Image has been churning out some amazing books over the last year, but one series that might have fallen under your radar is the fantastical magic series Seven To Eternity.
The book is written by the talented Rick Remender with art from the equally talented Jerome Opena and Matt Hollingsworth, who previously teamed up on the acclaimed Fear Agent and their well-received run on Uncanny X-Force. The duo has managed to create an incredibly imaginative world called Zhal, built upon foundations of ancient magic and orders with characters that are all quite flawed, helping them to remain relatable.
All of this surrounds a narrative of what paranoia can do to a society, and how others cope with living in that type of world.
The book is already on issue #3, so if you've got some time to do some catch up reading this Holiday season, here are five reasons why you should consider giving Seven To Eternity a try.
A Relatable Protaginist
Adam Osidis isn't the most talkative character, but if you had lived through his upbringing you probably wouldn't be either. Osidis lived much of his childhood outside the bounds of society, a purposeful decision made by his Father.
Much of his life was spent far from civilization, a life that was the direct cause of his Father's steadfast beliefs. In many ways, he wasn't given much of a choice throughout his life, but after the events of issue #1 his fate along with his families is firmly in his hands for the first time. It provides an insightful look into someone struggling with a legacy that they don't wholeheartedly agree with.
Adam knows the rules are in place for a reason, but his father never did a great job of instilling "why" they were in place, and it's an exploration into a dysfunctional but at times necessary family dynamic.
A Unique Mythology
Readers of fantasy are well acquainted with ancient Gods, worlds of magic, fantastical creatures, and the like from years of popular narratives, but impressively Seven To Eternity manages to construct a fantasy world in a wonderfully unique way thanks to the lore that Remender has set in place.
The spirits of this realm only available to certain individuals, an ability that is referred to as a Mosak. They are able to call on these abilities when in need, and can even develop magic based abilities over time. These warriors have been thinned out in the days since the God of Whispers took power, and his rise to power as well as his former life are all interesting textures to the overall narrative.
There's a lot of history to unpack here, but it's laid out in a manner that makes it easy to digest, leaving the reader wanting to find out more about how the world got this way, what role these Gods played, and how it all fell apart.
An Intriguing Legacy
While Adam is certainly the main character in Seven To Eternity, his father Zeb plays an integral part as well. His actions in the past are what shape Adam's childhood and those actions have plenty of ripples that are felt to this day, and set the course for the choices that Adam must make going forward.
He's not the easiest to root for, but that's what makes him an interesting figure. He's stubborn to be sure, but his intent is pure-hearted, and he seeks only to protect his family at all costs. His warnings went unyielded, and it forms a harsh layer of resentment towards those who would chide his and his family's name without the truth that he possesses.
The dynamic between Zeb and Adam is revealed through flashbacks, and continuously gives you new nuggets of character development as the story goes on. He's a flawed character to be sure, but those flaws are what make him so intriguing, and you only want to learn more as the story continues.
The Artwork Of Jerome Opena And Matt Hollingsworth
Jerome Opena has worked with Remender on some phenomenal books, and while they've contained a few fantastical elements, it feels like Opena and Matt Hollingsworth have finally been able to cut loose in Seven To Eternity.
The land of Zhal might feel alien at times, but their pencils ably convince the viewer that these pieces of the world have a grounded weight to them. Imagination is everywhere, but it doesn't feel as if creativity has run amok on the page.
They have a wonderful ability for expression, and without a word uttered can still convey emotions skillfully. The book isn't heavy in exposition, and a big reason why is the talented work of Opena and Hollingsworth pencils.
The Mud King
The best protagonists are ones you can either relate to or are so magnificent at what they do that the reader can't help but almost be inspired. The Mud King, otherwise known as the God of Whispers, has a powerful ability, but it was his conniving nature that truly allowed him to build his empire.
He operates on the basis of knowing what everyone is doing while the populace is blissfully unaware that he is watching them. It takes the "big brother" concept and ratchets it up to 11. A villain who has no need to get his hands dirty because he can simply spread rumors amongst the people, letting them take the reigns without even knowing he uttered a word. He's an intimidating presence, and even when cornered, there is still an unnerving tension that doesn't quite go away. That's the power of the Mud King.