Marvel’s Eternals: Celestia #1 tells a compelling tale, taking the Eternal priests Ajak and Makkari on a pilgrimage of spirituality and rumination.
Half a dozen issues and a one-shot are too little to give a critical verdict upon, but thus far Kieron Gillen’s Eternals are off to a great start. With not one but multiple twists and exposés, the current run rediscovers the complex world of the Eternals and reinvents them for a new generation of readers. Taking a breather from the main storyline, Gillen uses Etenerals: Celestia #1 to focus on the Eternal Ajak, whose devotion to the Celestials is second to none. Still, her faith waivers when the Space Gods find a new prophet in Makkari and leaves Ajak all alone in the dark. With pencils from Kei Zama and inks by John Livesay, this new one-shot looks into Eternals’ spirituality and philosophical re-examination.
Eternals: Celestia #1 begins in the vast Incan city of Celestia, where a dejected Ajak resides in her melancholia until Makkari joins her. After much verbal to and fro, the priests decide to make a pilgrimage on foot to the remains of the first Celestial, Progenitor, whose body now houses the current Avengers headquarter. As the two Eternals argue, the story flashes back to a million years prior — a time when the Celestials reigned supreme. Under the command of Progenitor, Ajak once sought out the Prehistoric Avengers of 1,000,000 BC and waged war against them as a test.
As Ajak goes through a monumental crisis of faith, Gillen places the narrative focus on allowing Ajak to experience a spectrum of emotions in her journey. The story follows a non-linear course, making occasional jumps to the past in 1,000,000 BC, with the Machine’s narration offering quiet observations and witty quips along the way. Gillen takes inspiration from Jason Aaron’s past run on the Avengers, implementing a lot of his mythos while adding some of his own. Even though Ajak and Makkari share a rivalry and an uncomfortable past, their complex relationship lends them to rediscover their faith together.
Eternals: Celestia‘s illustrations resemble intricately carved artwork. From a circuitry-lined Celestial throne room to a blood frenzied brawl, artist Kei Zama creates with fervent intensity while sharing inking duties with John Livesay. Colorist Mathew Wilson takes a departure from the moody atmosphere of the main title and dabs these pages with varying degrees of primary colors. Wilson’s colors fill the tale with a magnificent combination of textures and his brilliantly warm shades breathe fresh life into the Eternals realm.
Despite their superpowers and apparent divinity, the Eternals are flawed individuals with emotional vulnerability akin to human beings, and Eternals: Celestia showcases that fact through a compelling story. Blind patronage without critical thinking can lead anyone down a dark path — even the Eternals. A nice touch from writer Kieron Gillen was retconning Makkari as a deaf character, using sign languages to communicate, which is a nod to actress Lauren Ridloff who plays the character in the upcoming Eternals movie. Eternals: Celestia ends on a solemn note, with carefully picked words shrouding the true motives of the two Eternals, but whatever the future holds for the series, it will be something glorious to watch.
KEEP READING: Eternals: Legion Star Teases His Secret Role in the MCU Film
Strange Adventures Gives a Major DC Hero an Unexpected Sidekick
About The Author