May 20, 2024

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Noteworthy Issues: Eternals #8 (December, 2021)

As Thanos solidifies his rule over the other Eternals, the breakaways try to learn from the Deviants.

The Eternals, well the benevolent ones at least, learned something about themselves that they didn’t like at all.  That meant they weren’t around when Thanos won the election for Prime Eternal.

This is why voting matters, people.

Issue:  Eternals #8, December 2021

Writer:  Kieron Gillen

Artist: Esad Ribic

The Plot:  The Eternals are staying somewhere where they aren’t really wanted.

Commentary:  One of the ongoing themes for Gillen’s take on the Eternals is they don’t change very well if at all.  They’re programmed to do certain things, and they don’t really change.  Sersi likes dating humans because, well, she’s programmed to.  Same with Thena and Deviants.  Ikaris can’t help but be the self-sacrificing hero.    But they’ve since learned that every time they reincanate, a random human dies to allow them to live again.  Now the Eternals see that dying on the job isn’t really an option.  And since most of the Eternals aren’t really ready to find a way to fix the Great Machine to stop this, this small group of Eternals has taken refuge in the Deviants’ homecity.

Meanwhile, Thanos is Prime Eternal.  Druig arranged it, thinking he could control the Mad Titan.  He was very, very wrong in a predictable and altogether satisfying way.  But Thanos is Thanos, so anything he has in mind won’t be good for anyone.

That said, what made this issue cool to me is as much as the Eternals are static in their way of doing things, this issue suggests the real problem with the Deviants is that, well, they are the opposite of the Eternals.  Deviant culture is based on constant, unpredictable, and uncontrollable change.  The final form, when a Deviant goes berserk, just happens.  Thena thinks her new Deviant boyfriend, in the early stages of that transformation that will end when an Eternal puts him down, was infected by a jealous Kro.  He says he didn’t because, again, this is the world of the Deviants.  Deviants change.  Eternals don’t.

That may be hard for the Eternals who now know they must change.  That means Irkaris is taking combat lessons from Deviant gladiators, friendly to the Eternals, since they, unlike him, can die.  He needs to know how to fight without dying.

He might need to know that a lot sooner than planned because of that whole Thanos thing.  He doesn’t take kindly to things that might be an obstacle to whatever his current goal is.

Grade:  A-