REVIEW: ‘Eternals: Celestia,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Eternals Celestia #1 - But Why Tho

Eternals: Celestia #1 is written by Kieron Gillen, penciled by Kei Zama, inked by Zama & John Livesay, colored by Matthew Wilson, and lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles. It is published by Marvel Comics. The Eternal known as Ajak has waited for years in the grand city of Celestia ever since the Celestials abandoned the Earth. Along with the Eternal speedster Makkari, Ajak makes a pilgrimage to the body of the first Eternal, which now serves as a headquarters for the Avengers. But this isn’t the first time Ajak encountered the Avengers; she battled the very first incarnation of the team back in 10,000 B.C.E.

Much like the Thanos Rises one-shot, Celestia is heavily tied to the ongoing Eternals series that is also written by Gillen. However, it also has strong ties to the current Avengers series by Jason Aaron, particularly the opening storyline “The Final Host” which saw a dark version of the Celestials descend to Earth and the Eternals committing suicide upon realizing their gods abandoned them. Gillen’s script flashes between past and present, revealing Ajak’s confrontation with the Avengers 10,000 B.C.E. and her anger at realizing Avengers Mountain is literally one of the dead gods she used to worship. It also creates an interesting dynamic between Makkari and Ajak, as the former is convinced the Eternals need new gods and the latter tried to kill Makkari over differences in theology.

Joining Gillen is Zama, who is best known for their work on Transformers comics for IDW Publishing including the Optimus Prime series. Zama’s work drawing giant robots translates extremely well to the Celestials, who are depicted in all their massive cosmic glory. Avengers Mountain feels less like a headquarters for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and more like the imposing god it used to be, looking down at Ajak and Makkari, and by extension, the reader. The fight scenes feel cosmic and chaotic in equal measure. When Ajak reveals herself to the Avengers 10,000 BC they waste no time in battling her, and a fight between Ajak & Makkari takes place on both the mental and physical plane while being laced with plenty of Kirby Krackle. Wilson tops this off with rich colors that make every page feel like it was ripped from a high-concept science fiction novel or roleplaying game.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in the issue comes from Makkari being deaf and utilizing sign language to communicate with Ajak. Not only is this a nod to actress Lauren Ridloff, who will portray Makkari in the upcoming Eternals film from Chloe Zhao, but Zama actually takes the time to showcase Makkari utilizing particular signs when communicating. VC’s Clayton Cowles also has the foresight to move Makkari’s word balloons to where her hands are, drawing the reader’s eyes to her hand movements.

Eternals: Celestia #1 continues to expand upon the Eternals’ new place in the Marvel Universe, serving as a meditation on the power of faith and how it can be used for good and ill. The ending promises more conflict between the Eternals and the Avengers, which could be one of the more interesting “heroes vs heroes” matchups in the right hands. Time will tell if this conflict comes to pass, but this is still a solid sci-fi story worth checking out.

Eternals: Celestia #1 is available wherever comics are sold.


Eternals: Celestia #1
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TL;DR

Eternals: Celestia #1 continues to expand upon the Eternals’ new place in the Marvel Universe, serving as a meditation on the power of faith and how it can be used for good and ill. The ending promises more conflict between the Eternals and the Avengers, which could be one of the more interesting “heroes vs heroes” matchups in the right hands. Time will tell if this conflict comes to pass, but this is still a solid sci-fi story worth checking out.