ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Eternals,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Eternals #1 - But Why Tho?Eternals #1 is written by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Esad Ribic, colored by Matthew Wilson, and lettered & designed by VC’s Clayton Cowles. It is published by Marvel Comics. Following their death in Avengers: The Final Host, the Eternals have been reborn once more. The Eternals known as Ikaris and Sprite reunite and continue upholding the three principles of the Eternals: protect the cosmic gods known as the Celestials, protect the Machine that connects them, and correct excess Deviation in their race.

The Eternals were created by the late Jack Kirby and were meant to be the inspiration behind several of Earth’s legends including mankind’s various mythologies. Gillen, who has mixed myth and the modern times with Once & Future, delivers an opening that hews fairly closely to Kirby’s original take on the material. The Eternals have immense power, but much like the gods they inspired, they too have distinct and oh-so-human personalities. Ikaris is fairly blunt and to the point, Sprite is filled with childlike wonder at the world, and the Eternal Prime Zuras delivers commands with the authority one would expect from someone who is crowned “Eternal Prime.” Gillen even gives a voice to the “Machine,” as it has a rather irreverent tone and even makes references to things including subway systems and The Goonies.

Although the Eternals have a rather long history, Gillen manages to make this book extremely accessible. Longtime comic book readers, as well as readers who are new to the comic book scene, will be able to pick this book up and enjoy it. With the Eternals set to receive their own feature film in November, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

However, what really sells the grand sci-fi elements of the book is Ribic and Wilson’s work. Ribic is no stranger to massive cosmic spectacles in the Marvel Universe, having previously illustrated Jason Aaron’s Thor run and Jonathan Hickman’s Secret Wars miniseries. Here he gives each of the Eternals’ environments a distinct look. A key example of this is the Exclusion, where Ikaris awakens and finds Sprite. The Exclusion features towering metal skyscrapers, as well as gigantic crystal structures. Wilson colors most of the Exclusion in a deep ocean blue, shifting to a near blinding white for the crystal formations and giving off a rather eerie effect in the process. His depiction of the Eternals fits their godlike status: Ikaris looks like he’s carved out of marble, while Sprite is wiry and seems to move with an energy that matches her words.

Rounding out the artistic team is Cowles on letters and design. Cowles’ talents give life to the Machine, with its caption boxes shaped like octagons instead of squares and featuring blue stylized letters against a black background. Cowles also puts his own spin on the credits page, separating each group of Eternals under their respective city and giving each city its own hexagonal symbol. It feels like the exact kind of touch Kirby would have gone with.

Eternals #1 is a fresh new path for the titular cosmic beings, and a perfect way to introduce them to readers old and new ahead of their film debut. With the appearance of a popular Marvel villain at issue’s end, it looks like the Eternals will begin to carve out their new place in the Marvel Universe.

Eternals #1 goes on sale on January 6, 2021 and is available to pre-order on Comixology using our affiliate link.

Eternals #1
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TL;DR

Eternals #1 is a fresh new path for the titular cosmic beings, and a perfect way to introduce them to readers old and new ahead of their film debut. With the appearance of a popular Marvel villain at issue’s end, it looks like the Eternals will begin to carve out their new place in the Marvel Universe.