There’s tension amongst the ranks of the Mosak, as doubts are cast over Adam’s motivation for saving the Mud King over their companion, Jevalia. And, as they journey to a heavily industrialised village of Gliff–looking more like a bleak, blazing vision from William Blake’s Songs of Experience than a village–they take on disguises to meld in with the crowds.
Seven To Eternity was yet another success story for Image Comics when it debuted last year, and after something of a break, Rick Remender is back, albeit without Jerome Opeña for this issue, to pick up the story where it left off.
Of course, Opeña and his hyper detailed style, were always going to be a tough act to follow, but James Harren does a great job of filling in and building on the world of Zahl; here focused on the smoggy Gliff, which the gang have a very bad feeling about. It certainly does seems to be filled with a wretched hive of scum and villainy, though. And, nothing is free, as Goblin realises when looking for the Regent Chancellor, Lovro; a healer they sorely need if Jevalia is to be saved. The further they delve, the darker it seems to get. And, still no sign of Adam or his captive The Mud King.
This is very much an issue of restarting the story, after the ending of, ostensibly, Book 1 last issue. The Mosak seem to be forever outnumbered and outplayed and while the only light in the issue is from the fiery industrial pits of Gliff (coloured by the talent Matt Hollingsworth), it adds heat and tension to the issue as it leaves us on a cliffhanger, as you would expect.
Zhal seems to be a god-forsaken world and one with little to be optimistic about. This is a world of magic but in the hands of the wrong people… well, you know how that goes.
There’s still a long way to go, methinks, before this epic fantasy story comes to its conclusion. And, I’m happy to be along on the journey with the Mosak as they look for Adam. This is a world in which, “We all play the villain at some point in our stories, we all do things we shouldn’t” which I cannot help thinking is less a throwaway line delivered by Lovro’s wife, but rather a motto for the motivations and actions of many of the characters in this book. No more so, at this moment, than Adam’s motivations given how the previous issue of this series concluded.
This is a story where polar opposites are rare, but rather moral dilemmas are the order of the day. Adam has his own quandary to consider, after The God of Whispers told him of a fabled sting that would heal all. And, what of the Mud King anyway? Kill him, and all those affected by him die too. Keep him alive, though…?
A fantasy series, maybe, but with some real world decisions to be made and what falls out from those decisions seems to be one of the engines that will be driving this story through this second chapter.
Dungeons, dragons and dilemmas, then, and a strong return from Remender and the gang.
Seven To Eternity No. 7 is out now from Image Comics