Eternity Girl #6 // Review
This is it, the final issue of this mind-numbingly confusing--while still engrossing--series. The creative team of Magdalene Visaggio, Sonny Liew, and Chris Chuckry have crafted a series that is unlike anything out today. They have been able to shine a light on the uncomfortable but very real nature of dealing with a friend with a mental illness. Using the medium of comic books, this creative team has forced this topic into the spotlight where it needs to be, as this has become a hot button issue in the last few years. Adding super-powered beings into the mix of mental health opens a whole new door for storytelling. Main character Caroline Sharpe, alias Chrysalis, is a badly deformed super-powered being suffering with severe depression. All through the series, she has attempted to end her life, to no avail due to her immortality. Her illness makes her start having visions of her deceased enemy Madame Atom. Atom is leading Caroline towards the knowledge of being able to finally break her cycle of reincarnation and end her life by splitting her atoms and achieving fission. Caroline’s former employer, the secret organization Alpha 13 is hellbent on making sure she doesn’t carry out her plans.
Series writer Magdalene Visaggio has had quite the cast of characters to work with through this series. She has been able to explore multiple character relationships, and how they interact with mental illness. Readers really get a clear view of how these different characters react with, and to, Caroline. Visaggio is able to beautifully display reactions that just about everyone can relate to at some point in their life. Not only has she brought the topic of mental illness to the forefront, but also a kind of idiot’s guide on what not to do in that situation. Obviously the stakes in this series have been pushed as far as they can go with the inclusion of superpowers, but the ripple effect from someone taking their life in reality can be just as devastating. Visaggio also delves further into the character arc of Dani, the one person who has been looking out for Caroline throughout the series. Even after an argument earlier, Dani realizes that Caroline needs a friend more than anything. It’s refreshing to see that, amid all of this chaos, someone is willing to make the tough choice and go that extra distance for a loved one. Magdalene does a fantastic job highlighting the unsung hero in Dani through this book. Hopefully this message will resonate with readers, and they will be able to be the unsung hero to someone in their life.
Sonny Liew’s unique artwork is once again on display in this final issue. As featured in issue four, readers are again treated to different versions of characters-through-the-cycle-of-reincarnation trope. Dani is the focus this time, and many different lives are featured, including one as a superhero. Harking back to Visaggio’s focus on Dani as the unsung hero, Liew really focuses attention on Dani in situations where she has had to help Caroline out. Whether it’s with flashy new superpowers or with brute force and determination, Liew’s designs reinforce the idea of Dani being a true hero. Liew also features more intense action panels, with battles between Madame Atom and Lord Crash vying to lead Caroline in opposite directions. Liew even features Dani’s superhero alternate version in action, as she is needed at one point to help tip the scales. Liew’s biggest strength, unfortunately was only realized in full for two issues. If this series had been any longer, it would have been great to explore more of these alternate lives of the characters.
Colorist Chris Chuckry has really had a chance to shine in this series. Most of this book has taken place within Caroline’s wild imagination, and Chuckry has been able to beautifully paint the canvas of her mind. With the color choices he uses, Chuckry is able to show just how bland reality can be for some people. This idea is further realized in a conversation Dani and Caroline share over some pizza. The few panels featuring this interaction are almost completely devoid of color. This is how Caroline views reality, as life without color and meaning. This scene here sums up so much of the book and tells an incredibly powerful story in itself.
What a strange trip this has been. This is one unique series that readers won’t soon forget. In just 6 issues, Eternity Girl was able to open up new doors for storytelling while bringing up uncomfortable topics and making them more accessible. This certainly wasn’t a read-through-it-once-and-everything-makes-sense type of book. It is nice to know that there are still comic books out there that can push the envelope in an intellectual way and still end up telling a good story. The creative team of Visaggio, Liew and Chuckry told a unique story that will hopefully serve as an icebreaker in this reality for some long overdue conversations, ones that may just save a life.