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Eternals #2: Review

Feb 2021
Kieron Gillen, Esad Ribic

Story Name:

Only Death is eternal, part 2

Review & Comments

4 stars

Eternals #2 Review by (February 12, 2021)
Last issue I speculated as to who some of the Excluded-from-resurrection Eternals identified only by letters are. This issue confirms that A'Lars/Mentor is 1 of them, but adds that his wife Sui-San is there too, presumably Excluded S. Such Eternals, like Sprite was, are capable of being resurrected by the Great Machine but are banned from doing so. However supposedly the other Titanians aren't in the system at all, so that removes Eros and Thanos from consideration freeing up Excluded E and T.

The history of Mentor and the Titans isn't as simple as related here. Thanos did kill the Titanians including his mother Sui-San. But he spared Mentor (and presumably his brother Eros didn't die either). Mentor then used the Eternals' gene-tech to create a new bunch of Titans. All this happened before their 1st app in Iron Man #55. But later Thanos did kill Mentor in #2 of his 2016 series.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Eternals #2 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Eternals have been resurrected after their most recent deaths by their Great Machine system. Ikaris was sent to revive the permanently teen Sprite who had been Excluded for his earlier mass mind-wipe of his fellow Eternals. This time he came back as a she. But then their leader Zuras was murdered in Olympia, and Ikaris and Sprite discovered the culprit was Thanos currently in their derelict old capital Titanos.

Ikaris is happy because there's nothing he loves more than a good fight, and he's never fought Thanos before - an oversight which he quickly remedies. And Thanos is equally happy to accommodate him. They trade blows and blasts, and Ikaris uses his flight to turn his body into a missile.

The Great Machine observes this as it observes everything. Wrecked Titanos is a shifting jumble of temporal fragments and time portals through which flying Ikaris takes the combat. The Machine follows their flight through the ages in its memory until they return to where they started.

But then Thanos ends the fight by ripping Ikaris' head off. Except it turns out to be 1 of Sprite's illusions and the 'young' Eternal helps his wounded fellow from the scene. Ikaris wants to return for more but Sprite says he wants him for evidence. The other Eternals still don't trust the youngster so he needs Ikaris to make them believe Thanos is here.

Last issue in Titanos they saw a future scene of Ikaris standing over the grave of a 13-year old Toby Robson apologising for not saving him, and Ikaris vowed to prevent that from happening. The Great Machine now recalls a similar occurrence in the early Bronze Age when Ikaris saw a Titanos image of a young boy menaced by a monster from the seas. He went there and found such a boy who said he'd seen no monster. Assuming it was a future happening Ikaris instructed the boy to light a bonfire signal when the monster came and the Great Machine would send Ikaris in response. The boy waited. He grew up and became a father and then a grandfather, but still he kept watch for the monster. Then he died and his family burnt his body on a pyre. But Ikaris of course arrived in response. The family blamed him for their grandfather's 'wasted' life. But by chance that's when the monster (probably a Deviant) showed up. Ikaris killed it but realised it was the grandson he'd seen in Titanos. However the Machine adds that the village dined well for a long time on the body, and always lit a bonfire in time of need even though no 'god' ever came again.

Then the Machine wonders why it bothered to recall all that when there are more important things to think about. It takes it as another sign that there's something wrong with itself.

Ikaris and Sprite have reported what they found to Druig and Kingo Sunen. Druig is sceptical. Zuras' killer used the Great Machine's teleportation system which Thanos can't do because he's not a True Eternal. Ikaris points to the wounds Thanos' fingers gouged in his face and suggests they match the wounds on Zuras. Druig wants to wait for the Machine to resurrect Zuras but Ikaris wants Thanos to be hunted down immediately.

Then Phastos arrives to inform them that Zuras won't be returning anytime soon. The Wardens of the Exclusion have been murdered and the resurrection machines are inoperative. Druig's immediate response is to call for the election of a new Prime Eternal. Ikaris accuses him of conspiring with Thanos to get himself elected, but Druig counters that he's too unpopular. And in fact Ikaris is a much more likely candidate, and he went to the Exclusion to release Sprite and now only he and Sprite claim to have seen Thanos. *He* could be the killer. Ikaris threatens to kill *him*.

Now Sersi joins them all and warns Ikaris that such threats are playing into Druig's hands. And she tells Druig to stop spreading discord. She offers to heal Ikaris' wounds, but Druig can't resist accusing those 2 of conspiracy.

We now get a break for a little history on the Titan Schism of the 2nd Age. After the Uranos and Kronos schisms hinted at last time, Zuras suggested that the Eternals' numbers should be limited and the Great Machine should be constrained. His brother A'Lars contended that the Machine should be further developed and new True Eternals should be created. They went to war and Zuras' majority won, but due to mind-wipe none of the surviving/resurrected Eternals know which side they were on. A'Lars was allowed to go found a colony off-Earth to try his experiment. Taking the name Mentor he went to the Uranos colony on Titan where he found 1 survivor Sui-San and they used Eternal technology to create a new race of pseudo-Eternals from their DNA. These Titans weren't registered in the Great Machine.

Later Sui-San gave actual birth to Thanos who grew up to kill the other Titanians including his parents, and later wipe out half the population of the universe (in the Infinity Gauntlet event, but the were all restored to life). A'Lars and Sui-San are in the Great Machine but they are Excluded. Mentor's experiment was deemed a failure.

Ikaris, Sprite, Kingo Sunen and Phastos have gone with Sersi to her quarters where she uses her matter manipulation power to heal Ikaris' wounds. They would have healed naturally eventually, but she offers to give the warrior an appropriate permanent scar if he wants. Sprite asks if they should warn the humans about Thanos. Sersi says Tony Stark and his friends would like to know. But Phastos points out that Thanos is the least of their problems.

The Great Machine has made various comments along the lines that it *is* the planet Earth. Now Phastos makes it clear that unless they repair the Machine the Earth will be rendered uninhabitable within days. The already unstable ecosystem will collapse. Kingo likens it to 1 of the films he (nearly) acted in, and Sersi regrets including him in her conspiracy. Phastos is also worried about how Thanos got access to the Machine. An actual Eternal must have given him an 'exception', but the Machine can't tell them who the traitor is. Sprite wonders why they're all looking at *her*. But then she thinks Sersi must trust her to have her here, but Sersi says she just wants to keep an eye on her.

They decide to hunt for the traitor. Ikaris says he's no good at detective work so he'll leave them to it ...

... and instead goes to New York to find Toby Robson. He knocks on the boy's window to wake him up and promise him protection. The confused boy thinks he's dreaming.

Esad Ribic
Esad Ribic
Matthew Wilson
Esad Ribic (Cover Penciler)
Esad Ribic (Cover Inker)
Esad Ribic (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Clayton Cowles.
Editor: Darren Shan. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Plus: Druig, Great Machine (Eternals AI), Kingo Sunen, Phastos, Sersi, Sprite, Toby Robson.

> Eternals: Book info and issue index

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