ETERNITY GIRL #5 by Magdalene Visaggio, Sonny Liew, Chris Chuckry, and Todd Klein
ETERNITY GIRL #5 asks a lot of questions about the human condition, while also perhaps ending all of existence. The characters show their true colors when reality is at stake, making some drastic moves and having deep conversations. The artwork in this issue is stunning, just like every issue so far. And with everything on the line, this story will keep you turning the pages as fast as you can.
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The End?

For five issues, readers have wondered if Caroline Sharpe would actually end existence itself with her ability to create nuclear fission. And even though other characters in ETERNITY GIRL #5 tried to show her that total annihilation could be the wrong choice, it looks as though Caroline has begun to unravel the universe.

ETERNITY GIRL #5 is extremely emotional, complex, fraught, and beautifully written. It — like other issues in the series — questions perception and reality itself, all to a dark and powerful refrain:

“Force, speed, and timing, judiciously applied.”

ETERNITY GIRL #5 Hits Close to Home

There is a lot of fear-riddled rhetoric in the air right now due to political shenanigans. This is probably why the themes of nuclear holocaust, death, and general violence in this series are so relatable.

ETERNITY GIRL #5 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

ETERNITY GIRL #5 begins with a discussion about weapons. A weapon can be anything that consists of, “force, speed, and timing judiciously applied.” This is why Caroline considers herself to be a living bomb. The notion gives her little purpose in life, aside from being destructive.

After saving her life, Rick tries to talk to Caroline. At the same time, in another reality, Crash also tries to reason with her. He explains that she’s right — there is no real purpose in life and everyone is a mistake. But that is a freeing notion. It gives people control and agency. They get to choose what to do with the time they have. He explains, “Everything and everyone means something to someone.”

Caroline begins to understand this and reconsider her plan to end everything, but Madame Atom isn’t too pleased about this development. She begins to fight Crash. When Caroline explains what is happening to Rick, he thinks she’s insane and unstable. The doubt he displays is similar to the reaction many people get when they tell friends or family about their depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues.

Absolute Betrayal and The End of the World

Quite simply, Rick doesn’t believe Caroline. Even though they’ve both seen a lot of crazy, unexplainable things, Rick does not believe that Caroline exists on multiple plains of existence at once. And even his reaction is carried out with the best intentions, it only hurts Caroline instead of helping her.

ETERNITY GIRL #5 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Rick presses a homing beacon that alerts Sloane and his team. Caroline can sense this, and she lashes out against both Rick and Crash. As Sloane’s forces apprehend Caroline, she and Atom approach the tower that Caroline means to destroy, ending all reality.

Sloane explains that the only solution he sees is to scatter Caroline’s consciousness across the universe, rendering her helpless, but very much aware. And that is when Caroline begins to destroy the tower and unravel existence itself, with “force, speed, and timing, judiciously applied.”

Who Are We Under Pressure

Writer Magdalene Visaggio has one hell of a way with words. Moments in ETERNITY GIRL #5, as dark and emo as they are, read more like poetry than anything else. Lines like, “A bomb is as brief as a soap bubble,” are littered throughout the issue to great effect. She is posing philosophical questions left and right, and they are just as uplifting as they are morbid. This creates a pretty unique reading experience.

All of the characters in ETERNITY GIRL #5 are in a moment of crisis. The stakes have never been higher than they are right now. And this makes all of these people show their true colors. Crash is the first person to tell Caroline that Atom is a manipulative snake in the grass, Rick tries to help Caroline and fails miserably, Sloane will go to extremes to keep the masses safe, and Atom acts as the expert enabler she’s always been.

ETERNITY GIRL #5 page 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Now, is the way these people act while on the precipice who they really are? Or do people become unrecognizable when pushed to the brink? Perhaps this question will be addressed in the next issue.

Beauty in Pain

As for the art in ETERNITY GIRL #5, the team of Sonny Liew, Chris Chuckry, and Todd Klein have done it again. This series is always stunning, so it’s no surprise that this issue follows suit.

Perhaps the greatest example of their collaboration is the page in which Crash explains to Caroline that no one is made on purpose and no one has a destiny. Chuckry’s kaleidoscope of colors brings Liew’s line work to life in expert fashion. The concept for the page itself is brilliant.

The cyclical nature of the image (clearly alluding to the life cycle or “circle of life”) is only emphasized by the lettering. Klein guides readers through the page with clear intention. It’s the kind of detail that really takes a page, and a book, to the next level and shows why great lettering is so important.

The Beat Doesn’t Stop in ETERNITY GIRL #4

The End is Nigh

As ETERNITY GIRL #5 is the penultimate issue in the series, it’s a little bittersweet. The series has been top notch all the way through. It helps to eliminate the stigma around mental health while also telling a truly interesting story about captivating characters, all with incredibly impressive art.

The series is ending, and so perhaps is the universe. The fact that I have no idea how this series will end is exciting and moving. And although I cannot wait to see how it ends, I dread ETERNITY GIRL being over. If that’s not the mark of a great series, I’m not sure what is.

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