Comic Book Review: Eternals #3

The Revolution has enjoyed The Eternals. I have always liked Kirby’s cosmic characters and I think that the Eternals have plenty of potential. Unfortunately, I do not know if this title is going to make it. The Eternals have never been that popular and the Knaufs are going to have a tough time convincing comic book readers to hop aboard this title. Let’s go ahead and hit this review for Eternals #3.

Creative Team
Writers: Charles and Daniel Knauf
Artist: Daniel Acuna

Art Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with Makkari sitting in his loft in San Francisco. Makkari begins meditating and suddenly makes contact with the Dreaming Celestial. The Dreaming Celestial reveals to Makkari scenes from when the Deviants gained control over the Earth. The Celestials returned to Earth to witness which of their creations prevailed. The Dreaming Celestial went by the name Tiamut the Communicator. His function was to alert the others about his findings and then signal to the Horde to gather the aggregate planetary life-force.

For some reason, one of the Celestials, Arishem aborted Tiamut’s contact with the Fulcrum. Arishem then states that the Fulcrum ordered them to thin the Deviants’ influence on Earth. The Celestials proceeded to cull the Deviants. Tiamut states that the order was illogical and he made the judgment that Arishem was malfunctioning and proceeded with protocol and attempted to discharge Arishem and assume command.

During the titanic battle, Tiamut detected hatred inside of Arishem.

We cut to Vorozheika, specifically General Stoyanovich’s residence. The General enters his home and sees his family frozen in place at the dinner table. Next to them is Ajak. Ajak informs the General that he wants to know how Druig is discovering the names of the people he has the General seek out. Ajak then reads the General’s mind and discovers that the General has found Gilgamesh.

Ajak continues to read the General’s mind and discovers that they have found twenty-three other Eternals. Ajak tells the General that he will inform Druig about Gilgamesh’s location tomorrow night rather than his scheduled time of tomorrow morning. Ajak tells the General that he now will secretly work for Ajak and in return Ajak promises to protect the General’s family. Ajak then departs the scene and the General’s family un-freezes.

We slide over to Olympia, the Eternals home located in Antarctica. We see Joey complaining to Zuras about how bored he is. We see the Horde inside of Joey reporting that Zuras is easily manipulated and can reveal much to the Horde about the Eternals’ defensive capabilities and contingent strategies.

Zuras tells Joey that appears angry. Zuras gives Joey permission to speak his mind. Joey tells Zuras that he hates this place and that all Zuras does is yell and that Zuras is a big fat old hippie. Zuras begins to laugh.

Zuras agrees that he is fat and old, but states that Olympia is a place of wonders. Zuras then tells Joey to come with him.

We shift back to Dreamspace where the Dreaming Celestial continues his story of his fight with Arishem. Suddenly, the other four Celestials on the scene attacked the Dreaming Celestial. At that point he realized that all the Celestials had planned this culling of the Deviants. The Dreaming Celestial states that their battle shaped continents and carve valleys and forged mountains.

Eventually, the Dreaming Celestial was overwhelmed. Since a Celestial cannot be destroyed, his fellow Celestials decided to do the next best thing and “silence” the Dreaming Celestial.

We cut to Thena visiting Phillip Stoss at his home. Thena is posing as an attorney handling the estate of a cousin of Stoss who left Phillip the only heir. Thena begins asking all these questions about Phillip’s parents. During the questioning Phillip begins to give different answers to the same questions. Phillip then becomes totally unsure of any of his childhood and his parents.

Then tells Phillip that his real name is Phastos. Phillip begins to totally lose it. Phillip’s wife then asks Thena to leave. Then gets up to leave and says that she will be in contact.

We slide over to Goiania, Brazil where Ajak is meeting a carnival performer named O Guerreiro. Ajak tells the carnival performer that his real name is Gilgamesh. Ajak tells Gilgamesh that it is time for him to remember himself and his enemies: Zuras, Thena, Sersi, Makkari and Ikaris. Gilgamesh passes out. Ajak tells Gilgamesh to sleep and to dream of carnage.

We shift back to Olympia where Sersi is using the Eternals’ computer to record and analyze the Dreaming Celestial. The computer states that psi-bursts are emanating from the Celestial. That there are two sources coming from the Celestial. One source is a protracted local two-way transmission located in San Francisco.

