ETERNITY GIRL #1 / Writer: Magdalene Visaggio / Artist: Sonny Liew / Colorist: Chris Chuckry / Letterer: Todd Klein / Publisher: DC Comics / Release Date: March 14, 2018
Let’s be real. Shape-shifting superheroes aren’t anything new; like hello, Mystique? But Eternity Girl #1 isn’t about a shape-shifting hero, not really. Instead, it’s about Caroline, a heartbroken and depressed human that can’t shake the feeling of uselessness and inadequacy. Alpha 13, the team Caroline was working with as the heroine Chrysalis, put her on inactive duty when her metamorphosis powers went a little crazy during a mission, endangering those around her. With nowhere to go and nothing to do, Caroline struggles to get by. She attends weekly therapy meetings, but this series is more interested in what happens when the one thing that makes you special, that you relied on for survival, turns into something you can’t control? What happens when it turns into something that prevents you from even being able to take your own life? And how does hope from unexpected places complicate things even further?
Magdalene Visaggio lays it all out on the table with Eternity Girl #1. It is beyond refreshing to see a title about a superhero turn into a PSA for mental health, desperation and the all-important girl-friend relationship. Caroline’s best-friend is introduced in this issue, and although Caroline may be struggling with her inability to commit suicide, she’s got a friend with cake and open arms. I find the value of female friendship to be a message strongly lacking in comics. Girls need not only be indestructible heroines, they can be friends too.
I also like the fact that having this type of friendship is ultimately not enough. Depression is unreasonable and unfathomable. Visaggio provides a wonderful support system, gives Caroline professional help, and still allows the reader to see that sometimes it’s hard for people to hold it together. Her script is a testament to a woman trying so hard to regain what was lost, and when her friend assures her that she doesn’t have to be in her ‘human’ form for her, it’s near enough to break your heart. Visaggio writes a powerful story about self-reflection, mental illness and a burning desire to just stop the pain that’s inside. It is a refreshing take on superheroes and an interesting look at what happens ‘after’ a hero has made a name for herself.
Colorist, Chris Chuckry and artist, Sonny Liew have a unique style. I honestly don’t even know what to say about it besides the fact I absolutely love the two of them pairing up together. Pastel colors and what I can only describe as retro character designs work great in a story about a hero once called Chrysalis that changes forms. The characters all look like they’ve lived life, with facial lines and less than ideal body structures. There’s just enough detail to veer away from a cartoonish style, which I feel would have hampered the adult script. The color choices, in my opinion, lend to the air of depression the book seems saturated with.
Eternity Girl #1 is a comic that speaks to many issues and will touch readers on a dozen different levels. No romances, no complicated tragedy, just an unfortunate misfiring of powers, an accident. It’s about how something so small can still feel like the loss of everything. It is a simple story, filled with complex characters, that leaves Caroline with a difficult choice to make, but ask yourself: What would you do if you knew how to stop the pain?
VERDICT: 4 Out Of 5