Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artists: Esad Ribic & Guiu Vilanova
Color Artist: Matthew Wilson
Cover Artist: Esad Ribic
Publisher: Marvel Comics
The Eternals have a new leader – All Hail Thanos! The main team of Eternals are in the midst of trying to “change” themselves by living and learning from their rivals the Deviants. But the lessons come too late as Thanos makes his first declaration as Eternal Prime to raze the Deviant city of Lemuria. Now the Eternals must defend their new home from the new Prime Eternal in Eternals #9.
I have been pretty critical of this series for a while now, and the irony is this story arc in particular should excite me as a Thanos fan. But it doesn’t. However, the comic does a fine enough job of setting up this attack by Thanos and his forces called the Ocean’s Watch. I do get some enjoyment of seeing Thanos in action as he leads some new Eternals against the main team of Eternals.
But the comic barely shows the fighting and you don’t really get to see the main Eternals in action for that long. Heck, you don’t really get to see this deadly Ocean’s Watch group of Eternals working for Thanos all that much, just their war machines. Once again, the real story here is Thanos’ exploits as he seeks out Phastos in Lemuria and his interactions with the other characters there. I will admit, Kieron Gillen does hit some parts of Thanos’ better characterization in this comic, though not entirely. There’s a part where he lightly touches on several aspects of Thanos’ personality, his more cultured side if you will. We get a glimmer of how the Mad Titan could generally be characterized in Marvel Comics these days. But it doesn’t last.
Readers will also notice that there are two artists on this issue, which is weird since Esad Ribic alone tends to bring eyes to a comic. I wish I could tell you why Guiu Vilanova is here, but I can’t and the extra artist seems unnecessary for the portion of the comic that they’re used for. Thankfully, Vilanova’s portion is probably the best part of the comic as it chiefly centers on Thanos and is able to convey his stature, personality, power, and menace well through the art and colors.
What we briefly get of the main Eternals is barely anything at all other than seeing them enter battle with only a couple getting focus in the story. Two of them have significant developments in this comic (I’m sure readers can guess who) but one of them only matters if readers are invested in them. If not, then the development just doesn’t hit that hard but at least they were built up properly from the last few issues. There is a major development for where the Eternals are going next issue and that goes into Spoilers.
After Thanos and the Ocean’s Watch’s successful invasion of Lemuria, the main Eternals try to form a game plan of attack. They connect with the gender-swapped Ajak and Makkari in Celestia to think up a plan. Once there, Ajak suggests they go to Avengers Mountain to get answers from the dead Celestial. Now, considering how Gillen has characterized Ajak and the Eternals throughout this series, there’s likely going to be fighting next issue between the Eternals and the Avengers. And if Eternals: Celestia #1 is anything to go by, Ajak will likely be the main instigator.
Eternals #9 is a more exciting issue as it continues Thanos’ invasion of the Deviant city of Lemuria. Once again, the comic focuses more on Thanos and his interactions with the city then it does on the Eternals except for a couple of them. The second artist on the book was a surprise, but their portion of the comic was well-drawn.