Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Eternal Empire #1 Review

"Eternal Empire" #1 from Image Comics -

    In a harsh, unforgiving world, war has raged for over one hundred and forty years. The Eternal Empress, powerful spawn of a mystical beast and a woman, has trodden nearly all her enemies underfoot in her quest to unify the planet under her totalitarian rule. Only one kingdom remains to resist the Empress' domination. It seems all power is just within the Empress' reach...But within the vanquished Kingdom of Essia, a slave-girl, devotee of an ancient religion, has begun to have visions, seemingly sent from her gods, The Sacred Suns, the three fiery stars that that rule the planet by day. It seems the Suns are speaking with her, drawing her out of captivity, down a road she doesn't understand - one that just might end her life. Can this one young woman be the hope of an entire world or is she just another hopeful cultist destined for a cold death on the lonely, frozen plains of Essia?

    Sarah Vaughn and Jonathan Luna team up again to bring us this sci-fi/fantasy story, "Eternal Empire." Vaughn and Luna work great together usually; their comic book series, "Alex + Ada" was really good and received critical acclaim. They are also pretty great separately; The Luna Brothers brought us the AMAZING comic series, "The Sword" (this should be a movie NOW!), and Vaughn knocked it out of the park with DC Comics' "Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love." However, I have to confess that I am a bit disappointed with "Eternal Empire." While the story itself seems to offer an adventure that may EVENTUALLY turn out to be quite interesting, the characters didn't offer enough of themselves to really hook me into to this journey. The unnamed protagonist, an albino slave-girl called only "snow hair," is very bland, and doesn't do much but muse on her plight, and look very put-upon in almost every situation. When she finally decides to act on her vision, the story begins to pick up, but by then, the book is nearly over. Also, the backstory is very sparse, as is the story itself. We get an airy peek at the antagonist's origin (Eternal Empress), but then we are hurled over 140 years into the future and start traveling with a nondescript slave-girl. It's jarring. The story just feels a bit bland and incomplete. When it comes to the artwork, Jonathan Luna didn't really pull out any stops here - the art is sometimes overly simple, and much of the time, repetitive panels are frustrating. For example, the slave-girl (snow hair) carries the same open-mouthed expression through much of the book.  While this story may become interesting in the future, issue #1 just did not give me much to work with, it did not get me to invest emotionally in the character, nor in the story, so much so that I am not really interested in going any further on this journey. Vaughn and J. Luna are the bee's knees, but they seriously missed me on this one. Bummer.

RATING: 5 out of 10.

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