ANNOUNCEMENT: I'm postponing new comics for next week, because this week is so scrawny for me. Sorry, guys.
I know, Sentry. It's a real bummer to me too. Sometimes it's just easier to take singles and review them, but I think it's about time that we looked at trade paperbacks again, and I just couldn't pass up this opportunity. . .
. . . because my library had Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr.'s!
The hardcover collects the oversized issues 1 through 7 of Gaiman's Eternals, and there are some extra sketches and interviews as well.
First off, before this book, I had no clue who the Eternals were. Sure, I knew they were created by the god-like "Celestials," but only because they had a cameo in some Fantastic Four story, and a meaningless one at that.
The seven-issue mini was written to basically take the Eternals to a point where they could be written. A timid premise, but if Gaiman's at the helm, then you can generally trust on a strong execution.
The mini's first half is basically a mystery, in that the Eternals have to remember that they're Eternals. This is the interesting part, because Mark Curry, a pre-med, has to learn that he's actually the Eternal speedster, Makkari. See, "Mark Curry" is such a delicious alias isn't it? Icarus is also aliased as Ike Harris!
Sersi (Eternal name: Sersi. I know. Ingenious.) is a party planner, but she eventually discovers : Thena (Eternal name: Thena. Creative, huh?) is one of Tony Stark's tech designers, as well a mother to one kid boy, but that all changes when she learns of her Eternal origins.
Okay, not really. The sad part is that while the kid will age, she won't.
The reason that these Eternals can't remember their selves is because of one other Eternal: Sprite, who's an 11-year-old kid. Since Eternals are immortal, well, Sprite has been eleven for forever. With his power of illusion, he'd gathered enough energy (method too convoluted. ask later.) to not only reshape everyone's perception; he also reshaped their reality. Makkari is Mark Curry, aspiring M.D. Sersi is, uh, Sersi, party planner, and Thena is Thena, mother extraordinaire.
Sprite also made himself mortal, so that he could age and finally become an adult. That's an important idea to him, experiencing what other adults can.
Eventually, once all the intros and backstory are out of the way, we learn of the Deviants' plan.
Some background about the Deviants: when the Celestials created the Eternals, they also created some genetic mutants: the Deviants. Their mutation has gotten so prolific that not one Deviant is the same species as the other. That is so cool.
Anyways, they plan to awaken the Dreaming Celestial in San Francisco, so action is GO!
I won't spoil anymore, but that is a hell of a lot of summary, so you should remember that this miniseries was made just to remind people of who the Eternals are. It does that, and it does it compellingly enough!
On the art side, well, it's John Romita Jr. After all the Spidey posts with his art, I really think that's all I need to say!
The extras include Johnny's sketches, next to Kirby's original designs. They are awesome. There are also some interviews, which detail specifically Gaiman's set of mind for the mini and affection for Kirby's works.
In short, the trade accomplishes what it was meant to accomplish (with gorgeous art!) but I would definitely not pay a big thirty bucks for it.
I will, however, put Knauf and Acuna's Eternals on my radar. They're currently following up on Gaiman right now!