So when you’re lucky enough to find not just one but two graphic novels written by Neil Gaiman at the local library, you take that as a sign. A sign that you’re meant to read both, even though one of them is for a comic book with which you are admittedly completely unfamiliar.
Best way to learn is to dive in, right?
Thus it was when I found Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? nestled on a shelf right next to another Gaiman story entitled Eternals. A quick perusal of the cover jacket let me know that this Marvel title belonged to a story originally begun by Jack Kirby back in 1976. However, additional reading has led me to believe that the origins of the Eternals crosses a bit more time…and another big name comic publisher.
Whatever convolutions of concept and creation existed for these Eternal guardians of humanity, I figured that if they’d been around as long as me, and Marvel felt they were important enough not only to revive but to task a writer as skilled as Neil Gaiman with breathing life back into their story…well, then they must be worth a bit of my time.
Plus, I was pleased to see John Romita, Jr., linked with this project, providing the artistic interpretations for Gaiman’s story. He’s perhaps best known for being the artist behind Kick-Ass. Here, he provides solid old-school comic artistry. Nothing exceptionally fancy, but a solid four-color world for our heroes to plunder and save in true comic form.
I wish I could rave about this novel the way I did about Gaiman’s Batman tales. However, there was something off about this series of comics that never captivated me the way Gaiman’s Dark Knight did. I don’t fault Gaiman for this. Sometimes, I simply don’t like a story or character concept. I think that was the case here. Nothing about the story of the Eternals captured me and made me either care about them or want to continue reading their story.
Really, I found myself simply finishing the book because Hurricane Irene was battering us left, right, and center, and I figured that was as good an excuse as any to read something. Unfortunately, I was about as apathetic about finishing Eternals as I am about writing about it now.
Final Verdict: Back to the library go the Eternals. Perhaps someone else will find their tale a bit more captivating than I did.