It has been twenty years since the great plague ravished the
planet, destroying much of the population and forcing many
into symbiotic man/machine existences. Elijah Ballard, with
his companion war robot Cherubim, travel the wastelands trying
to escape his past and find meaning in his future...
Eden: It's an Endless World - Vol 2 by Hiroki Endo is
a worthy follow up to the first
volume. With the main principle characters set
up in the first book, the story proper gets underway. Not
only have people had to come to terms with the personal devastation
of the plague, the world order has changed as well. Propater
(Latin for God the Father) an organisation which at first
grew out of the now defunked U.N. and N.A.T.O. have not only
subsumed their roles but has gone on to promote its own ultra
right Christian agenda. Only a few Islamic countries and parts
of South America remain outside of their control, fighting
for freedom. Also arrayed against Propater is the mercenary
organisation of NOMAD, whose goals run counter to Propater's.
two sees Elijah hooking up, somewhat against his will, with
a NOMAD group consisting of Colonel Khan, an Azerbaijan fighter
who has lost his faith; Sophia, a seventy year old cyborg
in the shape of a young woman; and Kenji, a tortured soul
who is haunted by the memory of his dead brother.
Like the first volume, there is little to fault this dystopian
story. Some may find fault with the focus on the philosophical
side of things, but good art should always have something
to say, even if you don't agree with Endo's position. The
book is obviously just as much about Endo's search for meaning
as it is Elijah's. This does mean that the plot at times deviates
from the gung-ho blowing the porgies out of hardware that
might initially attract a certain audience, but the underlying
quest is just as interesting and thought provoking.
the main characters set up in the first volume, volume two
has a much slower pace, allowing Endo to start to explore
both the characters motivations and their back story. It also,
as twenty years have flashed by, allows Endo to propose some
intriguing changes for his original characters, without the
need, at this juncture, to provide answers. Enoah, Elijah's
father and naive hero of the first part of volume one appears
to be a successful drugs baron and Hanna, his mother is on
the run from Proporter.
Lest you think that it is all about contemplating your navel,
Endo has provided some excellent action sequences to counterbalance
the philosophising, as NOMAD take on a contingent of Proporter
The artwork is clean, with a high level of detail; moods are
well conveyed as is the dynamism of the action scenes. The
one thing I did miss from the first volume was having the
flashback scenes on a black background; this made the whole
thing much easier to read, though in volume two as these scenes
do not take up much space it's a minor quibble.
Overall a good continuation of a mature and interesting book.