There are a lot of comics out there but some stand out head and shoulders above the pack. With “Don’t Miss This,” we want to spotlight those series we think need to be on your pull list. This week, we look at an extraordinary fantasy adventure: Image Comics’s “Seven to Eternity.”
Who’s This By?
Writer Rick Remender is an all-star in the world of comics. If you are not familiar with him by name, I can guarantee you have at least heard of his works or have even read some. With more recent genre hits like “Black Science,” “Deadly Class,” and “Tokyo Ghost,” and some excellent books over at Marvel, like “Uncanny X-Force,” “Punisher War Journal,” “Captain American,” and “Venom”; Remender has dabbled in a little bit of everything. He is somehow not a household name, but hopefully that will change.
Illustrator Jerome Opeña, is a little less well-known, but his work on various books at Marvel, Image, Dark Horse and Rocket Comics over the last 17 years speaks for itself. With the bulk of his resumé filled with single issues, short runs and cover art, “Seven to Eternity” is his first on-going series in which he is a co-creator as well as the sole illustrator. This is his time to shine and it has been a treat to see him unleash this world on us. I hope to see his name pop up on more in the near future. He is teamed up with colorist Matt Hollingsworth, whose use of color is unmatched. His work on series like “Tokyo Ghost,” “Wytches,” “Hellboy,” “Robocop,” and many, many more is truly something to behold and no one should ever be disappointed to see his name appear on a book.
What’s This All About?
In the oppressed and dying world of Zhal, a creature named Garils, The Mud King has become its ruler and is also known by many as ‘The God of Whispers.’ He has a psychic link to all inhabitants of this realm and forces nearly everyone to give up their freedom in exchange for fear, paranoia and total servitude. Adam Osidis, a dying knight from a disgraced house, must choose between joining a ragtag band of warriors and mercenaries in their journey to free Zhal of the Mud King, or accept the King’s promise to give Adam everything he has ever hoped for.
So, Why Should I Read This?
Fans of fantasy epics will definitely enjoy this quest for freedom from a dark power. The story sort of checks off all the right boxes for the genre. Remender lists famed series like “Dune” and “Lord of the Rings” as direct inspiration for this mashup of sci-fi and fantasy and it shows. There are starships, dynasties, and men destined for the throne while villains sit upon it. With its Western themes, castles, futuristic technology, and bizarre creatures in these ‘blasted lands,’ I can’t help but be directly reminded of Stephen King’s magnum opus, “The Dark Tower.” While he has never been quoted in saying that this book exists because of that series, I can’t imagine it would without it. Along with the fantasy and western elements there is plenty of the creepy and disturbing throughout this series to keep horror fans happy as well. Remender has become a master at genre blending and writing insane adventures and “Seven to Eternity” is arguably where he does it best.
Fleshing out this insane and unsettling universe is Opeña’s stellar artwork. His character design matched with his attention to detail makes him the star of this book. Zhal is a mad mixture of “The Dark Tower’s” ‘Mid-World,’ Game of Thrones ‘Westeros,’ and the land of the Goblin King in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. He is capable of making everything grimy and beautiful all at once. You marvel at its elegance, but know you would never want to visit a place like this. Every single illustration has a visual texture you can almost feel. And as if the illustrations weren’t perfect already, Hollingsworth’s colors on top of them are stunning. He has a way of using layers that is sincerely mind-blowing. To say he is a genius would be an understatement. It may be a cliché to say so, but his colors bring everything to life. Characters, weapons and places have an inner light that screams of a true existence. These are books that you can pick up and just stare at the art even after reading the story multiple times. Nearly every panel is worthy of being framed, deserving of being lovingly dissected and praised. It is all absolutely gorgeous. This book is highly recommended to anyone who is looking to get away from the same old superheroes and typical comics, but do not want to stray from great fantasy.Continued below
How Can You Read It?
This is one series that anyone can easily catch up with. Although we are nearing the two year anniversary of the premiere issue’s release, Remender and co. are only releasing issue #10 today. There are two trade paperbacks out now. Volume 1 collects issues 1-4 with volume 2 collecting 5-9. No plans for deluxe hardcover or omnibus editions have been announced as of yet. Image is most likely waiting for there to be a few more issues released before making those plans. The first two paperback volumes are available anywhere comic books are sold.