February 5, 2023

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Noteworthy Issues: Eternals #3 (March, 2021)

Sersi talks to a leading suspect in Zuras's murder, and Ikaris sucks at guarding people, but not for the reason you might think.

So, I had a small observation to make here about the Eternals.  I think writer Kieron Gillen may be taking that concept a little further than I had thought.

It does make sense in a way.

Issue:  Eternals #3, March 2021

Writer:  Kieron Gillen

Artist:  Esad Ribic

The Plot:  Sersi and her investigation team interrogate a top suspect:  Thena

Commentary:  Clearly, the previous issue’s set up of Thena as a top suspect for Zuras’s murder should be seen as absurd.  Thena is one of the more recognizable Eternals.  She’s not as well known as, say, Sersi, but I do recall a time she was on a Heroes for Hire team.  Factor in as well that Angelina Jolie played her in the movie, and Thena should be just one of the good guys, right?  Well, Sersi has her reasons for thinking Thena is the top suspect in the murder of Zuras, and for two very good reasons.

  1. Zuras was her father, and they frequently argued, including the last time anyone saw the two of them together
  2. Thena has a habit of romancing Deviants, and they are the Eternals #1 enemies.

That second development stuck out to me a bit because, as far as I knew, Thena’s only romance with a Deviant was an on-again, off-again relationship with Kro, frequently Deviant leader and warlord.  But no, she’s romanced Deviants before.  She’s in a relationship with a new one as the issue starts, and though Sersi has no problem taking humans for lovers, the idea that any Eternal would knock boots with a Deviant is a bit too much for the likes of Sersi, among others.  There’s a reason for that.  A flashback to the days when the Eternals were still relatively young and humanity had maybe not gotten around to the wheel yet shows one of Thena’s past loves got into a lot of mad science behind her back in an effort to become immortal like the Eternals.

Thena…did not take it well.

Now, to Gillen and artist Esad Ribic’s credit, the Deviants have been clearly established as not an entirely evil race, and the Eternals only need to involve themselves against ones that go around attacking or killing people.  Most don’t and would just assume live out their lives quietly like everybody else.  Thena’s current lover may be malformed, but he’s not a bad guy.

Sersi, somehow, doesn’t see it as entirely harmless, perhaps because she was the one who told Thena about the mad scientist guy’s activities.

Plus, Sprite, kept around because the others don’t trust her, is quick to note she’s been honest while Sersi rather easily tells lies in front of everyone.

The thing that sticks out to me the most here is Gillen’s general idea that Eternals are eternal in lots of ways, not the least of which being an inability to change.  Thena and Sersi have been doing this sort of thing for as long as they’ve been Eternals.  That isn’t going to change.  Likewise, Ikaris, spending the issue guarding an otherwise normal human child for some unspecified attack, is largely just a cold, emotionless fellow who just hovers outside the kid’s house until the boy’s parents suggest that the coming attack might be prompted by Ikaris’s hanging around outside anyway.  He’s unable to offer words of comfort to anyone.  He just, well, holds himself to some duty and won’t deviate.  He’s like the last guy you want as a bodyguard for the simple reason that he lacks some basic empathy and social niceties skills that could offer comfort and reassurance to his personally assigned object in need of his protection.  Instead, he just kinda shows up and won’t go away until something happens.  Hardly the most reassuring of figures.

But that may be because the Eternals are always what they are.  They don’t grow and change because, well, they can’t.

Unless they can, and we just need to see how.  Color me intrigued.

Grade:  B+

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