Eternals: Manifest Destiny

Eternals: Manifest Destiny
Eternals Manifest Destiny review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Marvel - 978-0-7851-2979-0
  • Release date: 2009
  • UPC: 9780785129790
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero

To Slay a God was a fatally dull presentation of the Eternals salvaged only by Daniel Acuña’s stunning illustrations. Eric Nguyen draws Manifest Destiny, and his unimaginative layouts and increasingly background-free depictions drag the art down to the lumbering level of the script.

The one saving grace is the cancellation of the comic this book reprints forcing the pace. Plots were being dragged out to the same ponderous length as the previous volume, and repeating the same information in consecutive chapters doesn’t appear to be a quirk, just poor writing (and editing). The concluding chapter is at least forced to wrap up in normal time what might otherwise have taken much longer to play out, and the conclusion comes with a neat twist. The downside is that having spent several chapters over both the previous volume and this setting up a nigh unbeatable foe, they’re dealt with almost instantly. So not so unbeatable. The crux was that an aloof God-like being had to learn humanity via connection with an Eternal. Ho hum.

Writers Charles and Daniel Knauf attempt to build on themes that Jack Kirby embedded when he created the cast in the 1970s (see Eternals: The Complete Collection), but hardly enthral. Fred Van Lente also picks up on Kirby concepts when given the opportunity to write an Eternals Annual, the final component of this slim package. He starts with the interesting idea of a human equivalent of the Eternals’ uni-mind, which is investigated by both factions of bickering Eternals, creates some new Eternals, and sets up some decent interaction between them. It’s no masterpiece, and the art from Pascal Alixe is unrefined, but is marginally better than the remainder.

The entire Eternals run by Knauf and Knauf was later combined as To Defy the Apocalypse.