FINALLY, I had been waiting for this issue for what felt like a millennia– obvious hyperbole, but in all seriousness, I had really been itching to dive into issue nine. The last two issues had essentially what you could call “filler art,” and not to take away from James Harren (artist,) but there’s just something about Jerome Opeña’s (artist) art with this book that takes the story to another level. I was expecting an issue that had a bang, and boy-oh-boy did it.
A subplot of the story had been building to a confrontation between the Mosak, Adam [Osidis] and Garils [the “God of Whispers”] from the moment Adam saved him [Garils] from the Swamp. Something I was worried about leading up to this issue was whether or not we’d get that now, or if Rick Remender (writer) would drag it out another issue or two. I was happy to find that he chose the former, and we get the epic battle as the White Lady tracks the two to Skylands.
To me, one of the most interesting sub stories in SEVEN TO ETERNITY is the telling of Garils “origin” per say.
Rick’s done a phenomenal job of putting the “Mud King” on display in a way that makes him extremely relatable in these glimpses of his past. This issue particularly, as we get a look at Garils when he was a young boy, and how he uncovered his Mosak gift. You almost want to feel bad for him, knowing that he was seen as below the Monks. As a reader, you can understand how his view of Zhal (the world) was skewed. How his distrust for people took root in his soul, and never left go.
That’s also plays into what the overall book’s strongest strength is, its relatable characters.
I had alluded to this at the beginning, which is that the art in this issue was absolutely stunning. Opeña’s ability to draw clear crisp characters and the world they’re in is almost second to none. He’s easily a top-5 favorite artist of mine, and this issue really puts that up to shine. There’s something about the way he’s able to convey the character’s emotions, and the way they emote through them through their facial expressions and demeanor. From character to costume design, it’s always spot on for what the story is trying to get across.
And then– THE bang… literally, as it came in the form of Zeb’s [Osidis] nail being fired by Garils. It was great to see him back, even if in the form of a “spirit,” and even better to see him kicking some serious ass. After we found out that the White Lady’s [Mosak] gift was her eyes directly connected to the Well, it was pretty clear that she was going to be a force that Adam nor Garils would stand a chance against.
She spit out some serious “visions,” but the most interesting was that the Red God dons the Osidis crest and his will is to burn Zhal to the ground. Something about the whole encounter did catch my attention, though, and that being the reason Garils shot Zeb’s nail. I’m not 100% sold that he did it, because he knew Zeb was the only one who could save them in that moment. It to a degree felt like he did it in order to stop the White Lady from saying anymore. So I’ll be curious to see what comes next, and if my gut was right or not.
Something I do want to see more of, some way or another, is…
The story of Zeb and Garils is probably THE most interesting of it all. The two were friends turned mortal enemies. Whenever we get to see them on the same page together it’s always something amazing, and I truly hope we get more of it down the line whether in flashbacks or even something along the lines of this issue, with his spirit.
SEVEN TO ETERNITY #9 is currently out on the shelf of a comic shop nearest you.