We cut to Makkari asking the Dreaming Celestial what happens next. The Dreaming Celestial states that Earth is an unprecedented source of life-force. That Earth has gone un-harvested for eons and that no planet has produced base specimen’s harboring such prodigious aggregate energy. The Dreaming Celestial says that a catastrophic event will result in such power be acquired by either the Celestials or the Horde. That the balance of power will be skewed heavily in favor of the recipient of such life-force which will throw order into chaos and therefore displease the Fulcrum.

Makkari asks the Dreaming Celestial what he is going to do. The Celestial answers that he will gather information for transmission to the Fulcrum before the Horde arrives for the harvest. What happens after that is unknown. The Dreaming Celestial states that his function is to gather and analyze and transmit information and if that is compromised then he must initiate “the Song.”

The Song will lull ever living creature into a state of catatonia and the Fulcrum will extract all energy and re-sculpt the planet starting anew. Makkari asks incredulously if every cosmic being in this universe is a total tool. The Dreaming Celestial answers that they are all tools of the Fulcrum. The Dreaming Celestial states that the planet’s fate rests in Makkari’s hands as well as the Dreaming Celestial’s.

We hop back to Sersi at the Eternals’ computer. The computer states that the second source of psi-bursts from the Dreaming Celestial is an intermittent transmission into deep space. The computer cannot calculate the location of the destination of that transmission.

We cut to Zuras and Joey in the Eternals’ trophy room that stores weapons and technology captured from their enemies. That their mission has been to protect this planet from any threat. Joey is duly impressed with all the cool weapons and gadgets. Zuras adds that the Eternals reverse-engineer the weapons and technology in order to develop defensive counter-measures. That everything the Eternals have learned is then entered into their computer data-base.

Joey then asks if he can see the computers. Zuras says “Of course.” The Horde sentinel inside of Joey says “Monitor and disseminate.”

We slide back to Brazil where Gilgamesh as “awoken” and is standing in all his Eternal glory. Ajak tells Gilgamesh that their fellow Eternals have joined with the Deviants and that they are raping and destroying their world. Ajak says that only Gilgamesh is strong enough to stop them. That for the sake of Earth, Gilgamesh must destroy the Eternals. End of issue.

Comments:
The Good: I found Eternals #3 to be another wonderfully written issue that presents the reader with an incredibly complex and dense story. The Knaufs are known for weaving thick tales that give the reader plenty to chew on. And the Knaufs always prefer to craft plot heavy stories that rely on strong character work and quality dialogue in order to carry the issue.

As always, the Knaufs whip up plenty of nicely crafted dialogue. Each character has their own fully formed external voice. The Knaufs continue to employ plenty of strong character work as the various characters are fairly well fleshed out and three dimensional. In just three issues, the Knaufs have been able to establish the basic personalities for each of the Eternals in this title. Even a new reader can quickly get a feel for the personalities of the various characters.

The Knaufs move Eternals #3 along at a controlled and measured pace. Personally, I am quite pleased that the Knaufs have not rushed anything on this title. I am glad that they are taking their time to properly construct this story and create plenty of mystery. These first three issues are all about laying a solid foundation and creating tension and confusion within the reader concerning what is going to happen next.

I would imagine that the story is going to pick up in pacing the in the next issue as shall the amount of action.

The Knaufs are treating the reader to a plot heavy story with the Eternals. This is not an action title. That is not to say that the Knaufs will never deliver any action on this title. However, the fact remains that the Knaufs simply do not write mindless action heavy titles and I do not expect that when I purchase the Eternals.

I find the various plotlines that the Knaufs have manufactured on this title to be intriguing and have succeeded in hooking my interest. With each issue, the Knaufs peel back another layer on this story and present the reader with even more complex and unpredictable plotlines. It seems that the more the reader learns the less the reader knows about what is going to happen next.

The Knaufs finally dole out plenty of information concerning the Dreaming Celestial’s back-story. I am glad that the Knaufs did not drag this out any longer. It was wise to go ahead and get the reader fully educated about the Dreaming Celestial. I found the Dreaming Celestial’s back-story to be rather interesting.

I found the fact that the Deviants won control of the Earth surprising. And even more stunning was that the supposedly unemotional Celestials were burning with hatred towards the Deviants and decided to break with procedure and slaughter the Deviants.

