Eternal Empire #1
- Writer: Sarah Vaughn, Jonathan Luna Artist: Jonathan Luna
- Published by: Image Comics Publish Date: May 3, 2017
- Notes: New monthly series
“The Eternal Empress has waged war against the countries of Saia for over one hundred years and now her sights are set on the last country standing. Within the brutal Empire’s workforce, a young woman receives strange visions that give her the courage to escape her fate…or run straight toward it.”
Personal Thoughts (minor spoilers):
I thoroughly enjoyed Alex + Ada, the acclaimed sci-fi drama series also by writer Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughan. Therefore, this new Eternal Empire series by the same duo got me excited. So, I jumped on the première issue upon its first day on the racks.
And here I am, with much to say on it. From the beginning, there is captivation in the opening presentation with a new world map and an interesting prologue. From there, I feel much in Luna’s art as very animated, especially with the colors. Yet, there is a realistic beauty with the character forms and expressions, even with the fantasy and sci-fi elements. The opening pages prepare for more.
From the opening pages taking place 141 years before the center story, sets much world-building with few words and fantastic exposition. There is enough needed to know for this to begin, and the rest unfolding for the present time. I refrain from spoiling much for those yet to read; just the storytelling both with visuals and interesting foundation; leading to an interesting union and changing of times.
Then, we shoot to its present on a farm and life of a worker dealing with an oppressive regime. Mysterious visions call out and eventually setting for a new journey. The art is amazing for its awesome use of depth and space. The perspective and angles really push forth the story, a strength I wish would be utilized more in modern comics. Adding to it, are some great close-ups and use of panel transitions.
The colors change, to fit the drive and moments of the story. We have several layers, shift between the politics and personal struggles, with a nice balance throughout. Eventually, the change in panels and use of weather elements detail the story further and carry on a dramatic escape. Much of the issue involves change and transition as an effect of visions, from a sad servitude to a potential of adventure and optimistic destiny. Towards this, is a new light leading to an interesting development in the cliffhanger.
The cliffhanger was a bit sudden, and too soon. I wanted more pages for this first issue, and I think much of this stems from the slowed pacing of the book. Such is not a bad thing, but I think just demands more pages for such a read.
On the side, there is a final last page detailing the use of multiple suns in the story. Such brings the need for a look back, to appreciate the lighting and deeper setting for the new story.
Overall, Eternal Empire starts off with a captivating first issue, for those open to a new world of sci-fi fantasy with a cinematic, and animated feel. However, this takes time for the reader to take in a slow build-up and explaining of this new world. For this kind of pacing, the series is a special treat for those wanting more in such storytelling.