Wednesday, July 31, 2013

El Eternauta

Hey everyone and welcome to my blog! Today I'm gonna post about one of the most important Argentinian (that is, from my country) comic-books: "El Eternauta".
Written by H. G. Oesterheld and drawn by Solano López, this character's story takes place in Buenos Aires, and it starts when he's playing cards with his friends in the attic of his house, which has been adapted to function as a "club house" and at the same time a workshop, because they all have hobbies related to engineering or science. They all are really surprised when they realize it's started snowing, since it doesn't snow here (except once in about 50 years, but that's just an exception), but that surprise rapidly changes into fear when they realize that is no common snow: each person touched by a snowflake dies in an instant, as they can confirm by looking out of the window. Luckily all their windows are closed, so they survive the "nevada mortal" (lethal snowing), and since their workshop is well equipped they can make a couple hazard suits to be able to walk out of the house.
After that, a post-apocaliptycal story unfolds, showing how this group of survivors manages to get food and weapons, competing with the other men of the city, as they try to discover what caused the snowing, and if there is any safe place.
Fastforward some pages, and the real conflict starts: after most men have united in a militia, an army of beetle-shaped aliens attack us, and it takes many days of fighting to hold them back... just to discover they're just mind-slaved by the Manos: aliens with many-fingered hands who control the beetles with giant computers that have many keys.

When they finally kill one of the Manos and think they're starting to win, he tells them, with his last breath, that they, too, are but slaves of a bigger alien species, who put sensors on them that detect when they feel fear, and shoot poison in their veins: thus they can't revolt, because just thinking of it makes them die of poisoning.
And that's one of the most interesting things in this story: you never get to see the real enemy, at least at the beginning.
I'm not gonna spoil the rest to you, but the story ends up becoming a time travel one.
Unfortunately, Oesterheld was "disappeared" by our last de facto government before he could finish writing it, but now the characters have become a symbol in the country and every once in a while more episodes of this comic-book are published by new writers, much like a super-hero.
If you want to read some south-american comics, I'd recommend you read this one.

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