Eternals is back this week with its penultimate issue in the “Hail Thanos” storyline. The series has been an incredible work as it not only supplies readers with new insights into the Eternals’ past and how they function, but it has given us a new perspective on Thanos. Eternals: The Heretic was a great one-shot that did all that and more, but with Thanos gaining new power, how might that affect the power dynamic as the Avengers and Eternals fight?
Much like with all serial stories, if you start here you’ll miss out on how we got here and maybe even what is going on with all the power struggles. This issue opens on Avengers Mountain, which is the only location of a Celestial on Earth. The Avengers and Eternals have a bit of beef around them living inside a dead Eternal, but there’s a lot more than that going on. This issue juggles an immediate threat to humanity, the high tension between the Avengers and Eternals, and Thanos’s ongoing plan to…well, do terrible things.
Something you’ll notice when reading this book is Gillen’s voice comes through in a fun and bubbly way in a few different areas. You hear it in the playful captions via the Great Machine or how Druig enjoys his pleasantries. The way the Eternals hold themselves is also quite interesting and it’s obvious they’ve lived for eons and hold themselves differently because of it. Art by Guiu Vilanova helps put deep lines into these faces as if they’ve been carved from stone adding to that aged feel.
As the story zips around, Gillen uses the Great Machine to give us insights into what characters think or what is going on. It’s the ultimate narrator but actually makes sense given what the Great Machine is and its power. This zipping around between plots helps keep the action intense but never goes on too long. As you can see in the preview, there are a few different conflicts to resolve.
Gillen has a good handle on the Avengers characters as well. He reminds us Thor doesn’t like Phoenix, but she’s an Avenger now and does like a good fight. The savagery of the Avengers has been upped to thanks to the Eternals being super tough to hurt. Given the big summer event A.X.E. coming up, this issue has a preview feel of what’s to come as they pound each other in key matchups.
Art by Vilanova with colors by Matthew Wilson is good, with a rougher edge to them that suits the high-stress moments throughout. There’s a rather tricky sci-fi gadget that saves lives that Vilanova pulls off well especially since it’s no easy task to visualize it. The colors are rather subdued as well, grounding things a bit more in reality. The scene taking place in a town, for instance, is more easily relatable when the characters rather dramatic costuming is a bit more grounded.
Eternals #11 is a good penultimate issue for the current story arc and a nice primer for the summer event kicking off in a few weeks. It serves to keep the plot moving with Thanos, shows us how the Avengers and Eternals have things to fight over, and plays nicely into the well-narrated story by the Great Machine.
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