The first in a series of one-shots, under the banner of ‘National Comics’ (named after an anthology comic from the 1940s) arrives, allowing both creators and readers to explore the larger DC Universe, mainly lower tier characters that may not yet have the moxie to carry their own ongoing titles.
In general, to be honest, I’m not overly captivated by DC’s current super hero books. Some are excellent, but far too many are medioocre-to-bad. One area where I think DC is just killing it is their stranger, supernatural books like ‘Animal Man’ and ‘Swamp Thing‘. I don’t know how well these books are being marketed. ‘Resurrection Man’s recent cancellation doesn’t bode well, although to be honest, while that book was good, it didn’t make my cut as a book I wanted to keep reading. The same goes for ‘Dial H‘. It was really good, but a tad too dark and weird for me.
Now I will admit that I am not overly familiar with the previous incarnations of Kid Eternity. I know one version was Freddy Freeman/Captain Marvel Jr.’s long lost brother. His ability to resurrect the dead was more commonly used to summon dead super heroes or historical figures to aid him in his missions. The new version bears little resemblance to that.
Christopher Freeman is the son of a celebrated police detective. Both Christopher and his father were gunned down and killed by criminals. Somehow, Christopher came back with the ability to resurrect the recently deceased. Working as a coroner, he uses these powers to solve murder cases, although these strange abilities, and his chronic lateness, make him come across as a bit of a mess to his hard-nose boss.
I thoroughly enjoyed this one-shot! It doesn’t come across at all like a super hero comic, but would work amazingly as a prime-time crime drama with a twist. Christopher, with his shaggy curly hair looks like… every guy I know. Part slacker, part nerd, part do-gooder – he’s a perfectly likeable lead character, along the lines of Yorick from ‘Y The Last Man.’
The story is structured perfectly, introducing everything you need to know. The characters are all introduced and their roles clearly established. In this case, he resurrects Darby Quinn, the owner of an antiques store, killed by a single gun shot to the chest, which leads him, oddly, to an underground rock club. It all just works. If this is a “pilot,” it definitely needs to get picked up as an ongoing series. Especially after that cliffhanger ending!
Cully Hamner’s art is gritty and off-beat, but clear and straight-forward. It works and serves the story and its tone perfectly. This book really needs to continue! A good, fun, supernatural drama.
NATIONAL COMICS – ETERNITY #1
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art and Cover by Cully Hamner and Derec Donovan