Another surprising library find!
A few years ago Marvel got the idea to scan some of their more popular comics and add a bit of animation to the panels. I watched the Black Panther one years ago and loved it. The Spider-Woman one wasn’t bad. However, I have never cared for or connected with the Eternals over my comic book reading life. The biggest connection I ever had was my hey day of Avengers reading while fellow Eternals Sersi and Gilgamesh were on the team. Not only did the concept not grab me, but it is also a Marvel idea that they have never really pushed to the front. Jack Kirby created this race of Earth protectors. Then they sat on a shelf for years. Neil Gaiman took a shot at relaunching the idea and was joined by artist John Romita Jr. That is the version here.
Marvel took the limited series comic and Romita Jr’s panels then added a little bit of movement, some effects, dialogue, music, and a couple other touches. It’s not quite animation but it isn’t static either. It’s a big step up from cheap shows like Clutch Cargo but there are definite echoes.
I love everything I’ve read so far from Gaiman. I have parts of Romita Jr’s work that I love and others I felt are a bit phoned in. His Eternals work falls closer towards the love side.
The Eternals were created by, we’ll call them space gods for simplicity, known as Celestials. There are 100 Eternals, all immortal and all with powers. They battle the Deviants – monsters and mutants also created by the Celestials for… reasons.
When this story starts though, the Eternals are scattered and have no recollection of their long lives. All of them believe themselves to be normal humans living normal boring lives. Eternal Ikaris is Ike Harris. Makkari is Mark Curry, and so on. Ikaris is the first to “wake up” and has to convince the Eternals he can find that they are more than human and needs their help. This goes as well as you would guess.
Along the way there are battles with Deviants. A shocking revelation. And a greater threat than anyone imagined when they began this journey. I was surprised by every twist and turn and enjoyed the hell out of the series. All together it runs just shy of an hour and a half, but each chapter plays the opening and closing all over again.
It was also a great introduction to the Eternals. By stripping them down it became more reader friendly. As the Eternals are learning who they are, I’m learning too. While these characters have been around as long as I’ve been reading comics, this now gives me reasons to connect and care for these characters.
While the concept of a motion comic is odd, I also think I enjoyed this story more in this format than I would have by reading the graphic novel. Suspense was built up by editing in ways that turning a page can’t do. The voice actors added plenty of stresses and purposely chose how to deliver each line in ways that brought this old/new concept to me in an enjoyable way.
If you can find one of these DVDs floating around I would highly suggest picking it up and throwing it on one night. The chapters also help. I didn’t watch the whole thing in one night but there were easy breaks to pause and pick up the next day.