GRAPHIC NOVEL
Eden: It's an Endless World
Volume 2

Author: Hiroki Endo
Artist: Hiroki Endo
Titan Books
RRP: 6.99, US $12.95
ISBN-13: 978 1 84576 488 3
ISBN-10: 1 84576 488 3
Available 27 April 2007


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.

Volume 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.

With 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 soldiers.

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.

Charles Packer

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