Written by Magdalene Visaggio
Pencil inks & cover by Sonny Liew
Colors by Chris Chuckry
Letters by Todd Klein
Assistant Editor: Maggie Howell
Editor: Andy Whouri
DC Young Animal Curated by Gerard Way
WARNING: This review contains a lot of spoilers and should not be read unless you’ve already read the issue.
Issue 2 of Eternity Girl continues to deliver the same quality content that we saw in Issue #1, but with some major plot twists along the way.
I’m not going to go through this issue scene to scene because to be honest I think it flows really easily. If you’re new to reading comics Eternity Girl so far is a really easy to understand and follow along with book. However, that’s not to say it’s not complex because it is! There’s lots going on but through the beauty of having a seasoned team working on this reading it and following along is not difficult at all.
In this issue we jump back and forth between Caroline’s life on earth that depicts all of her sadness and her standing on the edge of the universe about to destroy it and everyone in it as her last ditch effort to die.
I gotta admit this issue was hard for me to read because a lot of what Caroline is going through in this issue are things I’ve either been through or I’m currently going through- right down to the stand up comic. In this issue we address the fact that Caroline is disassociating and struggling in a way I hadn’t been expecting. Dani takes her to a comedy club where we watch as a stand up comic talks about how her weight makes her feel like she doesn’t belong and she has to make fun of herself before someone can do it for her along with her desire to be beautiful or to be body positive in the body she has. At the end of the routine Caroline questions why Dani brought her here and Dani blurts out something she must have been thinking for a while.
“At least she’s dealing with her problems instead of sulking around at home for six fucking months. You keep saying you want to recover, but you just insist on tanking yourself. I swear…it’s like you get off on being miserable.”
These are the words Dani says to Caroline and they are the words, that if you’ve been depressed, SOMEONE has said to you at some point. It’s crueler than any slap or punch. It’s the realization that the person you trusted to care and support you has decided you WANT this for yourself. You’re not trying hard enough. You should just get over it already. These are the words that cut deeper than any physical cut could. They are the ones that leave you alone and struggling and desperate to want to say “Obviously I don’t want to be miserable, but when you try to get on your feet and your faced with words like this it just pushes you right back down.” but also realizing that to say that the words have hurt just further proves what they had to say and they are likely to say as much and use it to further cement their belief should you voice it. It leaves you with the options of walking away or putting up a fake front while feeling even more isolated. Caroline chooses to walk away.
Now arguably, Caroline in this circumstance really isn’t trying much to get out of her depression. She seems to have fought really hard to get back what she lost, but when she couldn’t get back her will to keep finding hope or a reason to keep going ended and she swung to the other side of the spectrum. She wanted to fight for good, she wanted to get back on the good team, but when she continued to get kicked down and told to try harder she finally decided nothing she could ever do would ever be enough to get back what she lost and at that moment in time she also decided dying was her new ultimate goal no matter the costs.
In the ending to issue #1 we see Caroline come alive again with a new hope that she can truly die. And I think that’s a huge thing to address, and we see it playing out in Issue #2 as we watch as “Chrysalis” and Madame Atom talk in High space, this is how suicide really does play out in real life for many people. You get to the point that you can’t take anymore and you don’t “give up” more so that you change your mind. When the decision is made there is relief, even happiness, because the plan is in place to take away the pain. And that’s what we seem to see in her heightened spirits at the end of issue 1 and again in issue 2 where she is now focused on her plan.
In this issue Caroline has found a plan to focus her energy on, has stopped trying to control her anger and has let it seep out with a vengeance as she goes to the Director’s house and has disassociated from Dani and is past caring.
I feel like issue #2 really dives into answering the question of what happens when a person loses hope for a future, and it sets us up for some catastrophic situations to come. Will Caroline accept Dani’s apology or has she disassociated too much from Dani after her words for her to be able to help her at all? Will she find some inner strength that will stop her in the nick of time before she does something irreversible? Is it already too late? I mean, the Director’s house is demolished. And how are we swapping back and forth between the real world and high space in apparent real time?
I’m still not totally convinced that high space is not a delusion and she’s still firmly planted on earth. I mean, it would explain while she’s in high space demolishing Astrolas she’s simultaneously attacking the Director and demolishing his house.
In a sidenote I’d also like to mention that I feel like Dani is wrong to think the comic is dealing with her problems by getting on a stage and proclaiming she’s making fun of herself before someone else can do it for her. Maybe Dani thinks that because this person is out of the house and doing something that is a sign of being all right, or at least trying to be all right, but I don’t think Dani is right here. We’ve lost many a great comic to suicide. Everyone deals with depression differently, some get on a stage hoping it will make them feel better (it rarely seems to), some disassociate and withdraw from everything hoping they can hide away and find some comfort, some try to put on a happy face and go about their daily routine and listen to the shitty advice to “just get over it.” None of that is dealing with your problems. And from what this specific stand up comic is saying, it doesn’t feel like she’s dealing. I mean, I didn’t want to laugh at anything I read, I wanted to cry for her. But there’s always the truth that for one person that will hide their pain another will show it. Doesn’t mean one is working through it better than the other, it just means they deal differently. Dani claims to know that this other person’s way of dealing is better than the one Caroline has chosen without considering the most basic human fact. Everyone deals with things differently and we don’t know what’s really going on in someone’s head or behind closed doors. Maybe that comic gets off stage downs a bottle of vodka and cuts where nobody can see. Just because she can smile on a stage doesn’t mean she is working through anything and I think it shows Dani’s ignorance to depression and mental health, which to be honest, is not uncommon even in the most caring of friends. They don’t understand it so they do all the wrong things that just make a depressed person feel even more alone.
I’m really in love with this book and I can’t wait to see where issue #3 takes us, all the characters seem so dynamic and I love that this book really digs under the skin of each character. I love how fun it is to analyze every character to try to figure them out while eagerly awaiting for the next issue to get more answers. Despite the dark undertones it’s a fun and important read.
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