Seven to Eternity Volume 1
Reprints Seven to Eternity #1-4
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Jerome Opena
Seven to Eternity Volume 2
Reprints Seven to Eternity #5-9
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Jerome Opena and James Harren
After my year-long read through of Rick Remender’s tenure at Marvel, I was excited to get back to his work. This time it’s his Image work, specifically this fantasy-adventure series Seven to Eternity. Remender reunites with his Uncanny X-Force collaborator Jerome Opena, and the material is just as gorgeous and epic. They don’t hesitate to throw the audience into the deep end of a richly developed world with tons of back history. You might find yourself a little disoriented at first, but once you get your bearings, understand who’s who, the story becomes deeply engrossing.
This is the world of Zahl, a place rules by Garlis Sulm. Sulm is better known as the Mud-King or The God of Whispers, a dictator whose dark magics allow him to hold the minds of the people in his grasp. Sulm stole this world from a doddering monarch who he operates like a puppet now. Before that, Sulm was a Mosak, a sort of mutant, born into the world with a unique ability. The Mosak are trained and serve as knights to the realm. Years earlier, Zebadiah Osidis turned against Sulm but not before being slandered as a traitor to Zahl. Now the Osidis name is a slur used to imply treachery and dishonesty.
The story opens with the death of Obidiah, taken when Sulm’s men find him and his family. Adam, the eldest Osidis son, is dying and has a family of his own. He decides to journey to Sulm’s palace and offer some sort of truce to take his family off the board. Sulm can see into men’s minds and reveals that he knows of the terminal illness and will break Adam. That’s the moment the remaining Mosak attack which unveils the real plot of the book. Things become much more complicated, and Adam is made to bear the weight of his family name as he begins a dangerous journey.
Remender and Opena are definitely having a lot of fun building out this world. It’s not quite as wild as something like Brian K. Vaughn’s Saga, but it treads in similar ground. Humanoid beings are not the only sentient creatures in the book, with a dinosaur Mosak whose mouth is a massive teleportation portal. Sulm has a twisted child whose flute causes people to commit horrible acts. Adam Osidis wield a gun that shoots the spirits of his ancestors. While there are fantasy tropes, you have come to expect there are also a lot of exciting and strange additions. Remender has infused many Western tropes into the story making the Mosak a combination of knights and cowboys.
Adam is faced with trying to shake off the disdain the Osidis name has because of his father but often ends up in situations where he will turn on the other Mosak. Zebadiah couldn’t compromise on his principles, which is what got the Osidis clan into this mess, and Adam is trying to overcome that ideology. However, the compromises he ends up making put him in worse and worse spots, having to betray his allies.
Jerome Opena once again delivers some gorgeous and textured art. Zahl is a colorful world with a variety of environments. Everything feels aged and lived in, shades of post-apocalyptia and a wilderness that is dangerous & volatile. There are few Caucasian faces and instead tons of non-human characters that make the world much more interesting. We haven’t deep dived into every one of the varied cultures that make up Zahl, but the little we have seen makes me interested to keep exploring. If you’re tired of redundant and static superhero titles, Seven to Eternity provides a fantastic palate cleanser.