ETERNITY GIRL #1 Cover. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr ETERNITY GIRL #1 by Magdalene Visaggio, Sonny Liew, Chris Chuckry, and Todd Klein Art Characterization Plot Summary This book not only has a great plot, intriguing characters, and gorgeous art, but it also helps to fight the horrid stigma surrounding mental health. By making it the focus of the story, the ETERNITY GIRL team is assisting us all in breaking down walls and opening up conversations about this important topic. 92 % Battling Stigma Let’s get this out of the way. I love DC’s Young Animal. I adored Milk Wars. Quite honestly, I didn’t think this imprint could get any better. And then I read ETERNITY GIRL #1. This new addition to the roster is everything a DC’s Young Animal book should be — funny, emotional, depressing, politically relevant, and mind-blowing. Unlike a majority of first issues, ETERNITY GIRL #1 is actually really good; it’s not just a setup for a story to come. What Exactly Just Happened? If you read a DC’s Young Animal comic and you’re not a little confused, did you even read a DC’s Young Animal comic? ETERNITY GIRL #1 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment. ETERNITY GIRL #1 does not break that pattern. It follows Caroline Sharp, aka Chrysalis, who cannot die. She’s been dealing with a lot, such as guilt from an “incident” in which she lost control of her powers and hurt someone. This story starts in her therapist’s office, where she’s discussing her many suicide attempts. It’s emotional and difficult to read, but it’s essential to the story and character. Later on, her friend, Dani, offers support, cake, and alcohol because she is a damn good friend. What Happens The Next Day… The next day, she goes to the office of Alpha 13 — the agency Caroline worked for before the incident, and who let her go because of it. They have agreed to bring her back on once she regained control of her powers, but the director tells her that they have to renege that offer. She’s too much of a risk, he says, though it’s nothing personal. Caroline is hurt by that since Alpha 13 created her powers in order to fight Madame Atom. ETERNITY GIRL #1 page 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment. After this crushing blow, Caroline sees a vision (or is it a vision? We don’t really know.) of Madame Atom, who reveals that Caroline could die, but she would have to destroy space and time. No biggie. Afterward, Caroline meets Dani for lunch. Dani comments that her friend seems to be in better spirits, but she’s mostly talking about how nothing matters and her body isn’t real. Not exactly chipper. She keeps having visions of death. (Or is she seeing the future? Or through time and space? What’s HAPPENING?) The issue ends with Caroline stating that “Nothing makes (her) come alive like a challenge.” What Sets ETERNITY GIRL #1 Apart There is a lot of stigma around mental health. It’s a problem that’s been written about often, one that perpetuates the myth that medical problems of the mind are less legitimate than those of the rest of the body. This book literally starts in a therapist’s office. We immediately dive in knowing our main character is suicidal. This isn’t skimmed over or alluded to. It’s on front street, real, and accurate, which also makes it important. ETERNITY GIRL #1 page 6. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment. But it’s more than this depiction on the surface. Caroline mentions that she has trouble maintaining her human form and that it’s draining. This is exactly how many people who deal with mental illness feel — as if they have to constantly hide and act like nothing is wrong or different. It’s a brilliant metaphor, and it works seamlessly. Also noteworthy is Dani’s treatment of her friend. She comes over after Caroline’s doctor appointment because she knows that therapy is a draining (but oftentimes necessary) process. Readers should also notice that once Caroline makes the decision to destroy the world, Dani notices that she seems in good spirits. This sudden turn in personality is actually a major warning sign that someone is planning to attempt suicide. They feel as though all of their worries will soon be over, so they often become happy. Some can also feel numb, which Caroline also exhibits. Writer Magdalene Vissagio clearly knows what she’s doing when depicting mental health (on top of great character development and gripping plot), and that makes all the difference in the world. Her work is truly worthy of praise. A Different Perspective Sonny Liew, Chris Chuckry, and Todd Klein make up the phenomenal art team that breathes life into this book. Liew’s pencils and inks are truly remarkable, heightening scenes of intense violence and almost making you come in closer to the intimate, character-driven moments for fear of missing a simple detail. There are moments when he uses blue inks instead of black and those are highly effective panels. The Milk Wars Begin In JLA/DOOM PATROL SPECIAL #1 Chuckry’s use of pastels is especially impressive. It would have been easy to make this a dark book, but the team clearly chose to go the opposite way, which was the right choice. The juxtaposition of gleeful colors and dire subject matter works beautifully and makes ETERNITY GIRL #1 all the more visually appealing. This book is a true accomplishment. I can see the series meaning a lot to many people, but it will especially affect the many comic readers out there who battle mental health issues on a daily basis. We’re not alone, and it’s okay to talk about it. ETERNITY GIRL #1 helps to move that narrative forward, and I cannot wait to see how this team approaches it moving forward. If you or someone you love is considering suicide or is displaying signs and suicidal tendencies, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 1-800-273-8255.