This issue opens with the arrival of Celestial Arishem of the Fourth Host among the Incan ruins, sent to judge Earth in fifty years. Doctor Damian chooses to stay with Ajax and learn what he can, while Ikaris takes Margo out to the plane before the area is sealed off. Meanwhile, Kro is being punished for his failure to prevent the Celestial’s arrival by the Deviant leader Tode. He plans to use his devilish appearance to get the humans to do their work for them. He also attempts to attack Ikaris and Margo’s plane, until Ikaris uses his powers to quickly take them to New York, where he drops in on a fellow Eternal.
The beautiful Sersy (later changed to Sersi), who we find out is the inspiration for the Circe of Greek myth. He asks her to protect Margo while he deals with the impending Deviant attack. The issue closes with Kro, in full Devil mode, attacking, spreading fear, but we see some humans are also defiant as Ikaris flies in.
There’s some great stuff in this issue. In particular I like the page introducing Sersi and the two page spread of Arishem’s arrival. I also liked the bit at the end with the defiant human responding to Kro’s threats, as it reminds me of the classic Terrible Turpin sequence in NEW GODS, humanity defiant in the face of a war among gods brought into the city streets. ETERNALS definitely kicked into high-gear with this issue after a lot of set-up in the previous issues, still introducing lots of new concepts but starting to play with them.
John Verpoorten inks the cover and 17-page story, and I just want to say, though Verpoorten’s name doesn’t often come up among discussions of best Kirby inkers, he definitely deserves some consideration for stories like this. Very slick, very powerful, seems very faithful to the pencils.