Eternals Forever #1: Review

Oct 2021
Ralph Macchio, Ramon Bachs

Story Name:

The enemy within

Review & Comments

4 stars

Eternals Forever #1 Review by (October 23, 2021)
This is the 3rd of 3 1-shots released in the gap between #6 and #7 of the current Eternals series.

When is this story set?
It says it's after Ghaur took over Deviant rule from Brother Tode, so this is after the 1st Eternals series. With the occasional time off being Marvel dead, he was last seen in the Thor: Deviants Saga mini-series in 2011 but is possibly still in charge now.
But Sprite is female here as she has been since the beginning of the latest series. However we were told at the time that such changes only happened every 20 to 25,000 years. so Sprite must have been male for all of Ghaur's reign up till now. This means that this story must occur during this current series. As supported by the presence of female Makkari on the cover (although she and female Ajak don't appear inside) and Ikaris' reference to Sprite being recently Excluded (before the current series).
However Thena ruling peaceful Olympia in Zuras' place doesn't fit so well. While in the current series Zuras *is* dead (again) and Thena is probably the de facto leader, the events of the series have left no time for a 'peaceful' rule. It seems more like the 1985 series when she ruled after Zuras died in Thor #300. Ghaur was definitely ruling then.

The story of Ikaris' son is obviously based on (or in the Marvel universe gave rise to) the legend of Icarus who flew too near the Sun. The Marvel version was 1st told in #5 of the 1985 2nd series.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Eternals Forever #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Ikaris is levitating among the clouds when he's attacked by a Deviant warship. He's caught in an electro-net, kept unconscious with a brain mine and taken to the Deviant City Lemuria (sunk beneath the Pacific Ocean by the Celestials 2nd Host about 16,000 BC). He's taken to the Deviants' ruler Priestlord Ghaur, who's expecting him.

Ghaur took over leadership of of the Deviants after the death of Brother Tode (in Eternals vol 2 #2) and has long schemed against Eternals and humans. He now intends to make Ikaris the unwitting cause of the Eternals downfall. In a genetics lab he demonstrates his complete mind-control over the Deviants via knowledge of each one's unique DNA by causing a scientist to pour acid over his own hand.

The location of the Eternals' city Olympia is secret but Ghaur intends to have a tracking device implanted in Ikaris' brain so that they can uncover it. Somehow this device is implanted mentally by electrodes linking Ghaur's brain to that of the Eternal. They will let him go and then Ghaur will mentally follow him to Olympia, after which the implant will dissolve.

Ikaris awakes as Deviants are carrying him away from the lab. He feels somewhat weak so he just uses his eye-beams to blast a way out of the city and flies home to Olympia, but collapses a short distance from it. When he awakes again an unknown woman approaches and flirts with him. But then she reveals herself as the illuion-caster Sprite, the permanently-teen Eternal. Ikaris explains what little he knows of what happened to him, and Sprite detects traces of mind-invasion. But Ikaris never knows when to trust her, although he did miss her while she was gone. ((S)he was Excluded between the 2006 series and the current 1.)

Ikaris pauses to mourn at the grave of his half-human son of the same name about 1,000 years ago. While on a mission in Minoan Crete he married a human and had a son who longed to fly. Ikaris made him some wings and promised to teach him how to use them. Unfortunately he was called away to battle Deviants for a long time and the impatient boy took to the sky by himself. He flew too near to airless space and died, eventually falling back into the sea. Ikaris buried him and took his name as his own. (We don't know his previous name, and no-one ever uses it.)

Gilgamesh interrupts his reverie because Sprite had said she was worried about him. Gilgamesh offers support and Ikaris says that he never agreed with Zuras' decision to banish him as the Forgotten One. The other reminds him how Sprite brought the Forgotten One back from exile to foil a Deviant plan (original series #13). And Ikaris reminds *him* of his famous labours (because he apparently did some of the Labours attributed to Hercules). The pair head into the city.

In Lemuria Ghaur is promising his people revenge on the Eternals. He reminds them how the Celestials came to Earth and turned some protohumans into the fixed 100 Eternals, who dwelled above humans and remained changeless, and short-lived Deviants, who dwelled in the depths and proliferated with wildly-varying DNA. The warlike Deviants then conquered early human civilisations. But the Celestials returned and sank Deviant Lemuria beneath the waves. Since then the Eternals have always stopped the Deviants from reconquering the surface world. But now that he has found their mountain home his people will attack and destroy their foe, leaving them free to conquer once more.

Olympia is at peace under the rule of Thena since the death of Zuras. As Thena spars with the friendly Deviant Ransack The Reject, Gilgamesh and Ikaris chat with the other friendly Deviant the intellectual Karkas. Then the Deviant Warships attack. Phastos has to admit that Olympia's defences are currently down for maintenance, although the camouflage system should still have prevented anyone from finding the place. The heroes fight valiantly but are being overwhelmed. So Ikaris flies Gilgamesh to the control tower where they initiate the Uni-Mind which gathers in all 100 Eternals and merges them into itself. It is able to drive off the invaders with bolts of energy.

Afterwards Sprite tells Ikaris that while in the Uni-Mind she detected Ghaur's tracking device but reassures him that it's dissolving. Ikaris in turn tells them all how the Forgotten One helped him save the day. Ghaur urges his scientists to develop greater weapons, but is haunted by what he saw in Ikaris' mind.

Ramon Bachs
Ramon Bachs
Rachelle Rosenberg
Todd Nauck (Cover Penciler)
Todd Nauck (Cover Inker)
Rachelle Rosenberg (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Darren Shan. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Plus: Ghaur, Gilgamesh (Forgotten One), Karkas, Phastos, Ransak (Reject), Sprite, Thena.

> Eternals Forever: Book info and issue index

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