February 26, 2024

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Noteworthy Issues: Eternals #4 (April, 2021)

Thanos is up to something, and Kingo doesn't care for Druig.

I said at the time it came out that actor Barry Keoghan somehow made a bigger impression on me for his single short scene appearance that he had in The Batman than he had as one of the Eternals despite more lines and screentime.  I still think that’s true.  Eternals as a movie had a number of characters that, aside from Sersi and Ikaris and maybe Sprite, didn’t get a whole lot to do and didn’t leave much of an impression aside from when an actor with an outsized personality was able to inject something.  Characters like Druig were just going to fall between the cracks as a result.

But what is the new comic series took an issue to take a closer look at him?

Issue:  Eternals #4, April 2021

Writer:  Kieron Gillen

Artist:  Esad Ribic

The Plot:  As the search for Zuras’s murderer continues, the spotlight shines on Druig.

Commentary:  So, my familiarity with Druig comes entirely from the movie and four issues of this series.  I’m not even sure I’d even heard of the guy before.  But suffice to say, he’s a very different character in both mediums.  Movie-Druig is a mind controller, but he actually uses said powers to do good, by, say getting people to evacuate a bad battle between Eternals and Deviants in an orderly manner, or even have people fight in unison against a threat.  While there is an Eternal who goes bad in the movie, it isn’t Druig.

Comic-Druig is very much a different story.  None of the others seem to trust him, and he’s not exactly giving them reasons to do so.  He’s manipulative with or without his psychic powers, and everyone more or less knows it.  And while there is plot space given over to Sersi and Phastos looking for answers in one place while Irakis and Sprite continue to guard a human child for reasons they don’t know or understand yet, much of what comes down here is Kingo (with Thena) confronting Druig about their suspicions.  Druig claims to be innocent.  In fact, he actually is.  Druig hasn’t done anything wrong up until the end of this issue, but he had nothing to do with Zuras’s murder.

If anything, the issue presents him as some sort of long-range thinker, one who does things the others don’t much care for, as seen largely in an extended flashback where Kingo remembers how Druig once rode with the Mongol hordes, and Kingo’s desire to stop them before they reached Europe was called into question.  What angle was Druig playing back then?  It’s unclear.  He has his own motivations for doing things.

So, naturally, when Thanos shows up to smack some more Eternals around like he did with Ikaris, it doesn’t really help that Druig’s maybe not going to be that helpful against the Mad Titan, assuming that Thanos did kill Zuras.  What Thanos is up to is still something of a mystery at this point.  He doesn’t exactly confirm or deny that he killed Zuras, but he’s doing things with the Eternals’ teleportation system that he shouldn’t be able to do based on his very nature.

So, really, Druig as seen here may not be the murderer everyone is looking for, but he’s not someone the others should trust either.  That’s more about the character than I learned in a two and a half hour movie.

Grade:  B