Hello and welcome to another edition of the Marvel Rundown! This week, our main review covers the latest installment of Kieron Gillen’s impressive Eternals story, this time the second one-shot focusing on a different aspect of Eternal society.
We’ve got a review of Eternals: Celestia #1, as well as a few other new Marvel Comics titles in the Rapid Rundown, all ahead on this week’s Marvel Rundown!
Eternals: Celestia #1
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Kei Zama
Inking by Kei Zama and John Livesay
Colouring by Matthew Wilson
Lettering and design by Clayton Cowles
Cover by Esad Ribic
I reviewed the debut issue of this series way back in January (that was… ten months ago? Oh god.) It’s been a pretty hectic time for the Eternals this year with some crazy revelations and threats coming out of Gillen and Esad Ribic’s amazing take on the group, but I really liked these one-shots that we’ve gotten that I assume are only here to give Ribic time to draw the next arc.
Not only does this issue give a little breathing room after the frankly shocking twist from #6, but it gives Gillen the chance to explore a side of the Eternals that I guess he doesn’t have the time or page space to do in the main series, especially now that it has such a singular narrative thrust. This issue ties deeply into the Jason Aaron run on Avengers, which is what Gillen’s Eternals springs out of, for better or worse. Well, better in this case since it’s a damn good story. This issue poses the question of how a devout priest of the Celestials for a million years would react when finding out that despite her gods’ silence to her prayers, they’re off talking to other Eternals and even to the Avengers! It’s a crisis of faith multiplied by an eternal infinite, and one that Gillen captures quite interestingly.
The issue focuses on the aforementioned priest, Ajak, and her frenemy Makkari, a fellow priest who is the other aforementioned Eternal who spoke to a Celestial. Ajak decides on a pilgrimage to help ease her pain, and Makkari accompanies her. What follows is a pretty neat exploration of what can be considered the more religious aspect of Eternal culture, especially from the point of view of Ajak who feels so betrayed. The journey ends in a pretty satisfying place that actually left me incredibly excited!
I was mostly impressed by Kei Zama’s art; I haven’t heard of them before reading this and I liked how they managed to achieve the trifecta, that being crazy Kirby goodness with the Celestials, some good ol’ superhero action with the One Million BC Avengers, and general Eternal artwork that all complemented each other wonderfully. Matthew Wilson’s work in this series has been relatively grounded so far but here he gets the chance to ahem show his true colours, creating a bombastic and fun palette that was a delight to read.
Gillen’s characterisation of the Machine continues to be the main highlight of the series for me. It’s still definitely talking to the reader and I like how the data pages are folded into the story; I’m also a fan of how recent story revelations from the main story are presented during the flashbacks, adding some real tragedy to aspects of Eternal culture like their resurrections.
Final Verdict: BUY. This is one of the strongest issues of the series to date, shifting away from the main narrative to explore how deep the perceived Celestial betrayal is to the more religious members of the Eternals. The art is gorgeous and the story is very well-told. Buy with confidence!
- Amazing Spider-Man #75
- Between effective use of second-person narration and a Peter Parker who is drowning in late notices from banks, Spidey #75 wastes few pages in getting to the “good stuff”… and that’s before the laugh-out-loud Spider-Verse line! Not since Otto Octavius took over Pete’s brain has a 616 Spidey had this kind of fully-bankrolled opportunity – but by contrasting the broke Spidey against the Spidey who has access to a plethora of special resources, this story elevates the premise. Add in a dash of trademark controversy (a tried and true legal motivation – just ask the Great Lakes Avengers) and you get an engaging first chapter of a story loaded with possibilities. Can a Spidey who has been putting in the time and earning the experience – but who lacks capitalistic acumen – possibly hope to compete with a Spidey backed by a team that’s invested millions of dollars in the success of their endeavor? It will be interesting to see where these various plot-threads lead! —AJK
- Defenders #3
- One thing I’ve always enjoyed about the comics I’ve read featuring the ‘classic’ iteration of the Defenders, a truly odd-ball assortment of characters who have no reason to be together other than circumstance, is how completely bananas they are. It’s a concept that recognizes how ridiculous it is and leans into it hard. Halfway into the current series by Al Ewing and Javier Rodriguez, I’m glad to see that spirit hasn’t worn off. This week’s episode is a magic-fueled blast, with Ewing’s smart blend of action, character, and humor, and Rodriguez’s always-incredible artwork. Not only that, but even as Ewing’s Immortal Hulk run has just one issue left, he’s still finding ways to reveal new information about the mythology behind the series, with what feels like a big revelation in this issue about one of the run’s key elements that doesn’t detract or distract from the other events of the issue. This is an extremely satisfying read. —JG
- Hellions #16
- Things are going poorly for the Hellions as the series nears its finale. It was probably too much to expect a happy ending for these characters, but after the disastrous events of last issue the team is more fractured than ever. Zeb Wells and Stephen Segovia have done an incredible job over the course of their run making this team one that’s worth rooting for, and elevating what could’ve been just another mid-tier title to one of the most fun books Marvel’s putting out. It’s a shame it’ll all be over in a few months, but if this issue’s any indication the series is going to finish strong. —JG
Next week, the Beyond era of Spider-Man continues, and Immortal Hulk concludes!