Eternity Girl #4 – Magdalene Visaggio, Writer; Sonny Liew, Artist; Chris Chuckry, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Corrina: Philosophy, Alternate Realities, and Life
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: After last issue’s cliffhanger, which saw Caroline Sharp potentially destroy the world, I wondered exactly where the series was going for its second half, starting with Eternity Girl #4. And the answer is, totally down the rabbit hole. This issue is less a narrative than a series of bizarre alternate realities and side stories that show us the countless ways Caroline’s battle with Madam Atom could have gone. After a prelude involving a mysterious figure spinning a cosmic record of some kind, we’re deposited in the first of Caroline’s alternate realities. Here, she’s an artificial lifeform whose creation is being played out in a Frankenstein-informed morality play. Once that reaches its conclusion, she’s sent forward into time again, this time into a Mad-Max like post-apocalypse. There, she’s a renegade courier who is being pursued by a feral version of Madame Atom. This segment has some fun action, but is probably the most slight of the stories.
The third segment takes place in a 1950s-like story where Caroline returned from her mission mostly intact and is now relegated to behind-the-scenes duty by her overprotective allies. The silver age aesthetic is fun, but before we know it, we’ve been shunted off again to a futuristic world clearly inspired by The Wicked + The Divine. This is a short segment, but what’s really impressive here is the way Sonny Liew is able to tailor his art to the segment and mimic the wildly different Jamie McKelvie’s style. The next segment is “Pigskin”, an oddball story that puts Caroline in the role of Charlie Brown and Madame Atom in the role of Lucy. What appears to be a one-joke segment actually has some deeper messages for Caroline’s quest before her current state is explained and we head back to the real world for a meeting with one of her old allies. It’s definitely one of the oddest Young Animal titles, but where it excels is in finding a bit of emotional truth hidden among the surreal insanity.
Corrina: Eternity Girl #4 probably has to be read more than once to be absorbed fully. Maybe thrice.
It’s a vision of the way the universe might work if run by a disc jockey attempting to put all the groves not just in sync but somehow as a compliment to each other as well. As a vision of god, it’s a good one, and an excellent analogy to the various realities we see play out for Caroline’s life.
Ray’s already described the different segments, so I won’t mention them save to say that, yeah, who hasn’t wanted to poof Lucy into non-existence for taking away that football over and over? But, more the segments connect together as pieces of a journey that Caroline must take to put herself emotionally and physically back together. Is it near-death? A glimpse of all realities? Is Caroline’s mind creating all this at the moment of death?
In the end, it doesn’t matter, because she has help in knitting herself back together. After reading the ending, I wondered if this was the last issue of the series because it seemed to commit to Caroline choosing to live in this particular reality, lifting slightly a depression so strong that she craved to die. Perhaps the last two issues will be about recovery or stability for Caroline. But given this issue, I wouldn’t begin to guess what’s next.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.
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