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Eternals #1
writers: Charles and Daniel Knauf
artist: Daniel Acuna

Though Marvel has tried over the decades to make the Eternals important to the Marvel Universe, they suffer from a problem that a lot of Jack Kirby's creations have - they work best on their own. Neil Gaiman finally up and admitted it, and though his mini-series definitely took place in a wider context, he and John Romita, Jr. told their story in a way that nodded and left the main Marvel Universe behind. Poor Tony Stark - only his memories of Sersi keep him warm at night.

In this follow-up series, taken over by the Brothers Knauf and the often exquisite but idiosyncratic Daniel Acuna, the blueprint set by Gaiman remains the same. And that's a good thing.

Still reeling from the false realities imposed upon them by the Eternal Sprite, this super race find themselves preparing for two wars. On one side, the blond leader Ikaris seeks to awaken lost Eternals and get their support against the coming "Horde," a hive minded destructive race heading toward Earth. However, in the heart of the former Soviet Union, the dark Druig seeks to do the same thing, except that for him it's really about conquering the Earth.

If you follow the mainstream books, this all seems to echo titles requiring you read a bunch. But if you pretend that this is on its own, it works pretty well. Though for a moment the Eternal Makkari makes contact with the regular superhero community, it serves more as acknowledgement that yes, those characters exist, but this isn't their story. They've got a Secret Invasion of their own to worry about.

It might even be better if you don't care much for the big event cross-overs. That way you can just enjoy this as a for now self-contained story writ large. There's a lot at stake as laid out by the Knaufs, but it's all going to be told here. At least, that's what I'm hoping.

The Knaufs make it fairly accessible. Without belaboring too much, they bring new readers up to speed through a conversation between Makkari and the Celestial looming still in San Francisco. Then they move things forward in what could easily be the "formula" for this book. But by the end, the writers also throw things for a bit of a loop, which makes this worth following just a little bit further. Right now, with all the books vying for attention, that may be the best a new title can do right now: convince me to keep reading just a little bit further.

Acuna's art makes that easier. It's very different than both Romita and Kirby, of course; though not quite realistic, it has a lushness to it that makes it almost cinematic. A bold choice that may not sit well with everyone, it's worth looking over because it's so different. He also seems to be an artist who can keep to a schedule, so Eternals may be a book to be counted on appearing regularly.

In a month, I could eat these words, but for now, Eternals looks like a book worth trying.

Hey, write to us and let us know what you think!

Derek McCaw


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