This week Rick Remender kicks off a brand new Image series with Jerome Opena called Seven To Eternity, and Doc Ock is back (kind of) in Amazing Spider-Man #18!
Seven To Eternity #1 (Image Comics)
Rick Remender has made quite a name for himself in comics the past few years. After successful runs on Uncanny X-Force and Uncanny Avengers for Marvel, as well as Black Science, Tokyo Ghost, and Deadly Class for Image Comics, he’s now at the level of creator that brings in readers simply from his name appearing on the cover. With his latest release with artist Jerome Opena from Image, Seven To Eternity, that name appeal is only going to get stronger.
Seven To Eternity is a fantasy Sci-Fi series, but before you start rolling your eyes over the idea of another sci-fi Image series, Eternity is definitely more in the fantasy realm than sci-fi. Following the life of a family that refuses to bow to the evil overlord that rules over them, Remender’s plot immediately hooks with an emotional connection. Years earlier, the father of the family refused to bow to The Mud King, the madman who rules over their world. After a brutal attack, the oldest son must confront the Mud King, but will he be able to resist the temptations that the King will offer?
One of the wisest things Rick Remender does with the first issue of Seven To Eternity is not bog us down with too much background information on the world. Many times with series like these too much time is spent setting up the world and not enough time working on the characters. That’s not the case here, as Remender takes great care to introduce each member of his main cast of characters. There’s a strong theme of family and regret that runs heavily through Seven To Eternity as well. Even within this first issue you’ll become so attached to the characters that by the time you reach the end, you’ll be lamenting the loss of some of them.
What helps with those connections is the art by Jerome Opena. Now Opena has long been known as major force in the comic art world, but he outdoes himself here. From the insane creature designs to the jaw-dropping scenery, Opena doesn’t hold anything back. He puts everything onto the page, just like Remender does with his script.
Seven To Eternity is one of those comics that has such a strong opening issue that you’ll be dying for more. Think of it like if Saga was really into Metal music. There’s stunning artwork, fantastic monster designs, and even some genuine emotion within these pages. Saying that Seven To Eternity is one of the best comic debuts of the year doesn’t even do it justice. I cannot wait for the next issue.
Amazing Spider-Man #18 (Marvel Comics)
Since Superior Spider-Man ended, we’ve all been waiting for Doctor Octopus to make is triumphant return to the world of Spider-Man. Sure, we had the brief confrontation in “Spider-Verse”, but that wasn’t the showdown were hoping for. Enter Amazing Spider-Man #18, where Dan Slott and R.B. Silva not only reveal how Doc Ock’s consciousness was transferred into the Parker Industries’ Living Brain computer, but also sets the stage for Otto to return in the upcoming Clone Conspiracy event.
The entirety of the issue is from Otto’s perspective, which brings back many memories of the some of the best parts of Superior Spider-Man. Thinking quickly during the Spider-Verse event, Otto was able to upload a copy of his consciousness into the AI program of his gauntlets, which he then in turned used to upload into the Living Brain computer. This means that the recently returned “Otto Octavius” has no recollection of the fact that he himself returned Peter Parker to his rightful body, and therefore believes that Peter Parker outsmarted him. This reveal, while requiring a pretty good knowledge of the Spider-Man stories of the past few years, is awesome, and shows just how well Dan Slott is at planting seeds for his stories.
R.B. Silva fills in for Giuseppe Camuncoli this issue, and I’ll be honest, until I double-checked, I didn’t notice. Silva’s style is very similar to Camuncoli’s, but not so much that it’s a complete copy. He’s able to handle the action scenes really well, and has some pretty interesting layouts throughout the issue. However, Silva stumbles with his depiction of Anna Maria, as some pages her scale when compared to Peter Parker varies wildly.
Amazing Spider-Man #18 is definitely setting up the hype train for Clone Conspiracy, and after reading this issue I cannot wait to see more of Otto Octavius. Slott has done amazing things with Doc Ock, and it was a real treat to get into his head again and see how he views the events that have unfolded before him. Not only is Amazing Spider-Man #18 another solid issue in the series, its also proof that Dan Slott is a master at long-term payoffs.