Ikaris versus Thanos in a battle through time and space. Kieron Gillen provide the high quality words while Esab Ribic and Matt Wilson provide the grandiose visuals that do more than reverb with a more ancient, mythological time. Another grandiose issue that only elevates a set of characters who have not always had it so good.
As you should know by now, Thanos turned up at the end of Kireon Gillen and Esad Ribić’s debut issue of the newest take on Jack Kirby’s Eternals, and Ikaris couldn’t be happier. He releases the chance to fight the mad Titan. Why? Well, he’s never faced off against him before. And, as Gillen succinctly puts it in Eternals #2, he’s “an arrow (that) lives only for the target.” And it duking it out with Thanos, Ribic gets to work his wonders as an artist, kicking up dust while the battle is narrated by Earth itself. But, all is not as it first seems. And that’s all I’ll say in regard to this duel.
And while Ribić delivers another epic masterclass in artwork – beautifully coloured in toned-down hues by colour artists Matthew Wilson – his artwork is complemented by Gillen’s word wizard. Whether it is the omnipresent and rich prose the Earth delivers, or the word play Ikaris shared with a boy from a time long, long ago, or even the storytelling-like qualities that come into play too, even by Gillen’s always grand standards, this feels like it’s on another level.
As the issue progresses you may just notice that as narrators go, Earth is as unreliable as any (or, “loopy” as it confesses) and soon drifts off at a target that, when it returns to the main plot line, finds the story has moved on without us. But, we do arrive at the most dramatic of revelations of moments, that’ll for sure. Soon, we’re back into the murkiness of the murder mystery of last issue and a chance to be introduced to a few more dramatis personae of this high drama. Although, the states are much higher that simply solving the death of an Eternal.
It’s still far too early to even begin guessing where any of this is going, but it’s already a gripping tale with the gravitas to match the subject matter. Gods to many – with the epic scale architecture to match – but a bandage to the world. And out now from Marvel Comics.