Eternals: The Heretic #1 is written by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Ryan Bodenheim and Edgar Salazar, colored by Chris O’Halloran, and lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles. It’s published by Marvel Comics. Thanos has risen to the station of Prime Eternal and seeks to become one with the “Machine” that is part of Earth. In doing so, he seeks out Uranos the Undying, one of the three Eternal Patriarchs. Uranos reveals his secret history and how his approach to the Eternals’ guiding principles led to war with his brothers Kronos and Oceanus.
Gillen has done a phenomenal job revamping the Eternals and their mythos over the past year, and clearly understands the sense of scale that Jack Kirby was bringing to the table when he created the space gods. In the same way that Kirby drew upon ancient myths when writing the original Eternals run, Gillen presents his own take on the Titanomachy – the war between the ancient Titans. This influence is only reinforced by a page outlining the Eternal “dynasties”, with Cowles designing the text to look like a family tree that traces the three Patriarchs lineage.
In Gillen’s hands, Uranos turns out to be a terrifying figure. Although he’s locked in an impenetrable prison, his Hannibal Lecter energy is strong — he refers to Thanos’ right hand Druig as a “traitor” and calls the Mad Titan a “disappointment” for eradicating half of life in the universe. “Do something or don’t do it,” Uranos growls; it’s hard not to hear the contempt in his voice. As it turns out, Uranos was dedicated to his mission to the point where he literally wrote his own version of the Eternals’ principles. He sees only Eternal life as worthy, and everything else as a “deviation” that must be “corrected.” The Eternals: Celestia one-shot took a similar approach with Thena, as she believed the Celestials told her to destroy the Avengers; it’s pretty clear that the building blocks for the Avengers/X-Men/Eternals event Judgement Day are being laid here (and wouldn’t you know it, Gillen is also penning that comic.)
This issue sadly marks Bodenheim’s last known comic book work, as he passed away last December. His work is truly fit for a mythological figure such as Uranos; the Undying is depicted as a massive behemoth that dwarfs even Thanos, with chalky grey skin and scars running across his body. Bodenheim, along with Salazar, jumps between past and present to depict Uranos’ life. The past sections feature the most action, which finds Uranos decimating an entire civilization and fighting a battle in the recesses of his mind, while the present sections feature Uranos and Thanos having their discussion. O’Halloran differentiates between the two time periods using a simple color scheme. Past segments have a greyish hue to them, matching Uranos’ skin, while the present sections are lit in a cool blue. This only continues the trend of Gillen pairing with some of the best artists in the comic world for his Eternals saga.
Eternals: The Heretic #1 reveals the secret history of Thanos’ grandfather Uranos, and it turns out that he’s an even more frightening figure than the Mad Titan. If you’ve been reading Gillen and Esad Ribic’s Eternals, this is definitely the comic for you. If you haven’t, this is a great jumping-on point.
Eternals: The Heretic #1 will be available wherever comics are sold on March 16, 2022.
Eternals: The Heretic #1
Eternals: The Heretic #1 reveals the secret history of Thanos’ grandfather Uranos, and it turns out that he’s an even more frightening figure than the Mad Titan. If you’ve been reading Gillen and Esad Ribic’s Eternals, this is definitely the comic for you.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.