From the stack: ES: Eternal Sabbath Vol. 3

December 26, 2006

Isn’t it nice that I keep finding new titles to talk about ad nauseum? Welcome, ES: Eternal Sabbath, to the roster of pet comics.

The third volume of this character-driven science-fiction tale builds upon the strengths of the first two, delving deeper into Fuyumi Soryo’s well-rounded cast of flawed protagonists and strangely sympathetic antagonists. Everyone learns more about the foibles of being human, often to their cost.

Soryo is extremely adept at combining event and emotion, keeping the narrative moving forward in conjunction with the incremental development of character. As gifted medical researcher Kujyou tries to introduce otherworldly Akiba to the sensibilities of human interaction, she realizes her own shortcomings in that area. It’s a fascinating approach to a familiar theme – explaining the everyday to the alien, but with an unqualified instructor at the helm.

It’s difficult to find young Isaac, Akiba’s malevolent clone, entirely repellent. His origins represent the worst of human inquiry, and while his actions are often appalling, he is essentially what people have made him, just like Akiba. Soryo is building towards a confrontation that’s almost certain to be tragic.

If you’re looking for a smart, sensitive thriller with a richly developed thematic framework, then you really should try this book.