Comic books and music seem to go hand in hand and this has been the case for many more years than I can remember. Back in the Golden Age of the medium we often found artists like The Beatles being referenced and sometimes even getting their own books like The Monkees did in 1968. For me the magic of these two passions of my youth coming together was when KISS got their own adventure story published in the very first issue of “Marvel Comics Super Special”. This issue came out in 1977 and featured the face-painted New Yorkers in epic battle against Doctor Doom and Mephisto – Killer stuff for sure. Needless to say it only increased my youthful belief in the magic of KISS as something bigger than mortal men and most likely helped contribute to the collecting passion that I got involved in for years in terms of comic books. In today’s Metal music scene we find a lot more bands taking part in comic book writing, publishing or guest appearances. It’s really a great time to be a Metal head and someone that loves comics since both things are viewed as really cool as opposed to be the stuff of utter nerd dom. Let’s face it, do you think anyone is going to give crap to Glen Danzig for his comic book line, or Rob Dukes (from Exodus)? I hardly think so.
With that being said, I had the opportunity to get my hands on the first three issues of a series entitled “Eternal Descent” and since I had been out of the regular collecting mode for a few years l was not as up on this as I would have liked to be. Until now that is. The premise of the comic is that of an “Urban Gothic Fantasy” and it’s the brainchild of musician/writer Llexi Leon. Leon is the founder of a label called Incendiary Records and he has created the virtual band Eternal Descent to tell his stories. Over time he realized that music would not be able to deliver the stories in the same fashion as the comics and here we are. It’s an epic fantasy and mystery that pits good against evil and does so with some of the Metal world’s biggest stars as guest characters along the way. I got my hands on the first three issues of the title and offer up some overviews on each of them along with some cover art. I’ll begin with issue #1, Enjoy.
Issue #1 Overview: In the first few pages of “Eternal Descent” we meet the Angel Sirian who appears to be a brooding sort of chap, very buff in physique and sporting a guitar. I was not sure if he was in exile or on a mission as opposed to being one of the Fallen but perhaps he played the guitar a little too loud for The Almighty’s taste and was given a temporary boot. Anyways, Sirian ends up coming to the aid of a damsel in distress and lays some righteousness down on several nasty demons that are all under the control of the story’s protagonist Loki. He does so with the previously mentioned guitar so of course this instrument is enchanted or magic of some kind but you probably expected that. As a villain I will have to say that Loki seems to clearly be a Fallen and he knows our hero very well. Let’s see what the connection between them is over time. Sirian helps the girl, who we learn is named Lyra, and brings her to a church for refuge. The angel is friends with a priest who is assigned there and upon his return to check things out we learn that Miss Lyra might be a little more than they were prepared for. To be continued of course.
Thoughts: The story offered no title of the initial tale which annoyed me as a long time comic’s reader but it is not short on the action and killer artwork by Metcalf. The reader gets 22 pages of uninterrupted action before it ends and while the title is a 32 pager, the final eight pages are a brief interview with the creative force behind the book, a promo interview for the publishing company and advertisements for other titles. I did prefer the ads at the end instead of being pushed at me during the course of the read though. The downside is the $4 price tag per issue and I feel that while this was an interesting read that the cost to keep up on it might hamper the interest just a little bit. Let’s face it, the output from DC Comics and Marvel is only that high for super specialty editions and they still rule the roost. My view is that the title reminded me a little bit of Avengelyne with its whole Heaven vs. Hell theme and felt like a book that would have come out via London Night Studios when that darker side company was dishing out a lot of titles (Razor, Poizon etc.).
As previously referenced, with my snagging a couple of additional issues in the series, I’ll be doing overviews of the second and third issues over the course of the coming days. I would love to see this succeed as its got some difference from the conventional hero in tights with super powers framework but it really needs to have a little more depth and answer more of the questions now that three issues are out of the way.