Thursday, October 27, 2016

Seven To Eternity #1 Review

"Seven To Eternity" #1 From Image Comics  -

     Zhal is a planet where the magic burns bright. It is a world where the Mosak, an ancient high religious order, has access to immense mystical powers because of their strong connection to the spirits of the dead who guide and empower them. But now the Mosak are no more. Garils Sum has usurped the Mosak and taken the entire Kingdon of Zhul. Sum is known as the God of Whispers, because of the power of his words - they twist and bend people to his will with the strength of fear and paranoia. No one can trust anyone any longer. The people, in their cowardice, exchanged their freedom for safety. Only one man stood against the God of Whispers, refusing to hear his offers, and exposing Sum's lies in the hopes of trying to stir the people to stand against his tyranny. That man was Zebadiah Osidis, a powerful Mosak - and for his bravery, he was accused, abused and maltreated by his friends and neighbors, all under the sway of the God of Whispers. Zebadiah took his family and fled far from the cities of Zhal, into the mystic, green Voltk Mountains where the ancient spirits still held power. There he raised his family in the ancient Mosak way. For many years, it seemed like the God of Whispers had forgotten Zebadiah and his kin - but it was not so. When the wicked hand of the God of Whispers reaches out to crush Zebadiah, his son, Adam, will leave his family behind to seek to destroy the God of Whispers, knowing that if he fails, all hope for his family, and his world, is lost. But Adam is running out of time...He has a deadly illness that is advancing, and soon he too will join his father and the ancients in the well of souls...

     Rick Remender is back with a dazzling, a new science-fantasy work: "Seven To Eternity!" Remender is in top form - he creates captivating characters with clear, seemingly just motivations, and he gives us a master class in world-building at the same time. We get an effective one-page exposition in prose, and then Remender gets right to the action. Zebadiah Osidis brings to mind the stereotypical southern, midwestern or western rural-dwelling religious fundamentalist: he is unshakable in his faith, clinging to his ancient beliefs and sounding the warning on the encroaching powers of the secular government, a government that absolutely doesn't have the best interests of the people at heart, and probably has a hidden dark force as its head. However, on Zhal, Zeb seems to be right, as the God of Whispers has no problem with destroying whoever and whatever stands in his way to power. Zeb's family has fled from the city in hopes of finding space to live as they please, and practice their beliefs in peace - they want to be free; however, even in the far reaches of the wilds of Zhal they cannot hope to escape the oppressive hands of an unwanted ruler. Brilliantly, Remender has taken the fears and core beliefs of an increasingly disgruntled American demographic and processed them into this stellar beginning of what I hope is going to be a sweeping science-fantasy epic. I suspect that Zeb's son, Adam, who has set off to avenge his father, may soon find himself at the head of a rebellion - just think...The American Civil War fought on Zhal, not just with guns, but with magic and mystical weapons! Adam has one hell of a vertical struggle ahead; I would love to see how he fights it, and if he actually can win it. I also cannot wait to find out more about the antagonist, the God of Whispers; I suspect his motivations may run deeper than just power for power's sake. Co-creator and artist, Jerome Opeña, is on fire, as usual - his artwork is bold, refined, gorgeous, and as always expressive, busy and VERY cinematic. Opeña is without a doubt, one of the best artists working in comics today. "Seven To Eternity" #1 is must-read material. I dig it!

RATING: 9 out of 10.

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