Image Firsts Seven to Eternity # 1 NM Rick Remender Jerome Opena



Image Firsts Seven To Eternity #1
Published May 2017 by Image
Writer Rick Remender
Art and Cover Jerome Opena

The God of Whispers has spread an omnipresent paranoia to every corner of the kingdom of Zhal; his spies hide in every hall spreading mistrust and fear. Adam Osidis, a dying knight from a disgraced house, must choose between joining a hopeless band of magic users in their desperate bid to free their world of the evil God, or accepting his promise to give Adam everything his heart desires.

Writer RICK REMENDER reteams with collaborators JEROME OPEÑA (Uncanny X-Force, Fear Agent) and MATT HOLLINGSWORTH (TOKYO GHOST, WYTCHES) to take you on a hard road through the strange fantasy world of Zhal. All men have surrendered their freedom for fear. Now, one last free man must choose.

There are few sure-fire pairings in life. The sandwich industry lives on peanut butter and jelly. Cinema has its Han Solos and its Chewbaccas. And in comics, we have Rick Remender and Jerome Opena. The superstar duo returns to Image Comics for a new tale of monsters and men, joined by their equally impressive cohorts Matt Hollingsworth and Rus Wooten.

Of the many words to describe Remender’s work, accessible has never been one of them. The writer has never seemed to hold much interest in easing readers into his stories, and in that sense Seven to Eternity follows very much in that same vein. This opening issue takes a dam-burst approach to world building, plopping readers right into the action with hardly a hint of setup. Even Remender’s opening preface offers little in preparation, detailing the values of characters we haven’t met and hinting at dangers we don’t yet understand. In that regard, the book requires a certain faith. And for those willing to navigate the many winding roads of honor, family and mistrust, it’s a faith that ultimately proves rewarded.

Seven to Eternity, for all its fantastical happenings and mystical jargon, is a family tale. Opening with themes found across many of Remender’s titles – most notably the sins of the father affecting the son – we’re introduced to the Osidis clan, a family ostracized by those in their world for not taking part in a war they don’t believe in. Of course, war comes to everyone whether they like it or not, and over the course of the issue we see how the decisions of the past will affect the Osidises of the present. Remender uses this framing as a way of establishing the book’s initial leads, namely in the father/son dynamic presented by Zebadiah and Adam Osidis. While the former remains steadfast and principled in his ways, the latter, already facing his own mortality, struggles with how the repercussions of said ways could affect his own children down the line.

It’s a solid bit of early development, and one that rings even stronger when things inevitably go pear-shaped. Remender’s pacing here is particularly brisk, as when things get moving they move fast. At times the hurried nature of the read can hinder comprehension, with certain words and instances only briefly teased and explored, but it does work well in steadily building the sense of tension required to sell the final pages. It’s not a world immediately inviting on a narrative level, but where that investment initially proves challenging, it’s visual pull is magnetic and immediate.

It can be said without exaggeration that this just may be Jerome Opena’s best work to date, and that’s saying something given his impressive resumé. In a book featuring luminescent boars and hovering, flute playing adversaries, Opena’s exquisitely rendered details do an exceptional job of keeping the fantastic grounded. This proves especially important when considering the very human element that drives the read, Opena’s characters very much of a different time and place but still relatable in their motivations and desires. We may not fully understand these people, but we feel for them, and it’s Opena’s superb sense of expression that generates that bond. He also proves an absolutely dynamite talent when it comes to the book’s action, his pages sprawling with exhilarating visual feats. Hollingsworth and Wooten too play their role in this visual assault. The colorist also strikes that fine balance between otherworldly and real, somehow finding the menace in the serene and the beauty in the deadly. Wooten’s lettering is fluid, adding emphasis when needed but otherwise drawing the eye exactly where it needs to be. If there existed a fantasy league comprised of comic talent, these guys would be your starters.

Seven to Eternity won’t be for everyone. It’s not a book easily explainable, nor is it a book easily devoured. That being said, it’s the type of story that seems endless in its possibilities, an outlier refusing to be restrained by any sense of expectation or genre trappings. Remender, Opena and the rest of the book’s enormous talent come out swinging, and if this first issue is any indication of the kind of imaginative adventures yet to come, a little bit of faith could go a long way.

Seven to Eternity #1 is the kind of book Image Comics was made for. It’s unapologetically deep, gorgeously illustrated, and as inviting as it is complex. The brisk pacing and lack of clear cut direction can mar initial comprehension, but the excellent early focus on family, coupled with the ridiculous amount of beautiful imagery, carries it on through.

36 pages, full color.


Near mint condition.