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The Eternal #1

Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2003
By: Page45



Writer: Chuck Austen
Artist: Kev Walker

Publisher: Marvel

Jeepers. The first Marvel Max title to really earn its Parental Advisory, this issue diligently delivers almost as much sex as the complete works of Serpieri. And despite its title (the Eternals have always been about as interesting as their sales have been spectacular - which is to say we weren't expecting to shift more than five), it's got quite the punch, not least because Kev pulls off some spectacular Dawn of Man grasslands, and doesn't skimp on the gore quotient when one poor member of the Homo Erectus tribe is torn in two by the marauding Eternals. But let's pull back a pace (before we're bashed in the mush by a tangle of bloody entrails), and take a gander at the premise.

The Celestials, pretty much top of the interstellar foodchain and bigger than our tallest mountain (possibly - you'd have to consult the ol' Marvel Encyclopedia) have enslaved the humanoid Eternals and wiped out their women, specifically to prevent their new work force from being distracted by the act of procreation. The Eternals then begin wooshing around the galaxy, kidnapping primitive races, resequencing them, then giving them a tiny bit of a brains boost (but not too much, just enough to understand basic commands) and set them to work for themselves. Kind of like contracting out, but without the wage packet.

In this instance they visit Earth to make first contact with our hairy ancestors ("Urf?" "Ee! Ee! Ee!" "Graah!" - sounds like my lounge on Christmas morning), but in this instance their transformation of the females proves... rather too successful. The Eternals swiftly fall in lust with their new compatible "sex toys", but their leader may have gone one further. He may have fallen in love. Power struggles, slavery and rape - this reads far more like euro sci-fi than anything from Marvel since the demise of Epic. Strong script too.

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