Kid Eternity

Author: Grant Morrison
Artist: Duncan Fegredo
Titan Books
RRP 9.99
ISBN 1 84576 1239 8
Available 24 March 2006

Jerry Sullivan is a struggling stand-up comedian, so he's already used to the idea of dying. Now he's about to find out more than he ever wanted to about the afterlife, courtesy of a savage car crash and a strange figure calling himself kid. Appearing out of thin air, pursued by demons, Kid has escaped from Hell to resume a mission of cosmic importance assigned to him by the forces of Heaven itself. But before he can complete his task, he needs Jerry's help to free the partner he left behind. This means an astral trip back into the inferno, leaving Jerry's broken body unconscious in a hospital bed while his spirit follows Kid through the paths of the damned. But, in a world built of suffering and lies, the greatest danger is also the most unexpected - the truth...

Kid Eternity is a bit of a strange graphic novel. The basic plot has been done to death, although Grant Morrison tries to bury that fact under a pile of red herrings. We've seen it a million times before: man in car crash enters Hell to perform some task not yet revealed in the hope that he can live again... etc. You know the sort of thing. Silent Hill was far from original when it did the same thing - but that was just a game. But to be fair to Morrison, he does manage to pull the cat out of the bag.

I remember Duncan Fegredo from his work on New Statesmen (originally published in Fleetway's Crisis). I didn't know the name, but instantly recognised his style. Fegredo's work is something that you'll either instantly love or loathe.

I wouldn't say that the ending is predictable, but it's not overly original either. When you've been to Hell and back, you can' be forgiven for expecting something a little more rewarding.

But, that's not to say that I didn't enjoy this story. The idea and execution is well conceived, it's just that I thought a little more polish would have worked wonders. As it stands, this is still an interesting read that will get the old grey matter ticking over.

Pete Boomer

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