Eternal is a book about the seen and unseen consequences of immortality. A company called New Life promises everlasting life, at a price. Currency is in the form of exploiting the pure, a group of humans who cannot be cloned. When last we left this series, the story followed a rebel operative named Gail Jensen, whose organization, the HLA, failed at liberating a group of pure being held at New Life enclaves. One of these pure, Violet, was a rebel now captive. On the flip side of the operation, New Life operative Peter is now seeing his employers in a new light.
In Eternal #2, all characters are set into motion showing different sides to this new world New Life has created. Gail publicly takes the blame for her last botched extraction with plans of continuing on and liberating more pure at a different enclave. Peter and his partner Graham start looking for breadcrumbs to uncover the HLA, though Peter’s faith in New Life is starting to falter. Perhaps the most revealing storyline is Violet, who is trapped within one of these enclaves, awaiting the future that befalls the pure.
Harms and Simeone raise the stakes in more ways than one, escalating the stories for all of the characters involved and pressing on each perspective with as much morality as logistics. The momentum of Eternal #2 far outweighs that of the first issue. With the exposition out of the way, we can now see each character in their own light: one the radical; one the believer; and one the sacrifice. The action, almost hard to follow at times (mostly in combat), is unyielding in the duality it presents. The adage of “with great power . . . ” is no more true than in this issue, where tables are turned and horrific truths brought to light, only delving us more into darkness. Eternal #2 leaves you asking what a human life is worth, when the payoff is the chance to live forever.