The reader also learns that the Dreaming Celestial lost his battle with his fellow Celestials and was placed into a deep sleep and then buried on Earth. This explains how the Dreaming Celestial came to be on Earth. We also learn that the Dreaming Celestials function is to analyze and record the planet and then send that information to Horde.

The Knaufs also reveal that the entire point of the Celestials’ experiment on Earth is to cultivate Life-Force and then harvest it for the use of the Fulcrum. Such a cold and harsh reality is almost impossible for Makkari to comprehend. It is a natural human desire to place some mystic importance and value on life.

Humans have always tried to establish some special purpose and meaning to life and creation. I enjoyed this twist that life on Earth is truly devoid of any special purpose at all. That life on Earth is nothing more than an energy source for a cosmic entity like the Fulcrum.

The Knaufs move along the plotline involving Makkari and the Dreaming Celestial as we see Sersi makes the discovery that the Dreaming Celestial is sending out psi-bursts to two different locations. One is a local two-way transmission located in San Francisco and the other one is to an unknown location in deep space. The second one must be the Celestial contacting the Horde.

I dig that the Knaufs are setting the stage for some serious tension between the two lovers in Sersi and Makkari. It should be interesting to see how Makkari reacts when he realizes that Sersi confronts him with this information. Clearly, Makkari is not going to stop connecting with the Dreaming Celestial and Sersi seems adamant on getting Makkari to sever his connection with the Celestial.

The Knaufs threw a nice curveball at the reader with the interesting plot wrinkle of having Ajak working against Ikaris and Zuras. I did not see that coming. What is interesting is that Ajak is not working with Druig either since Ajak is scooping Druig with the General. It appears that Ajak is simply working on his own or for some unknown third party that we are not aware of yet. This was a great plot twist and I am looking forward to seeing what Ajak is scheming.

The scene with Phillip Stoss and Thena was well done. The Knaufs give the reader an excellent sense of the confusion that plagues and clouds the minds of these Eternals when the process of “waking up” begins to kick in. It was neat watching Stoss constantly switching the facts to his faux life.

I am enjoying how the Knaufs are writing Zuras in this story. I like that Zuras is begin portrayed as a monarch who is past his prime. While it appears that Zuras’ mind is beginning to deteriorate, I have this nagging feeling that Zuras may simply be playing possum.

The Knaufs end Eternals #3 with a great hook ending. We see how the Horde is using Joey as a tool to learn all of the Eternals’ secrets. The sly way that the Horde manipulates Zuras through Joey was nicely done.

Then we get the dramatic one page splash shot of Gilgamesh back in all his Eternal glory and ready to kick some ass. I am definitely looking forward to some action on this title and Gilgamesh is exactly the ingredient needed to accomplish that goal.

The Bad: To be sure, Eternals #3 is a slow issue. The pacing on this title is likely to turn off some readers. There is also a lack of any action in this issue. Again, readers who require at least a bit of action in their comic books will be disappointed with Eternals #3.

While Daniel Acuna is capable of producing some nice looking panels the fact remains that his style of art is incredibly stylized and unique. And it is a style of art that readers will either love or hate. And while I would not mind a fill-in issue or two by Acuna, I just cannot stomach a steady diet of his style of artwork. After three issues, I am already tired of Acuna’s style of art and wish that this title had artwork that was brighter, cleaner and more detailed. Acuna’s art is beginning to look like a wash of extremely heavy paints that does nothing to make the Knaufs’ story more enjoyable to read. Acuna also fails to convey any emotion through his artwork as his facial expressions are all vacant.

Overall: Eternals #3 was another good read. The Knaufs are such talented writers and they always deliver well constructed plotlines that fit together impressively in order to form a detailed and intriguing story. Still, this title is thin on action and it does move at a slow pace. And Acuna’s artwork is doing nothing to help this title.

If you like more action themed titles that move at a brisk pace then Eternals is simply not for you. And if you prefer more realistic and street based characters then I would not recommend Eternals.

However, if you enjoy plot heavy stories with strong dialogue and character work then you should give the Eternals a try. And certainly if you dig Jack Kirby’s old characters then this title will also appeal to you. I also think that most Sci Fi fans will dig the story that the Knaufs are weaving on this title.

1 Comments

  1. Eternals #3? Or #2? because the title of the post…

    Are the Knauf’s really know for the density of their writing and their weighty plots? Every comic I’ve read by them has been ultra-decompressed and limp.

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