I cannot stress how much I love Neil Gaiman’s work; although my experience of it is very limited, I have had enough to want to read more. His tug-of-war between the divine and the profane with a touch of a mean streak is something which I can very much relate to and love returning to.
This is why I chose to read through his run on Eternals; I had heard how good it is and it piqued my interest. What put me off and made me hold off on it ’til now are two things, however. First, John Romita Jr. has ALWAYS been an artist whose style is just not for me. It is very particular, sporting squarish human figures that with the wrong colorist look either flat or sickly (especially where liquids are concerned – blood or water, he draws them equally thick like oozing pus). It just is not for me. Secondly, it is in part a tie-in to Marvel’s Civil War event which can be distracting in the middle of a storyline that is being told by the writer.
And here’s the surprise: The latter actually works quite well here!
I LOVED reading this book. Although the artwork is not something I would generally like returning to – sometimes bordering on silly such as Iron Man barging into a building in a move that would be very much in place of a Kool Aid commercial – the writing more than makes up for it. Suffice to say that had Khloe Zhao and the writers at the helm of the Eternals movie chosen to adapt this storyline, it would have fit absolutely perfectly within the MCU, offering a far better justification to their absence in the larger Marvel Universe than the movie did and a better, far more effective twist than the one offered by its cinematic counterpart. While it does have one continuity hiccup that left me scratching my head for a while, the writing moves seamlessly into the rest of the Marvel Universe – something that has been an issue before even at the hands of their creator Jack Kirby. I will not get into specifics because it has to be read. It leaves the Eternals ripe for more stories yet wraps up just enough to call it one self-contained opener.
If only I could get my hands on what came next, the unfortunately short-lived run by Knauf and Acuna….
Neil Gaiman’s Eternals – review by Raphael Borg