Scout Comics has a new seven-issue series Eternus arriving in comic shops on August 3rd from the mind of Andy Serkis and Andrew Levitas. That’s right, the actor and motion capture revolutionary is getting into comics, supplying the story with scripting by Don Handfield and Anastazja Davis and art by Karl Moline and Andy Owens. The story follows Greek gods during the age when Christianity rose up and started to make them absolute.
At the start of this issue, the Greek gods are in big trouble. Zeus is dead, and his temple is burned to the ground. Gods like Hercules are depressed and drunk while other gods are getting their heads lopped off in this very issue. Once at the top of the food chain, these gods are now watching their world crumble, especially with humans no longer worshipping them as they once did. The creative team explores the latter theme via the Greek gods’ perspective, giving this story a unique feel.
As Serkis has detailed in interviews, “Eternus is an expression of our fascination with foundational mythology and deeply rooted storytelling,” and the comic approaches these myths in a way I haven’t seen before.
Much of this narrative is focused on showing us the various gods still alive and some tough things they’ve had to endure. As first issues go, you’ll have everything you need by the end to know who to root for and how these last few Greek gods came to be within each other’s presence. I will say, though, the way this issue is plotted, it takes a bit to get there. It wasn’t exactly clear why we should care about anyone until the final few pages. That said, there are interesting themes at work, blending a kind of murder mystery, a hero who seeks redemption, and a culture of gods who have lost their luster in a world that has turned its back on them.
Thankfully, the art makes up for that by offering up some intense action and some beautifully rendered backgrounds. Karl Moline’s pencils matched with Andy Owen’s inks give the characters an ever so slight cartoony feel thanks to a cel-shaded outline. Backgrounds are very well rendered with an attention to detail that attaches the events to a reality you can buy into. The design of the main threat has an appropriate thickness and muscled nature that makes him somewhat scary. Clad in Centurion armor, you won’t doubt even Hercules might have trouble with him.
Without a doubt, Eternus has an interesting story worth exploring. Comics have taken a look at these gods many times before, be it Sandman or DC Comics, but due to this story blending the rise of Christianity into the narrative, it ends up making the story feel more relevant to our day and time. As it stands, Eternus takes a bit of patience to dig into, but once you do, its approach to myth and storytelling is exciting and unique.
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