Friday, August 09, 2013

Today's book is frustrating on multiple levels:

Not the least of which being, I had almost thought it was an 80-pager, but no dice: from 1991, Eternals: the Herod Factor #1, written by Roy and Dann Thomas, pencils by Mark Texeira, inks by Bob McLeod, Chris Ivy, Mark McKenna, Ian Akin, and Sam de la Rosa.

The inking credits indicate the first problem: Texeira's art isn't really served by that, and may even be a bit rushed in places. Like the Master of Kung-Fu special we saw a while back, the Herod Factor was originally intended for serialization in Marvel Comics Presents, but for whatever reason was bumped into a single issue instead. Which is curious, since MCP ran more than its share of stinkers.

Then there's the Eternals, who as characters are somewhat less developed than their Marvel brethren the Inhumans, or their DC cousins the New Gods. (Neither of which is especially well developed, either...) Ikaris and Thena get a bit to do, and their Deviant pals Ransak and Karkas are there to get beat up to show the big bad monster is tough, but everyone else could probably be cut without missing anything. Sersi comes over from the Avengers for a key moment, but neither she nor Makkari are as fun as they are elsewhere. (Makkari was an occasional supporting character in Quasar.) There is a revelation regarding the Deviants occasional leader Warlord Kro, who is honestly a bit more interesting than most of the Eternals: while sometimes he was written as a straight bad guy, sometimes he had a subtle heroism, or seemed to have to play the part of the hardass because that's what his people needed him to be.

I did like a throwaway bit with mixed couple Khoryphos and Yrdisis--an Eternal and a Deviant--working to save Deviants from a purge of their former leaders. (And anyone else they felt like getting rid of...) The couple sub in a lifelike dummy, then take the "victim," and give her a human form, so she can expatriate to the surface world. That's the kind of crazy Marvel background stuff I love--it'd be great to see a supporting character reveal themselves as a former Deviant...

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