get to see him interact with an Eternal scientist while trying to get a new body that’s not rigged to blow. It ends in failure and Thanos’ interaction with the scientist is somewhat of a mixture between old-school Thanos and contemporary Thanos: affable dialogue that ends in murder. And thankfully, it’s Thanos who saves this tiring book from boredom as the book ends on his initial invasion of Lemuria to retrieve Phastos, since he’s the one who brought Thanos back and is the one who can help him get a new body.
Eternals #8 continues to show more of the slow but steady progress of the small group of Eternals learning to change their ways. The book tries to show how each of them are trying to change in themselves while living among Deviants. Some are better executed than others, to say the least. The real stars are Thanos and Druig, who steal the show again as they are the ones driving the plot forward in this series right now.