Reviews

Review – Eternals #1 (Marvel Comics)

Eternals #1 (Marvel Comics) main cover (detail) by Esad Ribic
  • Writing - 4/10
    4/10
  • Art - 5/10
    5/10
  • Overall - 4.5/10
    4.5/10

Eternals #1

Writer: Kieron Gillen 
Artist: Esad Ribić
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Maturity Rating: Teen+
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: January 6, 2021

The immortal Eternals have come back to life once again, to do their immortal duties.

 

Overall
4.5/10
4.5/10
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“My Immortal” Eternals #1

Well at some point in time in 2021 we will be getting an Eternals movie…maybe. No trailer or anything really has been released, but no worries for all those Eternal fans out there; we got Eternals #1 to hold us over. So, for me and, I am expecting, quite a few people, The Eternals are not even a blip on my comic book radar.

Eternals #1 (Marvel Comics) variant cover by Russell Dauterman
Eternals #1 (Marvel Comics) variant cover by Russell Dauterman

For as long as I have read comics I do not think I have ever read or really seen anything with them until I started learning about Jack Kirby. Even then, I didn’t really care to really read or learn much about them. But, I was excited to pick up Eternals #1. With the movie upcoming, and with a banging creative team, I was excited to possibly learn more about this odd Jack Kirby creation. Well, Eternals #1 was definitely something; what that is, I don’t exactly know.

Writing

Kieron Gillen takes the reins of Eternals #1 and for such a strong writer Gillen doesn’t give us much to hold onto in Eternals #1. For a #1 issue, I was expecting something more of a “fresh start” or something, but after a short introduction, we get thrown into a wild, weird Eternals world. 

The issue does start off good, following Ikaris and Sprite. The narration by “the machine” or whatever it is was nice as well. It did help detail a little of what the Eternals are. The narration box does get used a lot throughout the issue. I like that it helps detail the story and give information. The tone and voice of that box are magnificent, as well. It has this ominous, almost brooding feel to it. All that being said, it is used a lot, almost exhaustingly too much. 

Soon, we are introduced to more characters and things happen. I could vaguely tell you what happened, but honestly, I couldn’t tell you why most of the stuff happened in the issue, or why I should really care about it. Eternals #1 doesn’t help you understand who or what the Eternals are and why you should care about them. As the story progresses, things just seem to happen. The characters jump to different worlds. There is a mystery and the story ends. I was a bit perplexed as the story progressed, as things just seemed to oddly happen. The pacing was just strange and honestly, really did not tell much of a story.

Art

Esad Ribić, with Matthew Wilson on colors, handles the art duties on Eternals #1. Ribić’s work on Thor was fantastic and I was a big fan of his work on it. He brings that majestic, pastel type styling to Eternals #1. Ribić’s work continues to work wonderfully well on wide scoping type shots. As we go from world to world, Ribić details these superbly well. He captures a tremendous scope and otherworldly feel perfectly.

But when we get more up-close and personal shots and scenes is where Ribić’s style falters for me. His characters’ faces are, at times, almost comical. They lack any real expression or emotion. I am not sure if the characters are supposed to look old or young or what. But on different pages, they look from age 20-100. Which, I guess, is kind of a cool idea if they are immortals, but I do not think that is what they are going for here. Sprite is supposed to be a young girl and honestly looks like a little old man most of the time.

The action sequences and really anything that is smaller or more detailed panel wise just does not look good. I did enjoy the coloring by Matthew Wilson. The softer color palette looks fantastic. But the biggest blunder style-wise for Eternals #1 is the lettering for that narration box. The narration box has a black background and what looks like a metallic blue lettering, and it makes it very difficult to read. Maybe it looks better in print, but I had trouble discerning it most of the time. For a story that was already struggling to maintain my attention, this definitely did not help.

Conclusion

I really wanted to like the Eternals #1. With this strong creative team, I was hoping to get a little insight into characters I knew next to nothing about. This issue did not help with any of that. The story did not connect you with the Eternals or the characters. It kind of just told me why I should care about them and why they are so important, but it didn’t make me feel that way. It was basically just a slog to get through. The art didn’t fare much better. While the large scoping shots are fantastic, the smaller, more intimate panels and pages are muddled. The lettering color choice also just made for an overall frustrating read.

I think I am being so harsh on Eternals #1 is because I did want to like it. I have enjoyed every single one of these creators’ previous works. So, I was expecting a lot from Eternals #1. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I did not enjoy my experience with this first issue. I don’t know if I even care enough to pick up the second.


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