Comics Anonymous

ETERNAL DESCENT VOL 2 #1 by Linsay @softlyspokenlas
November 6, 2011, 8:05 pm
Filed under: Comic Reviews, IDW Comics | Tags: , , , , , ,

I picked up the Eternal Descent Volume 1 trade at Kapow earlier this year after being lured to their stall by huge Marshall amps and Les Pauls with exciting paint jobs. I enjoyed the book, read it quickly and found it to be a lot of fun. It featured as characters, a lot of musicians from bands I like which was quite an interesting idea although it was clear the story was unfinished and so I looked forward to Volume 2. Over the past few months the Eternal Descent team have been teasing us with lots of themed guitars and guitar merch. The difference between these and that Deadpool guitar I was coveting is these actually look more than playable.

I lent my volume 1 trade to @hastiecraig and @surelyshine in they hope they would be into it and want to try out volume 2. I didn’t refresh my memory of the trade before volume 2 #1 came out and to be honest I think I’ve suffered for it. I still remember the premise, the characters and even some of the cooler scenes from Vol 1 but I’ll freely admit to feeling a bit lost within this comic book, and I can only assume this is the reason why.

Front cover of issue 1 isn’t bad, but not overwhelmingly excellent. It almost tries to catch us up with the action as (I think) we left it at the end of volume1. I can’t be too concrete with my assumptions here as I’m afraid I may have forgotten more about the trade than I realise. The variant cover, featuring Lyra, looks much better.

As you progress though the comic book things do become a little clearer, but not by much. I would have preferred to se a little bit of ‘Previously, on Eternal Descent’ handholding action printed on the inside of the front cover, although with two writers, two pencilers, three inkers, four cover artists not to mention colourists and letterers etc all competing for name space we might have struggled.

Our story begins with a couple of guys hanging around a deserted stage, either after of before a gig. Gus G who in the real world plays guitar for Ozzy Osbourne and Firewind, is sitting fiddling with his guitar, wondering about pickups when he notices a glowing Les Paul sitting away on the other side of the stage. Naturally, when you see a glowing guitar you touch it, and thats just what Gus does only for it to fly him straight up through the skylight in the roof to a place made of brains and a mysterious strangers to lead him on a journey.

The story then cuts, thankfully, to Vol 1s main characters Sirian and Lyra. Lyra has been taken completely into service by the evil demon Loki whilst Sirian is bound and bloodied. Lucky for him, Gus is on his way to save him and perhaps unluckily there is a random Minister and his pal walking through a tunnel of brains brandishing a mysterious key…

Somehow, Sirian is freed from his bonds just by Gus and the glowing guitar being near by. Sirian starts battling a bunch of green demons and Gus develops powers making him look as though he is on fire, whilst the two key carrying companions unlock a mysterious door with their mysterious key to reveal and potentially release something called ‘the music of the sphered’.

For some reason, Lyra, who was so exciting to read in Volume 1 only gets to speak a couple of times and when she does, she has none of her former bolshiness, but then that might have something to do with her giving herself over to a demon.

Vol 2 #1 of Eternal Descent does go someway to reignite my interest in some of the characters however this issue is quite jumbled up and I would venture is completely inaccessible for the new reader. By comparison to volume 1 it seems less distinct, and although trying to be dramatic with panel selection and shot direction it does not succeed.

The dialogue doesn’t make up with what I remember of the characters and the book reads as clunky and ill defined. The art is also a game of several halves and I wonder if this is due to the large number of personnel working on the book. Perhaps a case of ‘ too many cooks’?

Because of my fondness for Volume 1 I shall stick around in the hope things improve. I’ll also be reading my trade as soon as I can. Eternal Descent, thanks to its sponsor ship with ESP, treads a fine line between being an original comic and a comic driven by product placement and a need to include ‘names’ and whatever else pays. Volume 1 came out on top and I hope Vol 2 will also.


Linsay @softlyspokenlas

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