By Kelly Gaines
A moment of real communication between Caroline and Rick dissolves into chaos, and much like the rest of Caroline's relationships, volatile reactions pull her deeper into an internal void. Eternity Girl #5 is a beautifully crafted issue; well done enough to almost be worth the horrible sinking feeling it's created in my chest. Caroline is a creature of conflict and self-alienation. Profound as her awareness may be, she seems to be missing a key point: the more she isolates herself, the bigger threat she poses. Stopping her isn't about friendship, loyalty, or compassion- it's about saving lives at any cost.
Whether she's Caroline or Chrysalis, following "Eternity Girl" through the funhouse mirror of her mind is a complex and entertaining ride. The themes are tough. Title aside, this is clearly not a story about heroes and villains- at least, not in the traditional sense. If we looked at Caroline through the eyes of say, the classic Justice League, she would be a violent, impulsive, angry, and powerful threat. I like to think they'd make an effort at getting through to her, which would fail much like every other attempt. She'd be a villain- maybe one we can sympathize with like Batman the Animated Series' Mr. Freeze, but a character to root against none the less. Eternity Girl doesn't just break this mold, it melts it down and forges it into something new and much scarier.
Morality is fluid in her mindscape, and even when we're looking at glimpses of what we assume is the mainstream reality, Caroline's comprehensive reality takes over. Who is dead, who is alive, who is the enemy, what is the solution- it’s all relative. It can be read as the real inner workings of insanity, or at face value, the heights of complexity one being can hold. Caroline is not out to hurt anyone. While she may not be a hero (futile as her personal caped attempt may be), she certainly is not a villain either. This makes the horrific end she’s promised to meet at the end of #5 gut-wrenching as a reader. Yeah, she’s made horrible choices and behaved erratically at every turn, but knowing her mind makes punishment difficult to stomach. There’s a college thesis level theme in all this, and I hope someone studies it someday, but for the purposes of a review I can settle on this statement: read it.
Eternity Girl is a title that uses the medium of comics to it’s fullest extent. The story, dialog, and character development flow seamlessly through stunning artwork. Seriously. The panels, or lack thereof, are used as a tool for the story’s fluidity. The lines are a part of the story. I’m not an art scholar, I don’t know the terms to communicate this effectively- but this issue is beautiful! This just goes to show that you don’t need renaissance level detail to make something visually majestic. The written story and artwork don’t go hand in hand, they’re hand and arm- not just touching but parts of a whole. Anyone who studies, collects, or reads comics should check out Eternity Girl if not for the simple reason that it expertly utilizes the medium. #5 is a stand out example, and I cannot wait to see what #6 has in store.
Eternity Girl #5
DC/DC's Young Animal