Review: Eternals #10
In Eternals #10, Kieron Gillen starts to lay the foundation for his upcoming event featuring the Eternals, Avengers, and (Not yet) X-Men with the help of some larger than life visuals from Esad Ribic and Matthew Wilson. This comic is Ocean’s 11 with godlike beings meets Thanos tortures the shit out of Phastos and deals with his parental issues and general hatred of the Earth. The Mad Titan’s storyline continues to be the best part of Gillen and Ribic’s Eternals run as he isn’t openly attacking and conquering Earth or other planets/worlds, but using subtler means and his new role as Prime Eternal to erase his parents from existence forever.
However, the scenes where Thanos isn’t monologuing, threatening or generally being a force are a blast with Kieron Gillen and Esad Ribic in full blockbuster mode with Kingo, Sprite, Makkari, and Ajak slipping in via Sersi’s earrings as she dines (and flirts) with Namor. With the exception of one out of place face for Captain Marvel, Ribic’s god-like take on his figures works for this era of Avengers that has heavy hitters like Phoenix, Starbrand, and of course, Thor on the team. There’s a natural rhythm to Iron Man and Namor’s sniping, and Esad Ribic shows he can do comedy too with a hilarious reaction shot to Namor basically telling him he’s meeting Sersi in the hot tub. Then, on the other hand, Ribic channels classic children’s comics with the team’s distraction of Starbrand.
Eternals #10 is really a feast of tones with the Machine’s narration tying it all together, and as usual having all the best lines. Eternals’ huge cast of characters is an argument for the monthly series with characters like Ikaris and Thena, who featured prominently in the book’s first arc, taking a secondary, yet heroic role in this issue. This is because they’re more traditional heroes/fighters, and the infiltration of Avengers Mountain is all about the stealth and veneration of Celestials. Their deep connection to the Celestials makes Makkari and Ajak perfectly suited for this mission and to play more of an active role in the narrative. There’s even an flashy sequence using Makkari’s super speed that’s a nice riff on an old puzzle video game trope with ethereal colors from Wilson.
Makkari and Ajak are even more importantly to the big picture of Eternals and the Marvel Universe as a whole because of their history with the Avengers beginning back in 1,000,000 BC that was elucidated in the wonderful Eternals: Celestia one-shot. The Eternals have a complex relationship with the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes that is contextualized in a timely data page that could lead to so much thematic goodness and sets up a metaphor for the Avengers that goes beyond dysfunctional family, sports team, or super-celebrities. (That’s more the Mark Millar/Bryan Hitch Ultimates.) However, the Avengers/Eternals conflict is more in the appetizer period thanks to all the sneaking around and flirting. But if Kingo’s pop culture references hold true, this is going from religious-tinged heist to punch-up very soon.
Eternals #10 uses the focus of an infiltration mission to flesh out its large cast’s personalities while also sowing the seeds for a conflict with the Avengers with Esad Ribic’s art ranging from statuesque deities to light comedy. While this is going on, Gillen continues to craft Thanos’ arc as he wields moral dilemmas and family trauma as weapons instead of finger snaps and flashy jewelry. Kieron Gillen’s take on Thanos is quickly becoming one of my favorites as he continues to add new wrinkles to the usual Big Bad formula. I can’t wait to see what devilish conundrum he comes up with next.
Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Esad Ribic
Colors: Matthew Wilson Letters: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: comiXology/Kindle – Zeus Comics – TFAW