Eternals: The Heretic #1 opens with an introduction of Thanos, the Prime Eternal, on the way to meet the imprisoned Eternal Uranos. With the assistance of Druig, Thanos comes face to face with his grand-uncle Uranos, who tells him the story of how he came to be imprisoned.
In the early days, Uranos had developed an interpretation of one of the Principles, the ideals by which the Eternals operate, that put him at odds with his brothers Kronos and Oceanus. Uranos believed that the principle “correct excess deviation” should mean that any deviation (i.e. existence of mortal life) is excess deviation. In short, Uranos wanted to eliminate all of mortal life. Once they capture Uranos, the other Eternals discover that he has created a secret fail-safe system that will trigger his weapons if he dies. Thus, the Eternals are left with no choice but to keep Uranos perpetually imprisoned. Having inspired Thanos with his tale, Uranos gives him a gift in the final panel.
The strength of this comic is its dialogue, which contains world and character building content. The artwork and panels are easy to follow, and I especially appreciate the panels detailing the hierarchy of the Eternals, their roles and relationship to the Machine and the Principles, and a brief timeline of the cosmos (limited to the purposes of the story, of course). What is particularly interesting about this issue is that is expounds on Thanos’ rationale for his obsession with death by having him talk to an ancestor who shares that obsession. Uranos’ theses on the Principles provides a detailed explanation of his motivation for omni-genocide and works within the context of the Eternals universe. I always appreciate comics that have a striking mythological bent, which is what draws me to Eternals comics and leads me to recommend The Heretic.
- Writer: Kieron Gillen
- Artists: Ryan Bodenheim, Edgar Salazar
- Color Artist: Chris O'Halloran
- Letterer & Design: Clayton Cowles
- Cover Artist: Andrea Sorrentino
- Variant Covers: Phil Noto
- Editor: Darren Shan
- Assistant Editor: Kat Gregorowicz
- Editor-in-Chief: C.B. Cebulski
- Publisher: Marvel Comics