Eternity Girl #1 – Magdalene Visaggio, Writer; Sonny Liew, Artist; Chris Chuckry, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Corrina: What’s Real?
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: While the previous Eternity Girl backups in the “Milk Wars” issues were primarily surreal, genre-bending snapshots of what the character could be, Eternity Girl #1, DC Writers Workshop Graduate Mags Visaggio’s Young Animal series, thankfully has a much clearer perspective. And it’s a fascinating one, if not necessarily a likable one at times. Caroline Sharp, the title character, is a former superhero who – due to an accident straight out of Kirby – was transformed into an immortal, not entirely human creature with powers that can alter the world around her in unpredictable and surreal ways. And all they’ve done is make her life much more difficult. The issue opens with a depiction of one of her many suicide attempts, which she knows is doomed to failure. Suspended from work due to an unpleasant and violent incident, she makes frequent visits to a therapist – with mixed results.
There’s been a lot of mentally ill superheroes in one way or another, but aside from Jessica Cruz, it’s rare to see it reflected accurately. That’s not the case here, as Visaggio’s dialogue for Caroline rings true to issues of identity and disassociation. The scene where she confronts her former boss about how they treat her as an inconvenience when they made her into what she is now is excellent. I’m not sure what to make exactly of her ghostly archnemesis yet, or the fact that the narrative seems like it’s inevitably going to make Caroline into the villain – it’s hard to come back from plotting to kill all life in the universe so you can die – but there’s no question this is one of the most original books DC has put out in a long time, a twisted musing on superpowers as curse and what happens when cosmic powers meet a troubled mind. The Young Animal line continues to deliver comics unlike anything else at DC.
Corrina: Caroline reminded me not so much of Jessica Jones, who struggles with depression and anxiety, as she does of Maiko Halfwolf, the protagonist of Majorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s Monstress. Like Maiko, Caroline has been transformed into something she cannot understand and cannot always control.
But there the comparisons end because this is a different type of story than the fantasy-based Monstress. By setting Eternity Girl basically in the present, albeit a present with super-powered people, it comes across as a commentary on dealing disassociation and identity issues. Caroline is a lead character utterly disconnected from the world around her and unable, seemingly, to affect her fate. She can affect the reality around her but she can’t get her job back. She can cause mayhem but not to herself. She’s losing time and thus can’t maintain a good relationship, even if she tries.
That leads her to want everything to end. Deep down, Caroline doesn’t want to die–she wants to be connected to something again. I suspect we’ll see how that plays out through the series.
Could I recommend this? It’s a brilliant comic but it might not be to everyone’s taste, which is the case with many of the Young Animal properties.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.