The tenth volume of Hiroki Endo’s Eden: It’s an Endless World! (Dark Horse) offers the following diversions:
1. A desperate race to find a bomb planted by terrorists
2. A shocking double execution
3. A shocking single execution
4. A high-speed chase
5. The introduction of new characters
6. The return of old characters
7. Weighty discussion about the nature of life, sentience and evolution as they pertain to a creepy virus that turns people into crystal
8. Two big explosions
9. Inter-agency tensions in the criminal justice arena
10. Citizen protests
11. Subdued but affecting portrayals of grief
12. Mildly gratuitous nudity that manages not to seem exploitative or too forced, which is probably the best kind of gratuitous nudity
13. Giant robots
I think it’s fair to say that’s a whole lot of stuff to try and put into even 232 pages of comics, but Endo manages it with his customary confidence and force. I continue to be amazed at how he can weave from thread to thread and theme to theme and not lose me even a little. He’s clearly managed to craft characters with enough specificity and depth that I remember them even after a long absence, along with scenarios and arguments persuasive enough to linger and resonate as they propel the story in new directions.
I certainly wouldn’t recommend starting with volume 10, because you’d probably end up being impressed with Endo’s craft and Dark Horse’s production values but hopelessly lost by the story. I would recommend starting with volume 1 and enjoying the story as it progresses, demonstrating forbearance during the shockingly trite drugs-and-hookers mini-arc in the middle, and celebrating as the series returns to form after the pushers and pimps are dispatched.