The year is 2270, the human race has perfected cloning, and death is a thing of the past. Eternal follows an Earth that is changed by newfound cloning techniques that make death an antiquated term. Humanity no longer has to fear death, and society has adapted accordingly. Instead of those crises revolving around the idea that everyone is going to die one day, people are dealing with the fact that they will never die. Humanity now approaches mortality in a completely different way.
Eternal #1 opens with a news report about “death parties,” a phenomenon where people- largely teens- gather together to kill themselves in inventive and violent ways. It’s a rite of passage: coming to terms with immortality and finding ways to cope. In this case, the coping mechanism is self-destructive, and at the same time, not at all; people can die, in a sense, but they don’t stay dead. Instead of moving on to the after-life, they move on to their next body, that of a clone.
Gail Jensen is part of the Human Liberation Front, a “terrorist organization” that runs a safe house and helping fugitive humans without clones. The safe house is raided by law enforcement, and Gail is forced to kill herself to evade capture; she wakes up in the new body of her clone.
Gail is just one of the people fighting this “New Life” clone program. The program appears forced on the citizens, and there are some who don’t agree or believe in it. There are also those without clones, the “pures,” but we don’t yet know why they are pure or what their significance is. It seems to be the latter, but I can’t say for certain.
I find the concept behind this story really interesting, but so far this comic is too vague and scattered for the reader to fully follow along. The readers aren’t in on it, not yet, but I’m certainly intrigued, and I’m ready to find out more.
Writer: William Harms Artist: Giovanni Valletta Publisher: BOOM! Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 12/10/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital