Our heroes arrive at Jiaga Pass and near the Empire and their forces. They hope to be able to save their homes, but they know their odds are long. Before long, the find the empress herself, and it the time for planning and talk passes.
Eternal Empire is one of those fantasy stories with a lot of lore and Tolkien-esque world-building, but it does a decent job of getting a new reader like myself up to speed pretty quickly. I wasn’t left wondering who the heroes or villains are. That’s the nice thing about an empire; you just know that they’re evil from the outset—it’s a shame we kind of lost the script on that one late 1800’s/early 1900’s.
That said, there’s a lot of extraneous stuff that gums up the flow. The two protagonists get lost in a lengthy and trite debate about religion midway through the comic. Their draconic steeds are both their mounts and their fathers, so that’s a weird mixture of relationship dynamics that I’m not sure could ever be properly untangled.
The villainess has a cool design and a winning personality. She’s the highlight of the book, even if the comic doesn’t seem to be sure how to convey her relationship with the protagonists.
The art is a big sticking point in this comic. It’s very stiff, and motion is not conveyed in the slightest. That makes it especially odd when the flying empress starts doing weird things in the sky and you’re left to wonder what exactly is going on. Also, emotional expression is a dire prospect. The characters have the same facial expressions to convey every emotion, and, even then, the faces just look bizarre. The color art situation is a little bland too; gradience and wilder color choices could have really livened up the visuals.
Eternal Empire #8 has its fun portions, but the overall book seems unsure what to do with its subtextual conflicts. As a result, they just have their characters fight about it or work through paternal issues with their dad-dragons. The art could have saved it, but the stiffness and overall plainness of the visuals kill what positives the comic has. As such, I can’t recommend it.
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