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Meet Eternity Girl, Young Animal's newest hero

Contributed by
Mar 14, 2018

Launched last year, DC's Young Animal has experienced some marked success. Now the mature imprint of the publisher is launching into phase two with brand-new characters and stories that continue its goals of producing original creative content that plays with the conventions of modern comic books.

Their newest hero, Eternity Girl, is part of that latest phase, and a unique approach to the superhero genre. 

The first issue of Eternity Girl, written by Eisner and GLAAD award nominee Magdalene Visaggio, with art by Sonny Liew, arrives in your Local Comic Shop on March 14 and introduces readers to Caroline Sharp, formerly known as Chrysalis, currently stuck in a state between reality and unreality. You see, she exists outside of time and space, thanks to an accident during a battle with the villainous Madame Atom.

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Courtesy: DC Comics

But Eternity Girl isn't about how cool it would be to be an elemental super being, or the struggles one faces when endowed with such powers. It is about a woman who is immeasurably broken by the universe, quite literally. Because she exists outside of time and space, she feels, essentially, pointless. She has lost her job and her sense of purpose along with her ability to control her powers and maintain a human form. She wants badly to remove herself from existence, to die, but the universe won't allow it. Naturally, in order to do so, she must unmake the universe.

Eternity Girl sprang, initially, from what Neil Gaiman had done with Element Girl in the Sandman series, but eventually evolved into a brand-new hero. Speaking exclusively with SYFY Fangrrls, Visaggio said, "Once we decided to make it a new character, it opened up a lot of possibilities; I was always going to be dealing with how this character was related to her previous, pre-New 52 version, but suddenly I realized I could do whatever I wanted. The story sort of exploded: It's about death, yeah, but also about reincarnation, escape, and the wild mythology behind all of DC comics."

Part of that unique experience is in the way it portrays depression, specifically. There's something to that first issue, some combination of the narration and the art style — with its unrefined edges to the characters and its muted colors that somehow remain colorful — that evoke the listless disconnection many people suffering from depression and suicidality feel, and that, in and of itself, makes the book unique.

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Courtesy: DC Comics

"Sonny is a wonder. I've never had an artist elevate my writing quite this way," says Visaggio, speaking of Eternity Girl's interior artist, Sonny Liew, himself an Eisner Award winner. "He often ignores my own stage directions or panel divisions and finds a better way to get it across. It's been a really unique collaboration."

"Everything else I've done has been a manic adventure. This is slower and more cerebral, and more experimental than anything else I've attempted. So if you go in expecting Kim & Kim, well, you're going to be surprised," she continued. "Eternity Girl isn't that and has never been that. In a lot of ways, it's kind of a throwback for me, the weird, high-concept thinky stuff I wanted to do in college but never knew how to approach. I don't know if I'll keep moving in this direction indefinitely, but it's a nice change of pace."

Eternity Girl is being published as a miniseries from Young Animal, beginning in March and running through August. At the back of the first issue, Gerard Way, the man at the helm of the Young Animal imprint, calls the book "unique and different, it is weird and somewhat experimental, but it has a ton of heart, and in my opinion it is both relatable and accessible. And, like other Young Animal titles, it deals with very human issues with some real perspective from the creators."

Where Eternity Girl's journey through her own internal struggle will take her, only time will tell, but it's a journey that, at least for now, is off to an intriguing, engaging start.