Writer: Neil Gaiman
Artists: John Romita, Jr. (p), Danny Miki, et al (i)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Plot: The sleeping Celestial is waking up, and sensitives around the globe (and beyond) are sharing his dreams. Is he God? And if so, can or should the Eternals do anything about it? And then the Avengers bumble onto the playing field.
Comments: This is a pretty funny issue. Gaimanís droll sense of humor comes to the fore, balanced masterfully with a rising sense of dread (the Celestialís verbalized dreams have the cadence of Lovecraft, if slightly cheerier than an eldritch god might be) and a series of violent and non-violent attempts by our gathered pantheon of alien near-gods to intercede in this process.
This is a very well-structured issue. This mini has gotten better as itís gone along, as the main characters have moved from the states of amnesia and human cover identities to the realizations of who they really are. Thena, Makkari, Ikaris, Sprite and Sersi are joined at last by Zuras, Druig and Ajak, which is more than enough Eternals to form the Uni-mind, their own collective divine aspect.
Which they do, and which the Celestial immediately shuts down. Heís got other things to worry about, like his affectionate crush on Iron Man. The Avengers are the straight men in this story, in way over their heads with the Eternals, who arenít quite themselves yet, either. Ikaris tries to reason with the Celestial, but itís Makkari to whom it wants to speak. In a truly freaky dream sequence, we learn a bit about what itís like to sleep as humanity evolves, to observe and absorb radio, TV and the internet (ďall of it,Ē the giant robot helpfully clarifies); he/it gives Mark Curry the job of prophet, and the message to humanity (and the Eternals, and the demonic Changing People) is that weíre all being watched, and judged. And not by a passive Watcher, either.
Gaiman has found a way to make Kirbyís generically grand Greco-Roman pantheon relevant again; heís tied them to humanity, given them lives rooted in history (Thena has a child, Zuras has a dog), allowed them to see how the other races live and die. Not all of them (Sersi especially) are ready to give up their human lives, and conflicts and tensions between each other also persist.
Not that they havenít realized their place in the scheme of things. When Iron Man tries (ridiculously) to enforce the registration act on these divinities, Zuras (Zeus) clears him up real quick: ďIf you saw two groups of children arguing over which of them could play in some waste ground, would you choose sides?Ē
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