This new series continues where the last one by Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr. left off last year. The story is the same. Due to the Eternal Sprite’s meddling most Eternals are dormant and living the lives of regular humans. Eternals Ikaris and Thena are trying to stop the evil Eternal Druig from recruiting more dormant Eternals and using them against the other Eternals to take over the world. Elsewhere Sersi is afraid that when her lover Makkari, bonds with the mind of the giant Dreaming Celestial parked somewhere in a park near San Francisco, that he loses more of his true self. But Makkari will not let go of his quest to find as many dormant Eternals as possible, otherwise, the planet’s fate will be at risk.
The story did a good job of retelling details about the last mini-series so readers can start fresh. Knauf set up the conflict with Druig and another evil very well. Coming off after Neil Gaiman is a tough act to follow. And where the Knaufs divert with Gaiman is when they try to give the Dreaming Celestial a language at once alien and similar to a computing language in order to make us understand how Celestials communicate and view our world. It removes the dread we had about the Dreaming Celestial in the mini-series. We know he’s not going to start rampaging through San Francisco. But it also lacks the evocative and poetic quality of the simple words used in Gaiman’s scripts. Still, the story is worth reading and the characters likable and intriguing enough for us to care more about them.
My only problem with Acuna’s work is that it just reminds me too much of his work on the Uncle Sam and The Freedom Fighters for DC Comics and that detracts from my enjoyment of the comic book. I keep feeling like I’m reading something else and make it hard for me to just enjoy and concentrate this book. Acuna’s work is so distinctive that you remember it everytime you see it. And if you associated it with a book you really did not like or have little hope for, well, it spoils everything you will read later by the same artist. Few artists have the kind of visual strength to pull off such a feat and I’m not saying Acuna is a bad artist. He’s a great one. It’s just that I wish he had not drawn so many poor series in the past.